Two very different cryptocurrencies have soared up the crypto charts today: An attempt five years in the making by nearly 200 of the world’s top cryptographic engineers to reinvent the public internet — and an animal meme token that calls itself the “Dogecoin killer”.

This afternoon trading in Dfinity’s Internet Computer token had been underway for about half a day on top exchanges Coinbase and Binance, following the project’s launch over the weekend.

The tokens traded for as much as US$731 apiece in the first minutes after trading began at 2am AEST, briefly making Internet Computer a top four crypto project, defuddling those who hadn’t heard of it.

At 3pm AEST, ICP tokens were trading for around US$450, dropping it back below Dogecoin and Tether into the sixth spot on Coinmarketcap with a total valuation of US$55 billion.

The ambitious project aims to create a decentralised layer of the internet that can natively host applications and files, replacing Big Tech datacentres like Amazon Web Services.

“Dfinity is a couple of years behind schedule, but is a legitimate project,” Alex Saunders, host of the crypto media platform Nugget’s News, told Stockhead.

“People are talking about as a competitor to Ethereum like they always do with all these new blockchains that have got massively inflated valuations when they launch, before they’ve even got any projects built on them or any community or whatnot.”

Dfinity tokens were “airdropped” free to some 50,000 supporters back in 2018 who had been a part of the project’s social media channels, with individuals getting between 28 and 599 tokens, depending on their participation. At US$450 a token, that’s a windfall of US$12,600 ($16,000) to US$269,550 ($343,000) — although supporters won’t be able to cash out the whole thing at once.

“They decided that they had to break investors’ hearts a little bit and tell them about now be getting that split up over 12 months, each month,” Saunders said.

Boosters were saying that it’d be a mistake to sell, in any case.

Shiba Inu coin

Meanwhile the Shiba Inu token was trading for US0.00335c, up 143 per cent from yesterday, after the coin was listed on Binance. It was listed as the top 16 crypto, with a market cap of US$13.6 billion.

The doge from Dogecoin is a Shiba Inu breed and the SHIB token appears to be a shameless imitator — but the ripoff is working.

In the past 30 days the token, created 31 July 2020, is up an astounding 41,000 per cent.

Over 296,000 wallets were holding the cryptocurrency this afternoon, with hundreds holding enough of the token to make them multi-millionaires.

In this transaction, for example, someone bought a trillion SHIB tokens with 10 Ether back on February 2. At the time Ethereum was trading for around US$1,500, or $1,900, so the transaction was worth about $19,000.

Those tokens are now worth US$34 million (!)– although whoever it was has been selling some of them.

This afternoon they were holding 675 Ether — about $3.8 million worth — and 300 billion SHIB tokens, worth $13.2 million.

The token right now is just an ERC-20 contract on the Ethereum blockchain, although a decentralised exchange (ShibaSwap) and more projects were being promised.

Other meme coins were proliferating on social media, with backers spruiking tokens named Shi Tzu, Kishu Inu, Akita Inu and Sanshu Inu, among other doggos.

“Are they scams, or are they a bit of fun? You know, it’s hard to kind of say how you categorise some of these things that are popping up every day,” Saunders said.

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