After some big valuation pullbacks, Shiba Inu (SHIB -1.04%) now trades at less than $0.000012 per token, has a market capitalization of $6.5 billion, and ranks as the 15th most valuable cryptocurrency. In order to reach $0.01 per token, SHIB's price would need to climb more than 80,000% from its current level.

Given that the meme-powered cryptocurrency soared 46,000,000% in 2021 and still trades up over 35,000,000% from the low it hit in November 2020, the gains needed to hit the penny mark might not sound too farfetched. Is the meme token set to rebound and make investors rich on a march toward $0.01? 

A Shiba Inu token logo.

Image source: Getty Images.

Penny for your thoughts

A penny may seem like a trivial amount. This same way of thinking is likely responsible for questions and claims about SHIB potentially hitting $1 still popping up in online crypto discussions.

It's sometimes said that "value is relative," and that axiom is applicable here. A penny might not seem like much in material terms, but reaching that valuation from a starting point of just $0.000012 per token would require an absolutely massive leap. Given that SHIB gained more than 46,000,000% across 2021's trading, growing roughly 80,000% from its current price to reach $0.01 might not seem like a stretch, but it's a very tall order.

With a total coin count of 589.7 trillion, hitting a price of $0.01 per token would work out to a market capitalization of roughly $5.9 trillion for Shiba Inu. At its peak, Bitcoin had a market cap of nearly $1.3 trillion. That means SHIB would need to grow 4.5 times Bitcoin's all-time pricing high to reach the $0.01 point.

Bitcoin Market Cap Chart

Bitcoin Market Cap data by YCharts

For another comparison, Apple currently stands as the world's largest company and has a market cap of roughly $2.3 trillion. Based on its current coin count, SHIB would be roughly 2.6 times the size of the most valuable company on Earth at the price of a penny per token. That kind of performance isn't impossible, but it certainly looks highly unlikely. 

Will the metaverse and burning make SHIB investors rich?

The Shiba Inu development team is rolling out a metaverse where users can purchase plots of virtual land with Ethereum's Ether token or with SHIB. When SHIB coins are spent in this way they will be burned, or removed from circulation, reducing the cryptocurrency's circulating coin count and increasing scarcity.

The team has also rolled out a new mechanism that will offer Ryoshi Vision tokens as a reward for burning SHIB tokens. Essentially, users who opt to burn their Shiba Inu tokens can receive passive income in the form of crypto for taking their SHIB tokens out of circulation

It's possible that a large number of Shiba Inu coins will be burned through this mechanism, the token's metaverse, or other initiatives. These catalysts could potentially send SHIB higher. However, keep in mind that SHIB owners will have to opt to burn their holdings in hopes of sending the overall token price of SHIB higher or generating a suitably attractive return through the reward mechanism or metaverse assets, and there are no guarantees on those fronts. 

Shiba Inu's value proposition is shifting with the introduction of new features, and it has the potential to continue evolving over the long term. On the other hand, investors should keep in mind that the token's outlook remains highly speculative.

In some ways, it's the extreme uncertainty and possibility of a calamitous valuation collapse that opens the door for potentially explosive gains with the coin. The odds of SHIB hitting $0.01 per token remain incredibly slim, but it's not out of the question that the cryptocurrency will deliver gains for investors who are willing to embrace high levels of risk.