Born from internet memes, meme coins like Dogecoin and Shiba Inu have dubious utility, relying on speculation for quick profits. It is this lighthearted tone that makes people view them as an entry into the world of cryptocurrencies.

Without a serious utility that many tokens have in decentralized finance (DeFi), DOGE and SHIB meme coins still manage to have $18 billion market cap combined, nearly double that of Cardano (ADA). But if you subscribe to great volatility over long-term viability, which meme coin should you pick?

Dogecoin (DOGE): Still the King of Meme Coins

Dogecoin created the concept of joke coins. DOGE borrowed the imagery of a long-running dog meme belonging to the Shiba Inu breed. The dog in question, Kobasu from the Japanese town of Sakura, owed his popularity to the unique combo of side look, overlapping paws, lighting, and fluffiness.

The photo has served as a fertile template meme ever since.

Fast forward to December 2013, software engineers Jackson Palmer and Billy Markus launched Dogecoin (DOGE) as a parody of Bitcoin, using the world's largest forum, Reddit, as a springboard. The token itself is a modified version of Litecoin (LTC) with the following properties:

  • Dogecoin uses a Proof-of-Work (PoW) consensus mechanism to verify transactions on the network and generate new coins.
  • The current block reward for mining Dogecoin is 10,000 DOGE per block. This means that miners who successfully verify transactions on the network are rewarded with 10,000 DOGE.
  • The total supply of Dogecoin is unlimited, with new coins being created through mining. Per year, this means that approximately 5 billion new DOGE is created, making it a highly inflationary coin.
  • Dogecoin has a block time of one minute, which means that transactions are confirmed on the network relatively quickly, compared to Bitcoin's 10-minute block time.
  • Dogecoin can be traded on cryptocurrency exchanges and can be used to buy goods and services online.

Dogecoin price has been largely stagnating until Elon Musk infused it with meme life. Specifically, in the first half of 2021. Now a Twitter owner, the billionaire's tweets alone had the effect of propelling or dropping DOGE. This dynamic allowed Dogecoin to be ranked 8th among over 20,000 cryptocurrencies at the end of 2022.


Starting in 2022, Musk integrated DOGE into Tesla's merch store, tapping into the internet memes to spread his brand. However, the more often Musk tweeted about DOGE, the more he built up market resistance.

Because Dogecoin is super-inflationary, the coin's value is constantly eroded. To put it differently, even if DOGE gains multiple utilities that would attract more buyers, this demand inflow is overshadowed by DOGE's 10,000 block reward inflation.

Therefore, DOGE investment is a double-edged sword: volatility and inflation. Case in point, despite being far from sound money as it gets, year-to-date DOGE outperformed Bitcoin, at -44% vs. -64%, precisely because of its memetic volatility.

Zooming out, one could say that DOGE owes its relative success to the Lindy effect. This phenomenon states that the longer something has been around and has not failed, the longer it is likely to continue to exist in the future. This concept is often applied to technologies, cultural phenomena and other systems that have a long history of use.

With the Lindy effect in mind, how does Shiba Inu fit in as a meme coin competitor?

Shiba Inu (SHIB) vs DOGE

Over the years since Dogecoin launched in 2013, dozens of new dog coins have been created to capture the glory of the master dog. Some of them are Dogelon Mars (ELON), Baby Doge Coin (BabyDoge), MonaCoin (MONA), Pitbull (PIT), Samoyedcoin (SAMO), Shiba Predator (QOM), Hoge Finance (HOGE), Vita Inu (VINU) and others.

Among them all, Shiba Inu (SHIB) stands out from the dog pile as the second-largest meme coin at a $5 billion market cap vs. DOGE's $12.8 billion. Launched in August 2020 by pseudonymous "Ryoshi" SHIB coin differs from DOGE in that it is truly an altcoin.

While Dogecoin has its own dedicated blockchain network similar to Litecoin, SHIB is entirely tied to Ethereum as an ERC-20 token. Therefore, transacting in SHIB depends completely on the performance of Ethereum and its scalability solutions such as Polygon, Optimism, zkSync and Arbitrum.

Here are Shiba Inu's key tokenomics:

  • Originally, Shiba Inu had a total supply of 1 quadrillion tokens. This is one million billions or one thousand trillion. In other words, SHIB initially had 75,3645% more coins than DOGE's total supply.
  • Yet, 50% of the tokens were sent to Vitalik Buterin's wallet, which caused controversy in the crypto community.
  • Buterin, the co-founder of Ethereum, later burned 40% of the total supply, reducing the total number of tokens in circulation by 410.24 trillion SHIB. This still leaves SHIB at 44,4410% larger total coin supply than DOGE.
  • Ryoshi locked the rest of the supply to the Uniswap decentralized exchange.

However, despite the ludicrous supply numbers, SHIB coins are limited as issued ERC-20 tokens, unlike DOGE, which is constantly generated with its own blockchain network. Moreover, by being an ERC-20 token, SHIB coins are native to the large Ethereum DeFi ecosystem of DApps.

For instance, one could stake SHIB coins in liquidity pools to earn rewards on a number of decentralized exchanges. This may also happen for play-to-earn blockchain gaming. Although not directly integrated into Shiba Eternity, this free-to-play game acts as the coin's lore-building vehicle.

In contrast, DOGE is delegated to external pushers like Elon Musk, who may or may not integrate DOGE into a larger utility ecosystem. With that said, both dog coins are extremely volatile, often swayed by social media, regardless of either tokenomics or big influencers.

Dogecoin Vs Shiba Inu

Year-to-date, DOGE outperformed SHIB by +28.47%, but this could switch at any moment. In the end, how can we compare the value of DOGE vs. SHIB? Through their inflationary and control mechanisms, alongside market cap, integration and community engagement.

Dogecoin Vs Shiba Inu

DOGE vs SHIB Verdict

As dubious meme coins go, one should be aware that both DOGE and SHIB coins rely on the concept of the "box tokens," explained here by the infamous Sam Bankman-Fried. In other words, the value of both tokens is decided by the sunken cost of their respective communities.

With that said, if we take a long-term view, one could easily see SHIB gaining the upper hand despite its ridiculous coin supply. That's because the younger dog coin is natively integrable into any DApp, which opens up many coin-burning opportunities down the line that would increase the value of each coin.

In stark contrast, DOGE may be larger now, but it is less integrable and has an infinite supply. In the end, prepare to invest in meme coins as much as you are willing to lose.

Representations of the virtual currency Dogecoin are seen in this illustration taken