Shiba Inu (SHIB 0.63%) and Dogecoin (DOGE 0.32%) both have been riding the popularity wave of cryptocurrencies with a dog as a mascot. These popular meme tokens skyrocketed last year -- and took spots among the biggest cryptocurrencies.
Shiba Inu beat its older rival when it comes to annual gains. It soared a jaw-dropping 45,000,000%. Dogecoin "only" climbed 2,900%. But Shiba Inu lags when it comes to market value. It's the world's 13th biggest cryptocurrency while Dogecoin is the 12th largest. Dogecoin also beats Shiba Inu by value of individual tokens. It's worth about 15 cents while Shiba Inu trades for a fraction of a cent. Considering Shiba Inu's popularity and strong community support, could it rise above the price of Dogecoin this year? Could it surpass Dogecoin's market value? And what about from a pure percentage increase perspective? Let's look for some clues.
An experiment in community building
First, a little background on Shiba Inu. A founder known only as "Ryoshi" launched Shiba Inu in August 2020. Shiba Inu's whitepaper calls the cryptocurrency "an experiment in decentralized spontaneous community building." And community -- known as the Shib Army -- is indeed the driving factor behind Shiba Inu's success.
So, what exactly is Shiba Inu? It's a token built on the Ethereum blockchain. Shiba Inu isn't a blockchain itself and can't host smart contracts. So, users can't go to Shiba Inu for decentralized applications that allow them to buy insurance or manage their investments, for example. Instead, investors can buy Shiba Inu and stake their holdings for passive income -- or use their tokens as a payment method at certain merchants.
Unlike Shiba Inu, Dogecoin is a currency and a blockchain. But like Shiba Inu, Dogecoin's real world uses are limited to staking and payment. So, it seems fair to compare the two -- and consider whether Shiba Inu has what it takes to jump ahead of its rival.
The key to our answer has to do with token supply. Dogecoin has an unlimited supply overall. That limits gains. But right now, about 132 billion tokens are in circulation. That's a lot fewer than the 549 trillion Shiba Inu coins in circulation.
Market value and price per coin
Now, let's do some math. Today, Shiba Inu is priced at about 0.00002949. If it doubles to 0.00005898, we're still at a price that's much lower than today's Dogecoin price. But it brings Shiba Inu to a market value of more than $32 billion. As of right now, that would put Shiba Inu ahead of Dogecoin in terms of market value. And it would make it the ninth-biggest cryptocurrency by market value after Ripple. From a math standpoint, it's possible Shiba Inu could beat Dogecoin when it comes to market value.
As for actual price per coin, it seems nearly impossible that Shiba Inu could beat Dogecoin. Considering Shiba Inu's coin supply, a price of 15 cents would give the cryptocurrency a market value of $82 trillion. By comparison, the entire crypto market is worth about $3 trillion.
When it comes to general percentage gains, it may be easier for Shiba Inu to beat Dogecoin than vice versa. That's simply because it's easier for assets with a lower value to double or triple than those starting out at a higher price.
So, Shiba Inu could beat Dogecoin when it comes to percentage gains or market value. Does that mean you should invest in this popular crypto player? No. There are a few reasons why I would avoid Shiba Inu. And the great news is this: Choices are many. There are plenty of other cryptocurrency opportunities that look much more promising for 2022.