Even at the height of the craze supporting Shiba Inu (SHIB -1.10%), the most the cryptocurrency was ever worth was $0.00008 per token. As of this writing, after the collapse of the crypto market, the dog-faced token is now worth $0.000027, or two-thirds less than what it was worth just four months ago.
It would take Shiba Inu a 37,000% hop to hit a penny. From there, it would be another 10,000% more to reach $1. In other words, only a 3.7 million percent increase gets you to $1.
Numbers like that might make your head spin, but perhaps buyers of the altcoin should really be asking themselves: "Can Shiba Inu make me wealthy with more reasonable expectations?"
It looks like the boat already sailed
Early investors in Shiba Inu who held onto the token have already padded their accounts with millions of dollars. Had you invested just $5 on Jan. 1, 2021, at its peak 10 months later, you would have been sitting on a 60 million percent gain and a value of over $3 million.
Had you held on until the end of the year, you would have seen that value plunge by well more than half, but would still have a nice nest egg of almost $1.3 million. The question for new people considering buying in is whether Shiba Inu has the chops to make even modest gains going forward.
Cryptocurrencies are volatile to be sure, and investing in a token in blind hope that lightning strikes twice is not the way to put your money to work, even if it is just half a sawbuck.
Getting accepted into the club
What the biggest cryptos -- like Bitcoin, Ethereum, and Cardano -- have going for them is that they are seen as valid mediums of exchange with a store of value.
Tens of thousands of merchants now accept Bitcoin as payment. As the oldest and most widely distributed crypto, it has become almost mainstream. Yet for all of its ability to be used to buy goods and services, Bitcoin is also seen as an investment in its own right and is held for its potential future value. It is seen as inherently valuable by many despite its day-to-day volatility.
It's much the same with Ethereum and Cardano, though their acceptance is not nearly as widespread as Bitcoin's.
Broad acceptance hasn't been the case with Shiba Inu, though that's changing. In December the Flexa payment platform added the token to its system, which is accepted at over 40,000 merchants, including GameStop, Nordstrom, and Lowe's.
A few companies made a big deal about attracting Shiba Inu owners to their brand, like Regal Cinema owner Cineworld, which reportedly gave moviegoers a 20% discount on ticket prices if they purchased tickets with the token. AMC Entertainment asked its shareholders in a poll if it should add Shiba Inu and received a resounding yes in response. It plans to add the token (along with Dogecoin) as a purchase option sometime in the first quarter.
A lot of ifs
Meanwhile, there is something called the Shibarium in the works, a layer-2 blockchain project designed to run on top of Ethereum (Shiba Inu is an Ethereum-based token) that seeks to overcome two other problems Shiba Inu has faced: slow processing times and very high transaction fees.
If successful, that could lead to the development of non-fungible token (NFT) gaming and an entry into the metaverse. That could fuel even greater adoption for Shiba Inu, as could a listing on Robinhood Markets. But there are no guarantees any of this will come to fruition.
Moreover, it faces pressure not from more tokens being added to its already expansive base of 550 trillion tokens, but from new blockchain-based projects coming online. Without much to differentiate Shiba Inu, new alternatives that provide faster processing times or lower fees will assume a competitive advantage.
There is only the remotest of chances Shiba Inu will ever hit a penny in value, let alone a dollar. Reaching $1 would mean the cryptocurrency would be worth $550 trillion, or more than five times the gross domestic product (GDP) of all the world's economies combined.
Shiba Inu would need the perfect alignment of the stars for it to attain a return to its former heights, let alone any real gain in value, which is why should steer clear of this cryptocurrency.