Shiba Inu passes Dogecoin as top "dog" in cryptocurrency
SILVER SPRING, Md. (AP) — Cryptocurrency has officially gone to the dogs.
The recent trading frenzy over a digital token called Shiba Inu — commonly billed as a “meme” or joke coin — has vaulted the canine-themed cryptocurrency into the top ten most valuable digital assets by market value, hitting $40 billion and surpassing its cousin and apparent inspiration, Dogecoin.
Shiba was up another 10% at midday on Monday and has doubled in value in the past week. Most of that gain came in a flurry of trading last Wednesday, when it gained a whopping 66%.
Even with its recent meteoric rise — it's up about 900% in the past month — each Shiba coin costs just a tiny fraction of one cent. If you bought $1,000 worth of Shiba in late September, your 20 million coins would now be worth around $9,000.
Like most cryptocurrencies, Shiba is not commonly used for commercial transactions and is considered by most experts and investors to be a high-risk, speculative bet due to the broader volatility of the crypto market. Experts warn that investors need to be cautious about putting money into something with anonymous leadership that appears to have little functional use.
Lee Reiners, an outspoken crypto skeptic, teaches fintech and cryptocurrency courses at Duke University School of Law. Reiners said he’s not surprised by Shiba’s recent spike.
“This is what happens when you have massive speculation in assets with no intrinsic value,” Reiners said.
Investors might be thinking this story sounds familiar. Bitcoin has doubled in value twice this year — with a rapid plunge in between — and now sells for more than $60,000 per coin. Among stocks, GameStop had a surge that rivals Shiba's, rocketing from about $17 per share in early January to $483 later that month. Lately, it's consistently...