Why Shiba Inuʼs token airdrop was a stroke of sheer genius

Dubbed the “DOGE killer”, Shiba Inu was created in August 2020 by a person known by his pseudonym Ryoshi.

The Ethereum-based ERC-20 token is inspired by Shiba Inu dogs. When Ryoshi launched Shiba Inu on Ethereum, he cited the trust he had in Ethereum as secure and well-established. The token has a total supply of 1 quadrillion, with the claim that the founders do not hold any Shiba Inu coins. Out of the total in supply, nearly half of its supply is locked in a liquidity pool on decentralized exchange Uniswap. 

While Shiba Inu was going for a fraction of a dollar when it launched, it is the marketing strategy that the founders employed that caught the attention of many crypto enthusiasts. To get exposure, the creators sent the remaining half of the coins to prominent personalities in the crypto community, including Ethereum co-founder Vitalik Buterin. While the intention was to popularize Shiba Inu by getting the attention of the world that the likes of Vitalik Buterin held the tokens, the creators hoped that the beneficiaries would keep the tokens. However, Buterin did not keep the tokens. Instead, he burned most of the tokens, strategically taking them out of circulation. He also donated a significant amount of the tokens to charities, including the India Covid Relief Fund. 

This genius approach of bulk sending tokens to wallets, would propel Shiba Inu to the world stage as one of the most sought-after tokens, creating a demand that earned other airdropped beneficiaries millions of profits. Many crypto enthusiasts jumped in, causing fear of missing out (FOMO) within the crypto community. Ideally, the creators of Shiba Inu understood that the coin was primarily community-based, hence the success would largely depend on the success and growth of its community instead of its utility. Many community-driven tokens have emerged to follow Shiba Inu’s path. For example, Floki Inu (FLOKI), a cryptocurrency aimed at combining the power of memes with the utility through play-to-earn gaming, built their name by sending airdrops to community members. Others are RoboApe ($RBA), a token that is driving an innovative meme culture through community marketing through mass airdropping. 

Today, however, it would be costly to take the same approach Shiba Inu took on Ethereum due to the soaring gas fees. But you can still achieve this kind of marketing strategy with a new token on new chains. 

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