Shiba Inu vs. Dogecoin: Determining the Best Memecoin

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OKX Learn
2023.01.20

Shiba Inu and Dogecoin are two memecoins currently locked in a battle for dominance, with both seeking to be the main memecoin. Dogecoin, being the first, has an advantage, but Shiba Inu has rapidly grown in popularity. Both have relied on memes to survive and thrive. Dogecoin’s story is much longer and more interesting. However, it does have certain limitations compared to SHIB, which emerged as fresh blood, attracting investors.

In any case, these are the two largest memecoins in the crypto industry and are the first meme cryptocurrencies that investors turn to when considering meme coins. However, investors are also interested in knowing which of the two is better, a question that continues to arise.

What To Know About Dogecoin (DOGE)?

Dogecoin (DOGE) is the first and oldest memecoin, created by Billy Markus and Jackson Palmer in December 2013. The developers created it as a joke, based on the popular Doge meme of the time, to poke fun at Bitcoin (BTC) and the idea of investing in a cryptocurrency. At the time, cryptocurrencies had limited use cases, mainly as investments and on the dark web.

In part, the developers also wanted to make a funny coin to lighten up the mood in such an environment. A popular joke cryptocurrency soon started attracting attention, and people started buying it. Ironically, the coin making fun of crypto investments started seeing investments, itself.

It is also worth noting that the devs based it on Litecoin, rather than Bitcoin. Litecoin was a lighter, faster version, and this decision might be what allowed DOGE to survive for so long.

It never became a high-value coin, but it did grow to become one of the largest cryptocurrencies by market cap. At press time, DOGE is the 9th-largest cryptocurrency by market cap, with a total of $11.1 billion.

Since DOGE launched long before Ethereum, there was no ERC-20 token model for it to use. So, its developers created a new blockchain, with DOGE emerging on it as its native coin. Being the first memecoin and one of the oldest cryptos that still operate, DOGE became the leader of meme tokens.

In fact, being the first of its kind is one of its defining traits. It launched an entire sub-section of the crypto industry, and it did it entirely by accident. The fact is that its developers did not plan for this to happen. They actually did not expect DOGE to live for longer than a few weeks. After a while, they even abandoned the project. However, the community liked it so much that the investors decided to stick around.

In time, the coin grew more and more, developing a massive, loyal community. It even got an unexpected use case — it became the main coin for tips to creators on social media platforms. 

After several years of popularity, DOGE began to lose the interest of the crypto industry. However, just as it was sinking, the world's most popular billionaire, Elon Musk, brought it back to attention. Musk has been involved in the crypto industry for years, referencing certain cryptocurrencies without openly investing. He mentioned Dogecoin multiple times on Twitter, and each time he did, the coin's price skyrocketed.

Then, in early 2021, DOGE surged higher than ever before. Elon Musk openly supported it, the community used certain events to promote it, and DOGE stole the crypto industry’s spotlight. Not only that, but this is generally seen as the moment when the memecoin sector was truly born. Soon after this, new memecoins started emerging left and right, creating this sub-space in the crypto industry.

While many DOGE copies came out during this period, there was one that had already existed for months at that point. This was, of course, DOGE’s biggest rival, Shiba Inu (SHIB).

What To Know About Shiba Inu (SHIB)?

Shiba Inu (SHIB) is a memecoin that launched on Ethereum’s network in August 2020. This was around five months before the surge that took DOGE to the moon, and inspired the memecoin sector. At the time, SHIB was unknown, and this event helped push it up and place it on the map. 

Ever since, Dogecoin and Shiba Inu have been competitors, with SHIB trying to overtake the older memecoin. In fact, the crypto world seems to believe that this is its main purpose. As a result, it gave it the nickname “Dogecoin killer.”

Shiba Inu was partially inspired by Bitcoin, as well. Its creator remains unknown to this day, just like Bitcoin’s. They are only known as Rayoshi, similar to Bitcoin’s Satoshi Nakamoto. As far as it is known, SHIB was created as an experiment in decentralized governance. The project has a total supply of 1 quadrillion, 50% of which was pooled with 10 ETH on Uniswap.

This amount was locked away permanently and is now considered “burned.” Interestingly, the remaining 50% was sent to Vitalik Buterin, the co-founder of the Ethereum blockchain. It is unknown whether Vitalik Buterin had something to do with the creation of the token or with Rayoshi. What we do know is that he burned an additional 90% of the received tokens, releasing 10% into circulation.

Today, Shiba Inu sits as the 15th-largest cryptocurrency by market cap, which sits at $5.77 billion. Meanwhile, Shiba Inu became the property of its community. It has ten pseudonymous developers who are running the project. It also has a governance token called BONE and a utility token known as LEASH. Moreover, it has its own decentralized exchange (DEX), known as ShibaSwap.

Like Dogecoin, SHIB launched as a Proof-of-Work project, because Ethereum has been using PoW itself at the time. But, since then, the Ethereum network switched to Proof-of-Stake, as part of its transition to Ethereum 2.0. As an Ethereum-based token, SHIB itself now uses this mechanism. As such, it actually has more advanced technology than Dogecoin.

Shiba Inu vs. Dogecoin

With the introductions out of the way, it is time to turn to the question at hand: which of the two is the best?

