An $8,000 bet on shiba inu coin allowed a warehouse manager to retire after the meme coin’s stunning rally, report says

Shinjiro Ono strokes his Shiba Inu Maru at Ueno Park in Tokyo on Dec. 23, 2015.
Shiba Inu dog.

A 35-year-old former supermarket warehouse manager who made an $8,000 bet on shiba inu at the start of the year is now enjoying his retirement thanks to the meme coin's stunning rally.

Rob, who is from northern England, told Fortune he dabbled in cryptocurrencies to supplement his $68,000 yearly salary so he could create a better life for his partner and their son.

Unexpectedly, he came across shiba inu, which was founded in August 2020. And upon reading the coin's 28-page white paper, he was all in.

"After reading that, I was hooked," Rob, who declined to revealed his last name, told Fortune. "I just believed the words."

He then decided to invest $8,000 in shiba inu slowly and intended for his holdings to grow to tens of thousands of dollars.

But the coin's stunning rally in May, which pushed its price 1,200 times what it was worth in February, multiplied Rob's holdings beyond his imagination.

"I come from quite a poor background. I could never have even fantasized about having this much money," Rob said, adding that he checked his account every hour for a time to make sure the gains did not vanish. "But it wasn't gone. It wasn't a dream."

He withdrew $500,000 worth of shiba inu coin from the exchange and deposited the sum into his bank account, he said. This was around the time he quit his job.

Then another surge in the coin's price further catapulted Rob's windfall to over $1 million, according to documents reviewed by Fortune. Elsewhere, he invested in other coins in the shiba inu ecosystem like leash.

While Rob's situation is rare, anecdotes like this have grown in frequency thanks to the wild swings in crypto prices and the emergence of various new meme tokens.

Shiba inu, an ethereum-based alternative to dogecoin, has rallied 99 million percent over the last 12 months and briefly became the 10th largest cryptocurrency by market cap this month, even surpassing dogecoin at one point. It's now ranked 11, according to data by CoinMarketCap.

While digital assets are known to have passionate communities behind them, shiba inu's has proven to be one of the most zealous. And this is exactly why Rob stuck around, he said.

"I made three very close friends [through Shiba], and we formed a little group," he told Fortune, adding how even the anonymous project lead, who goes by Shytoshi Kusama on Twitter, was responsive to him. That was something he did not experience in other coin communities.

Still, it remains to be seen whether meme tokens, which are often driven by jokes and social media, are here to stay. Experts have said many of them will die down.

But for Rob and other shiba inu supporters Insider has spoken with, what sets shiba inu apart is its use cases, such as the shibarium blockchain and non-fungible token artworks, among others.

"I am emotionally attached, which can be quite dangerous in crypto environments," he told Fortune. "But we believe so strongly that there is more to achieve with shiba."

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