More than a Dogecoin meme: Shiba Inu Kabosu remembered by the community

On May 24, the meme coin symbol, Kabosu, died after a long illness.

Kabosu, which symbolizes the Dogecoin (DOGE) token, was 18 years old. In early May, its condition deteriorated sharply. The dog could no longer walk independently and moved with the help of an animal wheelchair.

Kabosu’s owner, Atsuko Sato, wrote on the Kabochan blog that Kabosu felt normal before its death, eating rice and drinking water. The dog’s farewell will take place on May 26 in Narita, Japan. 

“We hope to hold a fun farewell party at Sakura Furusato Hiroba when the weather gets cooler.”

Atsuko Sato, Kabosu owner

In December 2022, Kabosu was diagnosed with chronic lymphocytic leukemia. Atsuko Sato said that the pet is “in a very dangerous condition.” On Christmas Eve, the dog stopped eating and drinking, but its appetite returned after some time.

Crypto community reaction

The crypto community and fans of the most famous Shiba Inu expressed their condolences.

The official Dogecoin X account published a post saying the “impact this one dog has made across the world is immeasurable.”

In honor of the dog’s memory, Dogecoin fans decided to release a long-planned limited collection of NFTs. All 5,000 NFTs will be free, requiring users only to pay gas fees.

The Shiba Inu (SHIB) cryptocurrency community also thanked Kabosu for its contribution to the development of meme coins.

Ethereum co-founder Vitalik Buterin also joined in the grief by retweeting a post by the owner of Kabosu.

From a shelter to the crypto industry leaders

Kabosu came to the volunteers after the previous owner and breeder went bankrupt and could no longer support the dogs that he had transferred to the shelter. At the charity center, Kabosu was taken by Atsuko Sato.

Photos of the pet first appeared on its owner’s blog in 2010 and almost immediately went viral. Kabosu became famous after its photo with the word “Doge”, spelled incorrectly in English, went viral on the internet. 

Many texts were attributed to the image of Kabosu’s surprised face, lying with its paws folded, and various pictures were added, and as a result, the image became a meme. Kabosu’s popularity increased, and the portrait of the dog appeared in various things — from toys to Bitcoin (BTC).

In 2013, the internet meme was ranked 12th on MTV’s list of “50 Things Pop Culture Had Us Giving Thanks For This Year.” That same year, a developer Jackson Palmer used the doge as a logo for the Dogecoin cryptocurrency. 

In 2018, Vitalik Buterin visited a dog owner in Japan.

Later, in 2020, the image of Kabosu appeared in another popular meme — about two Shiba Inu dogs, one of which personifies strength and resilience, and the other weakness and helplessness.

Elon Musk also purchased this meme coin. He stated that Tesla, Starlink, and Starship would accept Dogecoin for payment, and integration into the X payment service is also planned. 

Impact of Dogecoin on the meme coin market

When the Dogecoin developers launched the project, Kabosu had already become the personification of meme coins. This may be the reason why the developers used the dog meme in their coin.

The main goal of Dogecoin was to demonstrate users’ satirical attitude towards how cryptocurrencies suddenly became popular. In fact, cryptocurrencies do not stand out among others and do not deserve special attention.

The power of social impact has become a significant driver of growth and traction for DOGE. The coin’s first phase of its heyday came in 2021 when the value of Dogecoin increased by more than 800% in 24 hours and reached $0.07, thanks to the support of Reddit users. In February, the Doge fan community welcomed Elon Musk.

The success of Dogecoin led to the emergence of similar projects. Dogecoin’s closest competitor, Shiba Inu, was initially launched to surpass Dogecoin’s popularity by using an identical image of the Japanese Shiba Inu dog breed. 

Since then, the image of a Shiba Inu dog has gone viral in the meme coin market. Projects launch all sorts of DOGE analogs, stylizing the image of a famous dog — BabyDoge, Dogwifhat (WIF), and others. 

However, no one has yet been able to surpass Dogecoin’s success — the coin has been consistently in the top 10 cryptocurrencies by market capitalization for several years. It does not even think of giving up its place to anyone.

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