Shiba Inu (SHIB) is a memecoin – a distinction it shares with Dogecoin (DOGE), which also has a Japanese dog breed as its mascot.

A memecoin is an “altcoin” – a cryptocurrency other than Bitcoin – that is based on an internet meme. This in turn is a kind of online joke in the form of an image edited and shared many times.

SHIB is one of the top 15 cryptocurrencies based on market cap, making it a potentially attractive option, especially for those looking to diversify their crypto holdings.

While a SHIB is currently worth around $0.000015, that’s down around 65% from its high in October last year, when Tesla owner (and Twitter bidder) Elon Musk tweeted about the memecoin.

SHIB is a prime example of the volatility of cryptocurrencies. If you’re considering investing in crypto, you should be prepared to lose everything you invest – that’s the warning from the UK’s financial watchdog, the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA).

But if you’re aware of the risks and still want to buy a Shiba Inu, here’s how.

How to buy Shiba Inu (SHIB) in 4 steps

1. Choose a crypto exchange

You will need a crypto exchange to buy Shiba Inu. An exchange is a place, either a website or an app, where buyers and sellers meet to exchange fiat currency (Sterling, in the UK) for cryptocurrencies, or one cryptocurrency for another. .

There are hundreds of exchanges to choose from. They include big names such as eToro and Coinbase as well as smaller exchanges like Bitstamp. If you’re not sure which one to choose, read our guide to the best crypto exchanges for 2022.

Some things to consider include:

  • Payment methods – check that the exchange accepts your preferred payment method and what fees apply. Many exchanges don’t accept PayPal, for example, and many charge 3.99% for debit or credit card payments.
  • Built-in wallet – check if the exchange offers a built-in wallet to keep your SHIB safe. If you prefer to keep it in a third-party wallet, check if withdrawals are allowed and if fees apply.
  • Currencies Traded – Check that the exchange you are signing up to actually allows you to trade SHIB.

2. Choose a payment method

Bank transfers are the most widely accepted and cost-effective way to pay for cryptocurrency. Many exchanges accept debit and credit cards, but for a fee of around 3.99% – and any money spent on fees is money that could have been invested.

There are two good reasons not to use a credit card to pay for cryptocurrency. First, it’s generally a bad idea to go into debt to pay for an investment as volatile as crypto. Second, your card issuer will treat the payment as a cash advance rather than a regular purchase and charge a higher interest rate from the time of the transaction.

Very few exchanges accept PayPal, and those that charge a fee.

3. Place an order

Once you have chosen an exchange and payment method, go to the Shiba Inu page on the website or app and enter the amount you wish to invest.

4. Choose a storage method

Many exchanges have built-in wallets in which to store your SHIB, but you may prefer to store it in a third-party wallet.

Assuming your exchange allows outbound transfers (which they may charge a fee for), you have the choice of a “hot” or “cold” wallet.

A cold wallet is a physical storage device like a hard drive or flash drive that is not connected to the internet. A hot wallet is a virtual wallet held online.

The former is more secure against hackers but only accessible by you. If you were to lose your own access keys, no one else would have access to help you recover your crypto. The latter is less secure against hackers as it is online, but the wallet provider may be able to help you if you lose your access codes and cannot access your wallet.

The choice between the two is a matter of balancing ease of access against security.