SHIBA Inu coins are one of the latest cryptocurrencies to hit the market – but investors are being warned to avoid them.
It comes as crypto fans are on the hunt for the next success story to follow Bitcoin.
Buying cryptocurrencies, like any investment, is a risky business and making money is never guaranteed so you'll need to be prepared to lose what you put in.
Cryptocurrencies are also highly volatile, so the value of your investments can go down as well as up in the blink of an eye.
As always, you should never invest money in something you don't understand.
Below we explain everything we know about Shiba Inu tokens so far and what to keep in mind before investing.
5 risks of crypto investments
BELOW we round up five risks of investing in cryptocurrencies.
- Consumer protection: Some investments advertising high returns based on cryptoassets may not be subject to regulation beyond anti-money laundering requirements.
- Price volatility: Significant price volatility in cryptoassets, combined with the inherent difficulties of valuing cryptoassets reliably, places consumers at a high risk of losses.
- Product complexity: The complexity of some products and services relating to cryptoassets can make it hard for consumers to understand the risks. There is no guarantee that cryptoassets can be converted back into cash. Converting a cryptoasset back to cash depends on demand and supply existing in the market.
- Charges and fees: Consumers should consider the impact of fees and charges on their investment which may be more than those for regulated investment products.
- Marketing materials: Firms may overstate the returns of products or understate the risks involved.
What is the Shiba Inu coin?
Very little is known about Shiba Inu so it's difficult to know whether it's legitimate.
According to its website, they're cryptocurrency tokens and allow users to hold trillions of them.
Shiba tokens are listed and incentivized on ShibaSwap, its own decentralized exchange.
The tokens feature the same Shiba Inu dog as Dogecoin, which has rocketed in popularity recently.
Susannah Streeter, senior investment and markets analyst at Hargreaves Lansdown, told The Sun: "The Shiba Inu coin appears to have been created just to give Dogecoin a run for its money.
"It features the same dog which became a meme, and aims to replicate Dogecoin’s success of turning a joke into a money making machine."
This is something to be aware of when you're considering its legitimacy when making an investment.
The Shiba token website said: "Nicknamed the DOGECOIN KILLER, this ERC-20 ONLY token can remain well under a penny and still outpace Dogecoin in a small amount of time (relatively speaking)."
How much are Shiba Inu tokens worth?
The value of Shiba Inu is currently sitting at $0.00000163, compared to a lower $0.0000006 in mid-April, according to CoinMarketCap.
Shiba Inu hit its peak of $0.00004 on April 20 but has since dropped to its current level.
In comparison, Dogecoin is currently worth $0.60 – up from $0.005 at the beginning of the year.
The value of Dogecoin has surged thanks to celebrity backing, while a bunch of Reddit threads also called for it to hit a value of $1 per coin.
How risky are the Shiba Inu tokens?
Investing is always a risk but investing in cryptocurrency is an even higher risk as they are VERY volatile, so you should be prepared to lose cash.
There is also no guarantee that you can convert cryptoassests back into cash, as it may depend on the demand and supply in the existing market.
Plus, fees and charges may be higher than with regulated investment products.
Cryptocurrency firms aren't regulated in the way that other financial firms are. This means that you won't have any protection if things go wrong.
Ms Streeter said: "Investors should treat trading in crypto currencies with extreme caution, and dabble at the edges of their investment portfolio, only with money they can afford to lose."
While Nigel Green, chief executive of deVere Group, added: "Extreme caution should be exercised before investing in un-tested cryptocurrencies.
"The price swings can be expected to be wild and there’s a legitimate risk that investors could get burned.
"There are major differences between the likes of Bitcoin, which runs on cutting edge tech and has a limited supply giving it scarcity value like gold, amongst other valuable attributes; and unknown digital tokens which seemingly have no inherent value."
In January, the UK's Financial Conduct Authority warned that households risk losing ALL of their money if they invest in cryptocurrencies.
Meanwhile, a Russian 27-year-old recently became the world's youngest crypto billionaire after his cryptocurrency Ethereum surged in value.
Who are Dogecoin's founders? We explain all you need to know.
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