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While institutional buyers have taken a significant interest in Bitcoin this bull cycle, it would seem retail interest has gone elsewhere. Recent data from CoinMarketCap shows that Shiba Inu was the most frequently viewed cryptocurrency of 2021. This reflects other data highlighting the distinct difference between retail and institutional perspectives on crypto.
Shiba In The Spotlight
CoinMarketCap – the popular crypto price-tracking website – has revealed key market statistics in a series of year-end tweets. According to their numbers, it viewed Shiba Inu’s price page over 188 million times. This puts it well ahead of Bitcoin, which came in second at 145 million views. Even its parent cryptocurrency Dogecoin couldn’t compete on this metric, coming in third place with 107 million ideas.
Shiba Inu’s popularity is much a follow-up to Doge, the latter of which hit peak notoriety earlier this year. After Tesla announced its $1.5 billion Bitcoin purchase in February, CEO Elon Musk also drew much attention to Dogecoin over Twitter. His frequent memes and promotion of the cryptocurrency temporarily made it the third-largest crypto on the market.
Dogecoin’s popularity cooled around May, but a host of other dog-related meme coins emerged underneath it – including Shiba Inu. While Shib stayed under the radar throughout the summer, it quickly heated up during October’s bullish crypto market.
Though Bitcoin reached new all-time highs, Shib stole the show with its 800% market cap increase to over $40 billion. In addition, it broke into the top ten coins, even briefly surpassing Dogecoin as the most valuable dog-related cryptocurrency.
Elon Musk’s loyalty remains with Doge, however. When asked how much Shib he was held in October, the tech billionaire responded “None,” hurting the coin’s price.
Today, it’s unclear whether Elon even considers Doge entirely a joke anymore. This month, he matter-of-factly told Time magazine that Dogecoin is better suited for transactions than Bitcoin.
A Tale of Two Markets
There is an apparent discrepancy between a coin’s popularity in retail buyers versus interest from institutional markets.
While Shiba was the most viewed crypto this year, it’s only the 13th largest by market cap. Institutions are primarily experimenting with Bitcoin in small amounts, as pension funds and hedge fund managers add it to their balance sheets. Shiba and Doge have seen some acceptance as a novel form of payment from a few stores but have generally remained distant from the business world.
However, awareness of the meme coins in the general population is shockingly high. For example, Grayscale’s 2021 Bitcoin Investor report found that more investors know Dogecoin’s existence than Ethereum’s.