Meme coins and tokens have leapt to prominence in the crypto world thanks to some high-profile endorsements from well-known figures.
Tesla tycoon Elon Musk has promoted Dogecoin (DOGE) on multiple occasions through his twitter account and during an appearance on US sketch show Saturday Night Live.
But despite this, a lot of people are still unclear what meme coins and tokens, such as Dogecoin, Shiba Inu (SHIB) and even SafeMoon (SAFEMOON) are.
And it seems the same applies to the Shiba Inu breed of Japanese dog which has also seen a massive spike in searches over recent months.
In short, the original meme coins are crypto tokens created around internet memes that are effectively jokes designed to be shared on social media and go viral.
Coins such as SafeMoon differ slightly in that many of them, in theory, are created as a genuine project and are not based on memes.
Although this doesn’t necessarily apply to SafeMoon, there have been many accusations that other tokens in this sector have been set up and hyped to create a price spike at which time the creators dump their tokens and the coin becomes worthless. This is known as a ‘rug pull’ and is a form of scam.
When it comes to tokens such as Doge and Shiba Inu, they have no inherent value and no obvious utility – they’re meant to be a deliberate parody of cryptocurrency.
Memecoin supply can also be a major issue in terms of fundamentals that could give the tokens any real value.
Whereas there will only ever by 21 million Bitcoins (less if you consider all the lost tokens), there is no cap on the number of Dogecoins that will be created.
This limitless supply means that the coin will never be scarce, and if the circulating supply ever begins to dwindle, more coins can be minted by miners.
Are meme coins a good investment and is my money safe?
Investing in meme coins has surged in popularity leading to Dogecoin, Shiba Inu and the like seeing huge price increases (along with subsequent falls as well).
For example, at one point the price of Doge had increased by around 15,000% since its inception thanks in part to the efforts of the ‘WallStreetBets’ Reddit community which heavily promoted the coin.
If you were early to the party, you will have made a spectacular profit but, as often happens with these things, you have to be quick.
As soon as the mainstream media start tapping into the trend it means the smart money has already left while the FOMO (Fear Of Missing Out) buyers dive in at the peak only to see their investment come crashing down.
At the time of writing Doge was trading at US$0.25 a coin, down from a peak of $0.72. Even after this fall, the price still represents a huge increase over a relatively short period of time.
Despite this, Dogecoin is listed on the Coinbase exchange, one of the largest in the world, which has lent credibility to the project.
Related post: Coinbase UK review
A lot of people view meme coin investing as ridiculous for the reasons we’ve already covered, yet the appetite for this form of crypto shows no sign of abating.
Describing meme coin investing as high risk is a massive understatement and you part with your cash at your peril.
Aside from the fact that Dogecoin is a ‘joke’ coin that will never be scarce and has no real use case, another risk is the fact that the vast majority of the tokens are held by just a handful of people.
According to data available from various sources online, just nine wallets hold more than 40% of all the Dogecoins ever minted.
Any significant decision by a Dogecoin ‘Whale’ could turn the market on its head. This kind of holder concentration also exposes it to the risk of market manipulation.
If you choose to invest in Doge, it’s far more likely that the coin will crash and you’ll be left with nothing than it is that you’ll walk away with a profit.
You have been warned.
What is the Dogecoin meme token and its history?
Doge is sometimes described as the ‘original’ meme coin in the same vein that Bitcoin (BTC) is the granddaddy of cryptocurrencies.
It was created by Jackson Palmer, an Australian businessman, and Billy Markus, a software engineer, back in 2013 while looking at the internet net meme of the Shiba Inu ‘doge’.
The pair originally designed the coin to be ridiculous and set the supply cap at 100 billion hoping this would prevent people from really using it or taking it seriously.
This cap was removed to prevent people from ‘hodling’ the coin and the project is now in the hands of a volunteer community of developers who rarely update the code.
Despite this, and the price volatility of late, Dogecoin is still in the top ten most valuable cryptocurrencies by market cap.
What is the Shiba Inu meme coin and can I buy it in the UK?
The Shiba Inu meme coin, often branded the ‘Dogecoin killer’, has risen to secure a place in the top 50 most valuable cryptocurrencies.
