How many Shiba Inu coins are there?

• Updated

Discover how SHIB’s strange tokenomics make that question rather tricky to answer


Shiba Inu’s tokenomics and history are complicated, so getting your head around how many Shiba Inu coins there are is no simple matter. But it all comes down to the token’s founding principles and its decentralised mission.

The Shiba Inu token was inspired by Dogecoin, a cryptocurrency created as a joke back in 2013 that took a popular Doge meme as its logo. Dogecoin (DOGE) eventually built up a considerable following, which Shiba Inu now wants to harness. Shiba Inu’s aim is to create a truly decentralised cryptocurrency that is powered by its community.

So how does this relate to the number of coins?

How many SHIB coins are there?

Shiba Inu launched in August 2020 with a fixed supply of one quadrillion tokens, which were all minted at that time. But that doesn’t tell us how many SHIB coins there are, because there are no longer 1,000,000,000,000,000 SHIB in circulation.

The founder, who goes under the pseudonym Ryoshi, locked 50% of the total supply into Uniswap and effectively “threw away the keys,” as the token’s whitepaper puts it. This provided liquidity for the token and allowed anyone to buy it. It also allowed Ryoshi to begin relinquishing control over the project and fulfil his ambition of making SHIB a decentralised token.

He ceded any remaining influence by gifting the other 50% to Vitalik Buterin, one of Ethereum’s co-founders. Buterin felt that this went against Shiba Inu’s decentralised goal. Tweeting that he did not want to be a “locus of power”, he sent 10% of the donated tokens, which were worth around $1bn at the time, to a Covid relief fund for India. The other 90% went to a burn wallet that could receive but not sell cryptocurrencies.

According to CoinMarketCap, there are currently 549,063 billion SHIB in the world.

How many Shiba Inu holders are there?

The number of people who owned SHIB steadily climbed over the last three months of 2021, according to CoinMarketCap. On 4 November, the token was in more than 865,000 unique wallets. By 26 January 2022, the figure was more than 1.13 million. It increased the next month as well, coming close to 1.2 million holders.

However, SHIB saw a sharp decline throughout March and April, with only 1.12 million investors owning the meme token. This figure has started rising again and, at the time of writing, it is sitting at 1.18 million.

Shiba Inu is not split evenly across its owners  – the majority of SHIB is held by just 100 people, or 0.008% of holders at the time of writing. Those 100 individuals control 81% of all SHIB.

CoinMarketCap’s equation also includes Ethereum creator Vitalik Buterin’s burn wallet, which holds 45% of the original one quadrillion SHIB.

But calculating the number of coins in the Shiba Inu ecosystem does not stop there.

The Shiba Inu ecosystem

According to the meme token’s web site, Shiba Inu has evolved from a cryptocurrency into a “vibrant ecosystem” which now also offers a decentralised finance platform. Known as ShibaSwap, it offers multiple unique tokens and functions.

Users can complete three main functions on the ShibaSwap platform: bury, dig, and fetch. ‘Bury’ refers to staking tokens, ‘dig’ to giving liquidity and ‘fetch’ to swapping tokens.

New tokens have been created to enable users to carry out these tasks. Doge Killer (LEASH) was the second token added to the ecosystem. The team took a completely different approach with LEASH than with SHIB, by only minting one million tokens. Investors can see this difference in its price: while SHIB is below $0.0001, LEASH is currently priced at over $500. There is a circulating supply of 107,647 LEASH.

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BONE was the most recent token to launch on the ecosystem and its circulating supply is also less than SHIB’s, with only 250 million tokens minted. The new token was created to maintain Shiba Inu’s decentralised goal.

BONE is a governance token that enables its community to vote on key proposals, such as which tokens should be added to its ShibaSwap platform. However, BONE’s price is much lower than that of LEASH, with it sitting at $0.36. This correlates with its much larger circulating supply of 6.9 million BONE.

The crypto dogfight

The utility of Shiba Inu’s expansive ecosystem has given the community hope that it can beat its rival, Dogecoin. SHIB and DOGE were neck-and-neck in 2021 in terms of market capitalisation. At times, the newcomer even managed to overtake the token that inspired its creation.

The Shiba Inu token has fallen behind for now, though. At the time of writing, it is ranked 16th by market cap, six places lower than Dogecoin. But this dogfight is far from over. There is a growing trend in the crypto community to favour tokens with utility, instead of those that act as simple stores of value.

SHIB is well placed to deliver on usefulness as it is an ERC-20 token, meaning it is based on the Ethereum blockchain. Unlike DOGE, it can take advantage of Ethereum’s many strengths, including more efficient smart contracts.

It also means that Shiba Inu will reap the rewards of Ethereum 2.0, which is set to be completed later this year. By transitioning to a proof-of-stake system, Ethereum is expected to become a much faster and more scalable blockchain.

But Dogecoin still has a trick up its sleeve. Elon Musk has proved a keen advocate for DOGE, even allowing customers to use the meme token to buy Tesla merchandise, but has said that he does not own any SHIB.

Where next for Shiba?

Shiba Inu might not have any billionaire backers, but it does have an active community. The fact that the platform takes directions from its followers means that it can continue growing and implementing new ideas.

The latest to come from Shiba Inu is a collection of 10,000 NFTs named Shiboshis. Each NFT is a unique piece of artwork with a varying set of traits. These quirky-looking dogs are uploaded to Ethereum and can be bought on OpenSea.

The ecoystem is also currently working on its own metaverse. It said in a recent blog post: “The Metaverse is the culmination of our history as a community, virtually displayed, in a layer of beautiful visuals that showcase our innovation and unity with a place to truly call home.”

Investors can lock LEASH into the platform to gain access to the map and early entry to bid on plots of land in the metaverse. However, investors should be wary that the virtual world has not launched yet, so it is hard to judge how successful SHIB’s vision will be. 

Final thoughts

Like many cryptocurrencies, Shiba Inu has proved extremely volatile in past trading. Its price has skyrocketed and then plummeted, but it is unlikely that SHIB will ever reach $1 or even $0.001 because its circulating supply is still so high – even after Buterin burned 45% of the supply.

In terms of market cap, it has had some success in its past, including beating Dogecoin at times in 2021. It has waned recently, however, dropping to 16th on CoinMarketCap’s rankings.

SHIB might not be able to reach $1, but the evolution of its ecosystem has cemented its future. The new tokens, especially BONE, allow Shiba Inu to remain truly decentralised and continue developing its network.


Does Shiba Inu have an unlimited supply?

No, Shiba Inu has a total supply of one quadrillion tokens. Half are locked into Uniswap, while the other 50% were given to Ethereum co-founder Vitalik Buterin, who sent 90% of those he was given to a burn wallet.

How many Shiba Inu coins have been burned?

Vitarik Buterin was given 50% of all Shiba Inu coins. He decided to send 90% of them – 45% of all SHIB – to a burn wallet that could only receive and not sell cryptocurrencies.

How many Shiba Inu coins are left?

Approximately 549,063 billion Shiba Inu remain in circulation.

Further reading

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