Shiba Inu (SHIB 3.75%) may just be the most incredible and unlikely success story in the history of investing. The meme token was started as something of a joke in 2020, but its price surged roughly 46,000,000% in 2021's trading and made fortunes for those who purchased and sold with opportune timing.
Likely because it's a round, easy price to conceptualize, the question of whether Shiba Inu could reach $1 per token pops up a lot. That scenario can pretty much be discarded out of hand. With a total coin supply of 589.7 trillion, that would mean Shiba Inu would have an astronomical market cap of $589.7 trillion based on the current coin count. However, the question of whether or not the cryptocurrency could reach a $1 trillion market cap is much more interesting and deserves a closer look.
What can Bitcoin tell us about Shiba Inu's chance to hit $1 trillion?
Bitcoin (CRYPTO: BTC) remains the largest cryptocurrency by valuation and currently has a market capitalization of roughly $749.5 billion. As it stands right now, the crypto is the only token to have ever reached a market capitalization of over $1 trillion.
At its peak, Bitcoin had a market cap of nearly $1.3 trillion. Meanwhile, Shiba Inu currently ranks as the 15th-largest cryptocurrency by valuation and has a market capitalization of roughly $13.2 billion.
Growth-focused investor Cathie Wood's Ark Invest firm published a report earlier this year outlining Bitcoin's path to a price of $1.36 million per token by 2030 -- a target that suggests its price could grow more than 34.5 times its current value of roughly $39,400 per coin. Through a combination of new coin mining and price appreciation, the Ark Invest team thinks that Bitcoin could reach a market cap of $28.5 trillion by 2030, suggesting its size would grow roughly 38 times over from current levels.
In order to hit the $1 trillion market cap level, Shiba Inu would need to grow roughly 76 times its current size. Given that Shiba's market cap is currently so much smaller than Bitcoin's, it's possible that its token price could grow enough to support a $1 trillion market cap if Bitcoin were to deliver growth in line with Ark Invest's target and this corresponded with strong momentum for the overall crytpo space. It's just important to keep in mind that Ark's estimate could prove wildly optimistic, and strong performance for the crypto market at large won't necessarily translate into big gains for Shiba Inu.
Shiba Inu could bounce back, but keep expectations realistic
Shiba Inu's token is now down roughly 72% from the peak it hit last October. At its current price, the token also trades at roughly 429,000 times the level of the record low it was at in November 2020. In that context, boosting its price 76 times from current levels to reach a $1 trillion market cap might not seem like much, but relative growth typically becomes harder to deliver as an asset or company becomes larger. Still, there are potential catalysts that could help power more big gains for Shiba Inu.
As the chart above shows, adoption for cryptocurrency storage services has been increasing, and it's reasonable to expect that continued adoption for digital tokens as an investment vehicle could help push Shiba Inu's token price higher. However, it should be noted that charting valuation trends for the cryptocurrency market and individual coins is difficult and involves plenty of guess work, and Shiba Inu faces competition from other tokens.
In summary, Shiba Inu hitting a $1 trillion market capitalization by 2030 remains highly unlikely. I wouldn't put it in the "impossible" category like I would the prospect of the cryptocurrency hitting a token price of $1 and achieving a market cap of nearly $590 trillion, but growing 75 times from current levels is a tall order. With the token trading down big from its previous peak, Shiba Inu could still rebound and deliver strong returns, but investors should proceed with reasonable expectations and the understanding that the cryptocurrency is a high-risk, high-reward play.