The token is also based on the doge meme – a picture of a Shibu Inu dog is its logo in a similar way to Dogecoin – and it is one of a number of canine themed coins to jump on the meme bandwagon.
It was launched anonymously in 2020 by someone using the pseudonym ‘Ryoshi’. But apart from this, there’s little detailed information available about the project.
Again, Mr Musk has had a hand in the token’s success and recently announced on Twitter that he’s naming his Shiba Inu dog ‘Floki’.
If you’re wondering if you can buy the Shiba Inu crypto coin in the UK then the simple answer is yes, you can. How you buy Shiba Inu is also quite straight forward.
The easiest way for people in the UK to buy Shiba Inu is through Binance, another large global crypto exchange. This isn’t the only option, and several other smaller exchanges are offering it to.
Related post: The top 5 cryptocurrency exchanges in the UK
At the time of writing Coinbase was planning to list Shiba Inu but had delayed the launch, citing ‘technical difficulties’.
What is the SafeMoon cryptocurrency, how do I buy it and is it a good investment?
We’re giving SafeMoon a mention because of the huge hype surrounding the crypto earlier in 2021 that led to coverage in national newspapers around the globe, including titles in the UK.
Buying SafeMoon in the UK is more complicated than buying crypto through a major exchange.
The price of SafeMoon has fluctuated significantly since it launched, but some positive steps have been made towards securing its future.
At the time of writing, SafeMoon was trading at about 25% more than its launch price, falling back from an earlier gain of around 900%.
When SafeMoon launched many people thought it was another rug pull, but it appears the developers have a concrete roadmap for its future, which has helped sustain its price.
This includes launching a SafeMoon cryptocurrency wallet, together with a crypto exchange and a hardware wallet for securing your coins.
One unique feature about SafeMoon is that it rewards those who hold onto it. Each time someone sells SafeMoon a percentage is redistributed to holders, while a portion is burned meaning the supply falls.
Is SafeMoon legit and a good investment or is it a scam? That’s for you to decide but we’ve already made it clear how risky these coins are and how unlikely it is that they’ll succeed.
What’s the difference between meme coins and meme stocks?
Meme coins shouldn’t be confused with meme stocks.
The latter are real stocks in companies that have been heavily promoted across social media to generate an army of buyers who then buy the stock and artificially force the price to skyrocket before selling.
Because the meteoric rise has nothing to do with the performance of the company, the stock quickly falls in value as meme investors dump their share to secure their profits.
The most high-profile example of this is GameStop (GME) which soared in value after WallStreetBets users piled in and bought the stock.
By all accounts it made a number of people very rich, however many were unable to realise their profit after some stock trading apps suspended dealing in GameStop shares.
AMC Entertainment Holdings (AMC) and BlackBerry (BB) are two other stocks which were targeted by the meme sector. The value of the stock in both companies did increase in value but did not match the dizzying heights of GameStop.
Shiba Inu dog breed searches surge alongside meme coin interest
The engagement from the crypto sector in dog-related coins, particularly Shiba Inu, has also created a groundswell of interest in the Shiba Inu dog breed, the price and whether they’re for sale or if you can buy them in the UK.
So, we thought we’d oblige with a few answers if you came here looking for the dog breed rather than the meme coin cryptocurrency.
The Shiba Inu is classed as a small-to-medium sized hunting dog popular in Japan and known for its independent personality.
This can make the bread somewhat aggressive and difficult to manage, but equally, with proper care the Shiba Inu can make a faithful family pet.
You can buy Shiba Inu dogs and puppies in the UK from a variety of breeders across the country and they are still a popular breed to own.
However, they are expensive, coming in at several thousands of pounds per pup from a respectable source who has ensured animal is microchipped, vet checked and has up-to-date vaccines.
Adam is the founder of The Crypto Adviser which offers experts guides and reviews on all things related to Bitcoin and cryptocurrency.
Adam is Diploma for Financial Advisers (DipFA) Level 4 qualified, a Member of the London Institute of Banking and Finance (MLIBF), and has worked for many years as a journalist and PR consultant, having studied with the National Council for the Training of Journalists (NCTJ).