Each of the meme tokens has its own advantages and disadvantages. For example, Dogecoin is the first meme coin to ever exist. As such, it has the first-mover advantage and massive cultural significance. It has a high supply, which makes its price low, but that also makes people see it as cheap. As such, they are willing to invest in it. Additionally, a lot of experienced and even quite wealthy investors have bought it, including Elon Musk.

On the other hand, Shiba Inu advanced quickly, gaining popularity, and even overtaking DOGE in 2021 for a brief period. Its popularity and more innovative approach definitely make it a worthy competitor. It is easy to understand and use, and that makes it attractive. It also has a massive total supply, which makes its price low, and the coin looks alluring to investors. Finally, with capped total supply, the math is still on SHIB’s side, in the long term.

For all of their benefits, there are some downsides to these memecoins. For example, DOGE’s main use has been as a vehicle for speculation. Apart from that, it serves for tipping and payments, as it was adopted as a payment method on many websites. However, its use cases are still quite limited compared to other cryptos.

While that doesn’t look good for DOGE, SHIB is actually worse when it comes to use cases. It has none; other than speculation. Despite being on Ethereum, it does not offer staking, yield farming, loans, or anything of the sort. Furthermore, it has a very large market cap, which indicates that its upside potential is rather limited.

Dogecoin and Shiba Inu: Price Performance

Another thing to consider is the price performance of the two rivaling meme tokens.

As mentioned, Dogecoin is old at this point. It will celebrate its 10th birthday by the end of this year (2023). And yet, for most of its existence, its price movements were minimal. The chart below shows DOGE’s total performance, and it indicates that it had next to no serious activity before 2021.

Meme Coin

There was a single blip in late 2017/early 2018, which was a small surge during the previous bull run. At the time, Bitcoin skyrocketed to $20,000 per coin. As for Dogecoin, it went from $0.0002271 to $0.01507. In 2021, however, the coin went from $0.008255 on January 27 to $0.6528 on May 6. 

Of course, the price dropped back down after a sudden pump. But, even after a year-long bear market, it never dropped back down to the pre-2021 levels.

As for Shiba Inu price, it saw no development between its launch (August 2020) and DOGE’s surge (April 2021). Unlike Dogecoin, it did not remain dormant for seven years. However, if Dogecoin price didn’t shoot up when it did, SHIB itself likely wouldn’t attract any attention.

Meme Coins

Hypothetical scenarios on the side, SHIB did attract attention, and it saw a minor increase during the DOGE surge. At the time, this was huge for the token. Its price went from $0.00000008 to $0.00003043 between April 7 and May 12, 2021.

But, SHIB’s largest price surge came in October 2021. Starting on October 1, the coin shot up from $0.000007199 to $0.00007924. It reached its all-time high and crashed down from it, just like Dogecoin did from its own ATH. But, also like Dogecoin, SHIB never sank back to the old levels. It did come close, but it managed to hold its position during the crypto winter. Or rather, it has found a new bottom above the old price.

Token Dogecoin Shiba Inu
Symbol DOGE SHIB
Launch date December 2013 August 2020
Token type Memecoin Memecoin
Original purpose Started as a joke mimicking Bitcoin Dogecoin competitor
Market cap (at the time of writing) $11.19 billion $5.77 billion
Circulating supply (at the time of writing) 132.6 billion DOGE 549.06 trillion SHIB
Max supply Unlimited 589,735,030,408,323
Blockchain Dogecoin Ethereum 
Founder Billy Markus and Jackson Palmer Ryoshi (anonymous group)
Consensus method Proof of Work (PoW) Proof of Stake (Transitioned from PoW with Ethereum 2.0 launch)

Shiba Inu vs. Dogecoin: Which Is the Best Memecoin?

In the end, which of the two memecoins is the best? Simply put, there is no way to know.

Dogecoin is much older and has a history, use cases, and close ties to Elon Musk, who now owns Twitter. On the other hand, Shiba Inu has the popularity and excitement of a young cryptocurrency and boasts better technology.

Joke-coins are no longer just jokes, at least when it comes to this rivalry. Both memecoins have their pros and cons, and they are pretty evenly matched for the time being. However, because Dogecoin is currently in the lead, it seems that the community prefers it. In investors' eyes, Dogecoin appears to be the better choice at this time. Whether this will change and when that change might happen remains to be seen.


FAQs

Which Is Better: Dogecoin or Shiba Inu?

Both Dogecoin and Shiba Inu are meme coins with no real use cases beyond making payments. Shiba Inu currently has better technology as it runs on Ethereum 2.0. Another advantage for SHIB is that DOGE does not have a capped supply, making the long-term math work against it.

Is Shiba Inu the Same As Dogecoin?

Shiba Inu and Dogecoin share many similarities, but they do differ in some key aspects. Dogecoin does not have a limited max supply, so its supply can and will grow indefinitely in the long term. Additionally, SHIB is an ERC-20 token, meaning that any upgrades to the Ethereum network will automatically apply to it.

Will Shiba Inu Take Over Dogecoin?

Shiba Inu has the potential to overtake DOGE. It briefly did so in 2021, overtaking it in every aspect except for the price. However, it is impossible to say for certain whether it can or will happen again and permanently.