With narrowed eyes, almost aggressive, the dog of the Japanese breed Shiba Inu appears on the digital coin of the cryptocurrency of the same name.

What may be reminiscent of worthless play money is currently worth around 25 billion euros on the market.

In October, Shiba Inu rose by 210 percent within a few days, while competitor Dogecoin rose by 4,800 percent since the beginning of the year.

As a self-proclaimed "dog killer", Shiba Inu competes with Dogecoin for one of the top places in the crypto-currency hit list.

Both currencies bounce happily from one high to the next.

The investors cheer.

But how did it come to that?

A Shiba Inu as a mascot for a crypto currency sounds like a joke at first.

Originally it was supposed to be.

In 2013 the software developers Billy Markus and Jackson Palmer founded the first currency with a dog logo, the Dogecoin.

It should be a parody of Bitcoin and the crypto trend that was beginning at that time.

Unlike Bitcoin, it was not intended to revolutionize the monetary system as a decentralized currency.

Inspired by a fun image on the Internet, a meme, the Shiba Inu became the symbol of Dogecoin.

A few years later, in August 2020, the Shiba Inu currency followed, also with a dog logo.

Within five days, the price rose 234 percent

For a long time, the value of Dogecoin lagged at a fraction of a cent.

But then Elon Musk came along.

With his message on Twitter “Doge Barking at the Moon” in April, he kind of lit the rocket for the soaring of Dogecoin.

Within five days, the price rose 234 percent.

The fun currencies, also called memecoins, are not based on any future-oriented technology.

You can hardly pay with it either.

A few smaller online shops accept Dogecoin.

And on the Twitter and Reddit platforms, it serves as a tip for good posts among users.

But the fun currencies are one thing above all else: a speculation, driven by the herd behavior of investors.

They hope to use the enormous price fluctuations in their favor.

It attracts the quick buck.

You don't have to spend a lot for a coin, for a mere 0.00004 cents you can get a Shiba Inu, for 0.23 cents a Dogecoin.

That doesn't sound like much, but it's the amount that matters.

Unlike Bitcoin, this is not limited and can continue to grow indefinitely.

The fear of missing out on something fuels the desire to buy.

"Missed Doge?

Get Floki! ”Advertises Floki Inu, the youngster among dog currencies, on posters in London and Dubai.

Floki Inu still ranks at the bottom of the crypto currencies, but with enormous price increases since the end of October it is catching up enormously.

More and more players want to participate in the hustle and bustle of dog cryptocurrencies.

There are celebrities such as Kiss bassist Gene Simmons or the rapper Snoop Dogg, who announced their Dogecoin purchases on Twitter in February 2021 and thus helped the currency to attract more attention.

The leader of the pack remains Elon Musk, whose tweets are very important to Dogecoin investors.

"Elon Musk is probably the person with the greatest influence on this market," says market analyst Timo Emden from Emden Research.

Investors take every letter, word, and image in his tweets seriously.

It goes so far that some of them have precisely pixelated the picture of an astronaut that Musk recently posted and are discussing on Reddit whether a Shiba Inu is hiding in the picture.

In social media, the crypto fans exchange ideas about the Memecoins and agree to make purchases in order to drive the course upwards as a community. Martin Schmidt, Managing Director of Postera Capital, sees parallels to pop culture in the trend. “People rely on brands and identify with them. That has now jumped over to the investment area. ”The fact that a cute puppy with a teddy bear face is the leitmotif of the movement reinforces the phenomenon. Large investors - often also called whales - have a particular influence on cryptocurrencies. If a single one of them buys or sells billions of coins, it creates violent waves.

All of this shows how unsuitable the Memecoins are as a long-term investment. "Trading with these cryptocurrencies is similar to going to the casino," says analyst Emden. The risk of losing the entire stake is high. If you want to gamble, you should only invest as little money as you can cope with loss. Information can be found, for example, on the CoinMarketCap website, which shows the rates of many crypto currencies.

But there aren't many opportunities in Germany to invest in fun currencies. Investors can trade Dogecoin and Shiba Inu on the eToro, Binance and Coinbase platforms, for example. The online broker justTRADE currently only offers Dogecoin from the Memecoins. Shibu Inu is being tested, says Michael Bußhaus, founder of justTRADE. The brokers Trade Republic and Scalable Capital are not planning any trading in Dogecoin, Shiba Inu or Floki Inu in the near future, they said on request.

It is important to keep your hands off currencies that are only offered on individual, unverified platforms.

New cryptocurrencies are currently flooding the market, and the offers are often not serious.

This is shown, for example, by the token “Squid Game”, inspired by the currently most popular series on Netflix.

The rate rose by 23 million percent within a few days.

But now fraudsters have bagged the money and have disappeared with it.

One thing is certain: investors who have invested in the supposed currency will never see their money again.