How many Shiba Inu coins are there?

Author: Raphael Sanis

Discover how SHIB’s strange tokenomics makes that question rather tricky to answer

Red coins with the Shiba Inu logo on them
40% of all SHIB tokens have been sent to a burn wallet – Photo: Shutterstock
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Shiba Inu’s tokenomics and history are complicated. So, getting your head around how many Shiba Inu coins there are is no simple matter. But it all comes down to the token’s founding principles.

The Shiba Inu token was inspired by dogecoin, a cryptocurrency created as a joke back in 2013 that took a popular Doge meme as its logo. Dogecoin (DOGE) eventually built up a considerable following, which Shiba Inu now wants to harness. Shiba Inu’s aim is to create a truly decentralised cryptocurrency that is powered by its community.

So how does this translate into the number of coins?

How many SHIB coins are there?

Shiba Inu launched in August 2020 with a fixed supply of one quadrillion tokens, which were all minted at that time. But that doesn’t answer how many SHIB coins there are because there are no longer 1,000,000,000,000,000 SHIB in circulation.

The founder, who goes under the pseudonym Ryoshi, locked 50% of the total supply into Uniswap and effectively "threw away the keys", as the token's whitepaper puts it. This provided liquidity for the token and allowed anyone to purchase it. It also allowed Ryoshi to begin relinquishing control over the project and fulfil his ambition of making SHIB a decentralised token.

He ceded any remaining influence by gifting the other 50% to Vitalik Buterin, one of Ethereum co-founders. Buterin felt that this went against Shiba Inu’s decentralised goal. Tweeting that he did not want to be a “locus of power”, he sent 10% of the donated tokens, which were worth around $1bn at the time, to a Covid relief fund for India. The other 90% went to a burn wallet that could receive but not sell cryptocurrencies.

According to CoinMarketCap, that left the verified total global supply of SHIB at 549,063 billion.

How many Shiba Inu holders are there?

The number of people who own SHIB has steadily been climbing over the past three months, according to CoinMarketCap. On 4 November, the token was in more than 865,000 unique wallets. By 26 January 2022, the figure was more than 1.1 million.

Shiba Inu is not split evenly across its 1.1 million holders  – the majority of SHIB is held by just 100 people, which is 0.001% of its owners at the time of writing. Those 100 individuals control 80% of all SHIB.

CoinMarketCap’s equation also includes Vitalik Buterin’s burn wallet, which holds 45% of the original one quadrillion SHIB.

But calculating the number of coins in the Shiba Inu ecosystem does not stop there.

The Shiba Inu ecosystem

According to the meme token’s web site, Shiba Inu has evolved from a cryptocurrency into a “vibrant ecosystem”, which now also offers a decentralised finance platform. Known as ShibaSwap, it offers multiple unique tokens and functions.

Users can complete three main functions on the ShibaSwap platform: bury, dig, and fetch. “Bury” refers to staking tokens, “dig” to giving liquidity and “fetch” to swapping tokens.

New tokens have been created to enable users to carry out these tasks. Doge killer (LEASH) was the second token added to the ecosystem. The team took a completely different approach with LEASH than with SHIB by only minting one million tokens. Investors can see this difference in its price. While SHIB is below $0.0001, LEASH is currently priced at over $700.

BONE was the most recent token to launch on the ecosystem and its circulating supply is also less than SHIB’s with only 250 million tokens minted. The new token was created to maintain Shiba Inu’s decentralised goal. BONE is a governance token that enables its community to vote on key proposals, such as which tokens should be added to its ShibaSwap platform.

The crypto dog fight

The utility of Shiba Inu’s expansive ecosystem has given the community hope that it can beat its rival dogecoin. SHIB and DOGE were neck-and-neck in 2021 in terms of market capitalisation. At times, the newcomer even managed to overtake the token that inspired its creation.

Shiba Inu has fallen behind for now, though. At the time of writing, it is ranked 15th by market cap, five spots lower than dogecoin. But this dog fight is far from over. There is a growing trend in the crypto community to favour tokens with utility instead of those that act as simple stores of value.

SHIB is well placed to deliver on usefulness as it is an ERC-20 token, meaning it is based on the Ethereum blockchain. Unlike DOGE, it can take advantage of Ethereum’s many strengths, including more efficient smart contracts.

It also means that Shiba Inu will reap the rewards of Ethereum 2.0, which is set to be completed this year. By transitioning to a proof-of-stake system, Ethereum is expected to become a much faster and more scalable blockchain.

But dogecoin still has a trick up its sleeve. Elon Musk has proved a keen advocate for DOGE and even allows customers to use the meme token to purchase Tesla merchandise. But Musk has said that he does not own any SHIB.

Where next for Shiba?

Shiba Inu might not have any billionaires backers, but it has an active community. The fact that the platform takes directions from its followers means that it can continue growing and implementing new ideas.

The latest to come from Shiba Inu is a collection of 10,000 NFTs named Shiboshis. Each NFT is a unique piece of artwork with a varying set of traits. These quirky-looking dogs are all uploaded to Ethereum and can be bought on Opensea.

The community is currently working on a game that will implement the NFTs, with the traits corresponding to useable abilities.

Final thoughts

Like many cryptocurrencies, Shiba Inu has proved extremely volatile in past trading. Its price has skyrocketed and then plummeted, but it is unlikely that SHIB will ever reach $1 or even $0.001 because its circulating supply is still so high – even after Buterin burned 45% of the supply.

In terms of market cap, it has had some success in its past, including beating dogecoin at times in 2021. It has waned recently, however, dropping down to 15th on CoinMarketCap’s rankings.

SHIB might not be able to reach $1, but the evolution of its ecosystem has cemented its future. The new tokens, especially BONE, allow Shiba Inu to remain truly decentralised and continue developing its network.


No, Shiba Inu has a total supply of one quadrillion tokens. 50% are locked into Uniswap, while the other 50% were given to Ethereum co-founder Vitalik Buterin, who sent 90% of what he was given to a burn wallet.

Vitarik Buterin was given 50% of all Shiba Inu coins. He decided to send 90% – 45% of all SHIB – to a burn wallet that could only receive and not sell cryptocurrencies.

Approximately 550,000 billion Shib Inu remain in circulation.

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