Amid a bitcoin price crash that wiped hundreds of billions of dollars from the crypto market, one meme coin has bucked the trend by surging to a new all-time high on Wednesday.
Shiba Inu (SHIB) rose by more than 42 per cent, building on gains of more tan 700 per cent since the start of October. Even more remarkably, the dogecoin rival is up more than 700,000 per cent since January.
The price rally has taken Shiba Inu’s market cap above $20 billion, making it the world’s 11th most valuable cryptocurrency just behind dogecoin.
Similar to dogecoin, the token is derived from the Doge meme that first gained popularity in 2013, with its price is fuelled by a meme-loving community.
The sky-rocketing price appears to be related to hopeful speculation that the popular trading app Robinhood could soon make it available for customers to trade and invest. A petition calling on Robinhood to list it has already received more than 340,000 signatures.
“Dogecoin has been a huge success for Robinhood and its investors,” the petition states. “Shiba Inu is a similar meme coin with genuine potential, up 2,000 per cent in the last weeks… Let’s encourage Robinhood to be the first traditional brokerage to get on this train!”
Shiba Inu is currently only available to buy on traditional cryptocurrency exchanges, like Binance and Coinbase, though users reported issues with buying it on Wednesday, potentially as a result of the huge interest brought about by the surging price.
Shiba Inu’s price has also benefitted from tweets by Elon Musk, who owns a Shiba Inu dog and has frequently supported dogecoin.
The SpaceX and Tesla boss revealed earlier this week that he does not actually personally own any Shiba Inu coins, claiming that his personal crypto holdings did not extend beyond bitcoin, Ethereum (ether) and dogecoin.
The popularity of Shiba Inu has been described by some industry figures as a positive for the crypto market, as it is attracting more retail money to the space.
Other experts have warned people to take care when investing in meme coins, as price movements are nearly entirely fuelled by sentiment – which can change abruptly.
“Social media and financial influencers are great in introducing the concept of cryptocurrency, but investors need to recognise the entertainment value that occurs online, and look deeper into crypto themselves before making any decisions,” Michael Kamerman, CEO of crypto trading platform Skilling, told The Independent.
“It’s a high-risk investment and as with any investment, you need to understand what you’re investing in and make a rational, emotionally intelligent decision.”