The story of Shiba Inu (SHIB), crypto’s best-performer of the year, still boggles the mind — even after multiple retellings. Just 12 months ago, the price of one SHIB token had ten zeros in front of it: $0.000000000063 on a volume of $682.58, according to CoinGecko.
By late October 2021, six of those zeros had gone and Shiba Inu had flippened Dogecoin (DOGE) to become the largest dog-themed token in the world, a top 10 cryptocurrency worth around $47 billion.
Despite dropping almost 40% from that all-time high, SHIB still sits at a market cap of almost $29 billion — making it almost 350 times more valuable than our contender, Koinos Network and its native KOIN token.
KOIN has been the best performer of the week on the Cointelegraph Markets Pro data and intelligence platform, where the proprietary VORTECS™ Score served up a hugely bullish series of 90+ scores over the last two weeks.
Following those scores, KOIN soared from a previous high of around $0.22 to a recent high-water mark of $0.95 — still comfortably below a $100 million market cap.
What do these two projects have in common? Almost nothing… except their strong performances in the markets.
So, for crypto investors who can’t decide between canine memecoins and layer-one blockchain platforms, here’s a tongue-in-cheek analysis of their comparative strengths.
Koinos is a foundational, or layer-one, smart contract blockchain platform that aims to deliver a variety of technical innovations. Firstly, it’s designed to be modular — meaning that it should be more easily upgradeable than current blockchains and could potentially eliminate hard forks.
It is also built to be feeless, which the team claims will help onboard many more people to blockchain-based decentralized applications, or DApps. And it has universal language support, a feature that may help more developers deploy those applications without learning a new skill set. It’s currently operating in the testnet phase.
Shiba Inu has virtually no technical features that distinguish it from other memecoins, and its use cases are essentially restricted to trading.
Shiba Inu has over 1.9 million followers on Twitter, a subreddit with 425,000 members and almost 1 million active wallets. Its followers are among the busiest in crypto, and Cointelegraph can hardly publish an article on social media these days without a host of SHIB shillers leaping into the comments. The community is engaged, active and, in fact, downright rabid in their enthusiasm for all things Shiba Inu.
Koinos has precisely 1,500 followers on Twitter at the time of writing, and its Discord channel mainly contains arcane discussions on microservice architecture.
Winner: Shiba Inu (by a mile)
Koinos is being developed by the core team that previously worked on the Steem blockchain, and who resigned en masse when that project was “acquired” by Tron founder Justin Sun.
Shiba Inu’s creator, Ryoshi (which is Japanese for “fisherman”), is a pseudonymous developer who insists that they are not in charge of anything. Marketing appears to be a strong suit, however.
Market cap/upside potential
KOIN has a market capitalization of just over $83 million at the time of writing. Its entire supply of 99.5 million tokens is already in circulation, all of which were distributed during a “fair mining” period during which anyone with a computer could mine KOIN ERC-20 tokens.
Shiba Inu famously has a total supply of quadrillion tokens, of which almost 550 trillion are in circulation. With a market cap of almost $29 billion, it is currently the world’s 11th-largest cryptocurrency.
Upside potential is hard to judge, but Koinos is seeking to join the ranks of layer-one platforms like Ethereum, Solana, Cardano and Polkadot, which have four of the world’s top tokens by market cap, with a joint value of almost $750 billion.
If KOIN was to attain just 1% of Ether’s (ETH) market cap, it would need to be worth $5.55 billion — in other words, it would have to increase 6,687% from its current price.
With no natural peers besides Dogecoin (sitting one place ahead of it at $34 billion in market capitalization), Shiba Inu’s most aspirational rival might be Bitcoin (BTC), with a market cap of $1.226 trillion. SHIB is already at over 2.3% of Bitcoin’s value, which appears to limit its potential upside. Indeed it might be argued that SHIB has already peaked.
Winner: Koinos (by a mile)
Unrealized gains are just that. With a trading volume in excess of $1.73 billion over the last 24 hours, SHIB trades on the world’s top exchanges — including Binance, Coinbase, OKEx, Huobi, Bitfinex and KuCoin. It’s huge. It’s immense. It’s a monster.
KOIN, however, is only available via Uniswap at the current time, where its volume over the last day is a paltry $283,000.
Winner: Shiba Inu
Shiba Inu allows holders to acquire massive stacks of tokens (millions and millions!) at low cost. Its community is enthusiastic and excitable, the memes are awesome, and as the ecosystem expands, more products and tokens (LEASH, BONE) help drive a feeling of inclusion and joy.
And let’s face it, the dog’s damn cute.
Koinos is a serious, thoughtful, deeply technical blockchain with no cute, cuddly critters in sight. As an infrastructure project, its core features are entirely devoid of Japanese hunting dogs or indeed dogs of any kind. Shame on you.
Winner: Shiba Inu
Shiba Inu has Elon Musk. When the world’s richest man tweeted that he owned no SHIB, the price dropped 20% in a day. And Vitalik Buterin was uninterested enough to donate the SHIB he was gifted (now worth $21 billion) with barely a second thought.
As a memecoin, it can only be sustained as long as there’s interest. When that attention moves elsewhere, as it has done with numerous virally driven cryptocurrencies and stocks this year, SHIB may find that it needs to add more bite to its bark.
Koinos may not deliver on the team’s ambitious goals. Or it may not find enough developers to sustain a healthy ecosystem. Or the world may simply decide that we have enough layer-one blockchains right now and keep plowing tens of millions into existing projects like Solana.
Like any layer-one, Koinos will need both developer interest and killer DApps to rival the big players in the space. Neither of those is a given.
Final Score: Tie
While Koinos screams seriousness, Shiba Inu yaps fun — and in the strangest of years for investors, both of these tokens are finding audiences with whom their value proposition resonates.
Whatever your crypto trading strategy — whether it be based on the fundamental strengths of a project’s technology or the immense power of its community — Cointelegraph Markets Pro can be a useful addition to your investing research toolbox.
Update: This article has been updated to note that the circulating supply of SHIB tokens is 550 trillion, not 55 billion as previously stated.
Cointelegraph is a publisher of financial information, not an investment adviser. We do not provide personalized or individualized investment advice. Cryptocurrencies are volatile investments and carry significant risk including the risk of permanent and total loss. Past performance is not indicative of future results. Figures and charts are correct at the time of writing or as otherwise specified. Live-tested strategies are not recommendations. Consult your financial advisor before making financial decisions.