What exactly happened in 2021 for the Shiba Inu?

The popular meme currency Shiba Inu (SHIB) recorded two all-time highs (ATH) in 2021. Yet the amount of SHIB held in exchanges reacted to these highs in opposite directions, according to Glassnode data.

Despite its success throughout 2021, SHIB has been trending downward for the past year. According to data from CryptoSlate, SHIB has fallen 15.36% over the past 30 days despite burning 329.8 million SHIB tokens since the beginning of September – equivalent to nearly half of the initial supply of tokens in circulation.

Over the past 365 days, SHIB has dropped 58.32%. It recorded its ATH on October 28, 2021, and at the time of writing is holding around $0.000011, 88% below its ATH.

The Year of Success

Shiba Inu was first released in April/May 2021 releasing 400 trillion tokens to the market. A high number of releases took place shortly after the launch.

Five months after the initial airdrop, an additional 150 trillion tokens were released in October/November 2021, bringing the total tokens in circulation to 550 trillion. During these two airdrops, the price of SHIB skyrocketed to new highs.

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The Shiba Inu network has also seen strong usage rates throughout 2021, consistent with token releases. The network reached over 100,000 active addresses within months of the initial launch.

That’s an impressive rate considering it took bitcoin (BTC) more than four years to reach 100,000 active addresses.

SHIB’s flow to exchanges

While the price responses to the two release periods are consistent, the flows of tokens to exchanges are dramatically different.

After the first unlocking in 2021, over 1 billion SHIB tokens were returned to the exchanges. These tokens likely belonged to the founders and early participants of the project and were sold during the price peak.

However, after the second release in October/May, SHIB tokens on the exchanges did not decrease. Even though SHIB registered a new ATH, over 2 billion tokens were removed from exchanges from September 2021 to January 2022. This was also the period when bitcoin recorded its ATH at nearly $68,000.

Highlights from 2021

The success of the SHIB token in 2021 is also reflected in the news. As of November 2021, SHIB represented the largest holding of the first 1,000 Ethereum (ETH) wallets. A survey conducted the same month also revealed that over 70% of SHIB holders were beneficiaries at the time.

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However, community interest in SHIB began to drop in early 2022. The project team attempted to reignite interest by revealing plans for a dog metaverse and launching a cross-chain DEX in the first few months of the year. At the same time, they launched token burns to reduce supply to inflate prices. In the first week of April, 2.41 billion SHIB tokens were burned.

Around the middle of the year, Shiba turned to payments. AMC Theatres saw the potential of Shiba Inu and began accepting it as a payment method in late April. A month later, the Shiba team decided to build on SHIB’s payment utility feature and announced plans to launch a SHI stablecoin. They also stated:

“The ultimate goal is for SHI (running on both ETH and Shibarium) to become a global stablecoin that plebeians in all countries can use as both a store of value and a payment method.”

Regardless, SHIB continued to fall even further as the crypto-currency market entered its coldest winter. A survey of fintech experts in the early days of the market found that 73% of participants thought SHIB would perish before 2030. Another 30% argued that it wouldn’t even make it to the end of the year.

Participants stated that the bear market would eliminate “joke” coins such as Shiba Inu to make way for true innovation.

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