Crypto Weekly: The elephant in the room
Summary: In just a year, a cryptocurrency launched as a joke, has advanced to be the ninth largest cryptocurrency with a market capitalization of close to $40bn, followed by another joke cryptocurrency being the 10th largest cryptocurrency, underlining the speculative fever in the crypto market.
Shiba Inu from $0 to $50bn in a year
Let us start by talking about the elephant, or dog if you will, in the room. The Ethereum-based token Shiba Inu has surged over the last year to exceed a market capitalization last week of more than $50bn. Its market capitalization has since declined to around $40bn, while it is currently being the ninth largest cryptocurrency. Shiba Inu was anonymously launched in August 2020, releasing a whitepaper, or as Shiba Inu calls it: “woof paper” due to the cryptocurrency being inspired by a dog. At launch, 50% of the supply was locked to be traded in the decentralized exchange Uniswap, whereas the other half was sent to Ethereum co-founder Vitalik Buterin. The latter later burned 90% of his Shiba Inu tokens, while donating the remaining 10% to the India Covid Relief Fund. Not surprisingly, Shiba Inu was fundamentally launched as a joke, heavily inspired by Dogecoin, another cryptocurrency launched as a joke back in 2013. Shiba Inu supporters call the cryptocurrency a “dogecoin killer”. Using a 2021 term, both can respectfully be called meme coins like meme stocks such as GameStop.
Crypto companies are raising money at a fast paceVenture funds and other investors currently have a strong sentiment on companies within the cryptocurrency industry. Today, Digital Currency Group, the owner of several crypto-related companies such as Grayscale Investments, the world’s largest digital asset manager, raised $700mn from SoftBank and Google’s venture capital arm. In late October, the cryptocurrency exchange FTX raised an additional $420mn by BlackRock among 68 other investors on top of its massive $900mn funding round in July. This follows a third quarter, which was a record quarter in terms of venture funding being invested in cryptocurrency- and blockchain companies. In the third quarter, companies raised a total of $8.2bn across 302 rounds compared to the former record quarter of $4.38bn raised in Q2 this year.