It's no secret that cryptocurrencies can reach unimaginable prices overnight. There is no better example than in 2021, when Shiba Inu (SHIB 0.11%) soared nearly 900% in just a few weeks.
Unfortunately, the Shiba Inu's well-known flaws will likely hinder its ability to replicate its past success. For investors looking for a safer, more reliable path to wealth in the world of cryptocurrencies, there is no better choice than Bitcoin (BTC 0.32%).
Breaking down the basics
There are a myriad of reasons why Bitcoin is better than Shiba Inu, but the most influential and obvious comes down to one thing: supply. In this regard, Bitcoin is the antithesis of the Shiba Inu.
Shiba Inu now has over 589 trillion tokens in circulation. Bitcoin only has 19.25 million. While the supply of meme coins is infinite, Bitcoin's supply is capped at 21 million, with the remaining 1.75 million expected to gradually enter circulation at a decreasing rate over the next 116 years.
Controlled by an algorithm through a process called “halving,” Bitcoin’s robust monetary policy means it is much better suited to long-term appreciation. Approximately every four years, the reward miners receive for validating transactions is cut in half. This reduction in the reward rate leads to a reduction in the creation of new Bitcoins and contributes to the overall scarcity of the cryptocurrency.
The halving process will continue on schedule until 2140, when the last Bitcoin will be mined, and the cryptocurrency will enter unprecedented territory.
Although the Shiba Inu price was able to exceed its token offering in its early days, it is more difficult today as the market becomes more familiar with its flawed structure. Aware of its disproportionate supply, Shiba Inu developers introduced a combustion mechanism to reduce supply and artificially increase its price. Efforts so far have been in vain.
As the crypto market exploded in 2023, Shiba Inu was more or less left behind as its overwhelming supply outstripped all demand. While Bitcoin is up over 150%, Shiba Inu is up just 25%.
Bitcoin is just getting started
The difference between Bitcoin and Shiba Inu is a microcosm of the growing disparity between Bitcoin and the rest of the crypto market. While developers implement upgrades and solutions to make other cryptocurrencies more functional, Bitcoin does not have a team of developers to manipulate it.
That's because Bitcoin doesn't need it. Its original design is simple and efficient, and embodies what a cryptocurrency should be. Day after day and year after year, Bitcoin continues to operate as it has since its launch in 2009, without any developers or centralized entities. It is therefore not surprising that Bitcoin has become the most valuable cryptocurrency, as it is also the most secure, decentralized and resilient.
Better yet, this awareness is consolidating and, on its current trajectory, adds additional demand to a scarce supply. Consider the recent approval of 11 new Bitcoin ETFs as evidence. For years, Bitcoin was considered a speculative and worthless asset used only by criminals. Fast forward to today, and it has become the most valuable cryptocurrency with a new home on Wall Street.
Analysts like Cathie Wood, CEO of Ark Invest, believe that increased adoption of traditional finance could be the catalyst that propels Bitcoin to new heights. With tens of billions of dollars at their disposal, if just 1% of that capital from institutional investors flowed into Bitcoin, its price could reach over $1.5 million. This would represent an increase of more than 3,000% over current prices.
Is this enough to get rich? Who can say it? The notion of “rich” is clearly subjective and varies from person to person. Although the cryptocurrency market is full of uncertainty, there are few things more objective than the simple fact that Bitcoin is built for the long term and remains the best option for investors seeking true decentralization, security and scarcity.
RJ Fulton has positions in Bitcoin. The Motley Fool posts and recommends Bitcoin. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.