With virtual life increasingly indistinguishable from everyday reality, it makes sense: Just as the price of dog-inspired cryptocurrencies Dogecoin and Shiba Inu coin have exploded, so has demand for—what else?—living, breathing shiba inus.
While Dogecoin, the cryptocurrency created from a meme back in 2013 using the image of a shiba inu, enjoyed a burst of popularity this summer, it was recently overtaken in market value by the slightly less creatively named Shiba Inu coin. In classic crypto style, it sounds like a joke but is immensely valuable, with investors pushing up its price almost 800% in the past month, even though a coin still costs a tiny fraction of a cent.
At the same time, shiba inu breeders across the U.S. say they’re seeing more business than ever since cryptocurrency trading brought the Japanese hunting dogs into the limelight.
Credit Elon Musk, crypto godfather and the richest man in the world, for some of that rocket-ship-emoji action. His recent tweets of his new shiba inu puppy, Floki, ignited speculation that he’d invested in Shiba Inu coin himself, sending its price rallying and even sparking the creation of more dog coins with the name “Floki” involved. Users of Robinhood are calling on it to list Shiba Inu coin—the brokerage already allows trading in Bitcoin, Ethereum, Dogecoin, and Litecoin—and a petition to that effect has more than 450,000 signatures.
Seth Johnson, who works in IT in northern Mississippi, is one of the proud new owners of a shiba inu, purchased in June with $2,500 in U.S. dollars. (His breeder did not accept crypto.) He didn’t know much about the dogs until Dogecoin took off, and the more recent hype over Shiba Inu coin only heightened his interest. Johnson is a big believer in an obscure coin called EverRise, which became the name of his new pet.
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