Shiba Inu (SHIB -1.79%) was last year's superstar crypto with a gain of 45,000,000%. But the story's been different since the start of this year. The cryptocurrency has fallen about 10%. That's not a lot compared to last year's enormous increase. But it shows a clear change in momentum. And that means rival cryptocurrencies have moved ahead when it comes to market value. Shiba Inu has slipped out of the top 10 -- and today, it's the world's 14th biggest cryptocurrency.
A concern is Shiba Inu doesn't stand out among the thousands of cryptocurrencies out there. So, it may have a tough time staying ahead in the long run. Still, does this mean gains are over? Or can these three catalysts boost Shiba Inu? Let's take a closer look.
1. A potential Robinhood listing
Speculation about a potential listing on the Robinhood Markets trading platform sent Shiba Inu higher last month. But no news followed -- and Shiba Inu quickly lost those gains. This doesn't mean a listing won't happen, however. Shiba Inu fans launched a petition on Change.org asking for a Robinhood listing. So far, that petition has garnered more than a half a million signatures. The goal is one million. It's clear demand is high.
As for Robinhood, management has said it plans on welcoming more cryptocurrencies. But Robinhood aims to do so cautiously to make sure listings are in line with regulatory requirements. This leaves the door open for Shiba Inu -- but nothing is guaranteed.
Shiba Inu is a token on Ethereum. So, it's subject to the congestion and high costs of that blockchain. Shibarium is meant to change all of that. Shibarium is a layer-2 blockchain designed to run on top of Ethereum -- the goal is to speed up transaction times and lower costs.
Engineers involved in the development of Shibarium say a testnet version will be launched this year. Further Shibarium details aren't available. But it's clear a system that offers speed and lower costs is a big positive for Shiba Inu. And this is especially a plus in the world of gaming -- an area that Shiba Inu aims to develop. A Shiba Inu game actually is right around the corner. Australia's Playside Studios is developing it and aims to release the game in the first quarter of next year.
And speaking of gaming, that brings me to the next catalyst...
3. The metaverse
Shiba Inu is ready to enter the metaverse. The code name for the project is "Shiberse." But Shiba Inu plans on revealing the real name of its metaverse later this month. Details aren't abundant at this point. Here's what we do know. Shiberse will include virtual land that people can buy. And Shiba Inu said it will hold an initial sale/auction soon for holders of the Shiba Inu "Leash" token. After that, land sales will open up to the general public.
In a Feb. 8 ShibaSwap blog post, Shiba Inu says more information is on the way.
Now the question is whether these catalysts truly can help Shiba Inu rebound and launch a period of lasting gains. First, it's important to say that Shibarium and Shiberse are set to happen -- but a Robinhood listing only is speculation so far. In any case, good news from these projects is likely to boost Shiba Inu. And I would expect it to attract more users and investors.
But I'm not expecting any of this news -- even a Robinhood listing -- to propel Shiba Inu higher for the long term. Here's why. The above catalysts are positive, but they don't eliminate the problem I mentioned earlier. Shiba Inu still won't stand out from rivals. Other cryptocurrencies are winning when it comes to transaction speed and making gains in the metaverse. And a handful of players are listed on Robinhood. So, these catalysts don't help make Shiba Inu unique.
That's why I wouldn't jump on the bandwagon if the above happenings lift this much-watched crypto player.