The memecoin mania has reached Indian shores – just as prices for digital tokens from dogecoin to the shiba inu coin are falling this week.
The Mumbai-based WazirX exchange, owned by the giant cryptocurrency exchange Binance, listed the shiba inu (SHIB) token on Thursday. The dog-themed token has been referred to by some cryptocurrency analysts as a dogecoin (DOGE) imitator, but shibu inu, in its own marketing materials, hails itself as a “dogecoin killer.”
“We were receiving a lot of requests from our community to bring SHIB on WazirX, and hence, we decided to list it,” CEO Nischal Shetty told CoinDesk.
WazirX listed dogecoin on April 1, when DOGE was trading at around 6 cents. Even after a market crash on Wednesday, dogecoin is up more than sixfold since then, at about 40 cents.
The SHIB token is available on WazirX for trading against the Indian rupee (INR) and stablecoin tether (USDT). But according to its official blog, the exchange does not accept direct SHIB deposits or facilitate SHIB withdrawals.
WazirX’s listing comes a day after Ethereum founder Vitalik Buterin donated 50 trillion SHIB tokens, worth $995 million at press time, to the India Covid Relief Fund, which was started last month by layer 2 scaling solution Polygon’s founder, Sandeep Nailwal.
Buterin’s donation garnered plenty of attention from mainstream Indian media with the likes of Indian Express, Economic Times and Mint taking note of the market action that followed Ethereum founder’s philanthropic gesture.
“Soon after he made his donation public, holders of ‘memecoins’ began to panic and the prices of these currencies began to drop,” according to the Indian Express.
SHIB token fell by 40% on Thursday and was last seen changing hands at $0.00001981, according to CoinGecko.
Earlier this week, the Mumbai-based CoinDCX exchange also launched a spot market for SHIB pairs. CoinDCX listed DOGE in February.
Of course, cryptocurrency experts note that these dog-token projects offer little in the way of promising technological advances or blockchain innovations – with volatile trading action that can seem more like a game or social experiment than a long-term investing strategy.
But the Indian exchanges may be betting that the dog will still hunt.