According to Tyler Miller, Head of Communications at Vita Inu, over the span of a few years, cryptocurrency has grown from a niche interest for technophiles to something that dominates public consciousness. Whether they be investors or not, regular people off the street can probably name several prominent cryptocurrencies off the top of their head — Bitcoin, Ethereum, Doge, Shiba Inu, and so on.
But how did we get from Bitcoin to Shiba Inu, and what does this mean for the new memecoins like Vita Inu? And what are memecoins anyway?
A digital revolution
In short, Bitcoin is the most notable cryptocurrency within this space. Its fame is inextricably linked to the fact that it is purportedly the very first cryptocurrency (created in 2009). However, Bitcoin is not the first cryptocurrency. There were several other digital currencies or digitally encrypted forms of exchange that predated it. For example, DigiCash (1989) and Hashcash (1997) were meaningful precursors of Bitcoin and may even have inspired its creation. These digital currencies, like Bitcoin, were aimed at solving a problem that was radical for its time — how to allow people to send money to each other digitally without going through a centralized financial institution.
Try to imagine the following scenario, set 20 years ago. Jane is selling a product online, which John wishes to buy. However, Jane and John do not know each other; they do not know if they can trust each other. There is no real way for them to complete the transaction without trusting each other. Because of the way bank wire transfers are structured — they take some time to complete and may be reversible — there is a real possibility that either Jane (or John) may be scammed. For example, John could send the money for the product, and upon receiving the product, claim that the transaction was a fraud and request his bank to reverse the transactions. If Jane’s product is a one-time use product (like ice cream), she may find herself left without recourse. Their solution is to rely on a trusted third party, in this case, a centralized financial institution like a bank. While solving the problem between Jane and John, this extends — rather than solves — the issue of trust. Now, both Jane and John need to trust that the third party will, in fact, complete the transaction rather than defraud them.
Bitcoin and its precursors were created precisely to solve this problem. Its central innovation consists in an electronic payment system based on cryptographic proof rather than trust. Users can send payments directly to each other, without going through any financial institutions.
Here’s a very simple explanation of how this works. Imagine the Bitcoin blockchain as a massive digital ledger, containing information about how much Bitcoin each account or digital wallet holds. This information is publicly available and verifiable by all users within the network, if they wish to check it. In fact, this information is constantly being verified by computers, or more specifically nodes, within the network. Now, imagine that John sends Jane 1 Bitcoin for her product. This transaction is publicly broadcast to all nodes, which in turn attempts to verify the transaction. The first node to verify the transaction is rewarded with some Bitcoin for their work. This reward is paid by those who make the transactions, in the form of transaction “fees”. New transactions cannot be validated until previous transactions are completed — helping to mitigate the problems of people attempting to “double spend” their Bitcoin.
Even with this brief explanation, we can understand the true innovation of Bitcoin. Once John sends Jane the money, there is no practical way of reversing the transaction. To do that, John would need to find a way to tell the computers or nodes on the Bitcoin network to “undo” the transaction — something that he cannot achieve. Moreover, there is no more need for Jane or John to trust a centralized financial institution.
Proliferation of blockchains
Over time, and with increasing awareness of Bitcoin, more and more digital blockchains were created — each introducing some additional features to solve problems that Bitcoin faced and continues to face. For example, Litecoin was created in 2011 with the aim of prioritizing transaction speeds, compared to Bitcoin. Or consider Ethereum, launched in 2015, which aims to support the deployment of smart contracts and create decentralized applications to power various financial contracts, among other things. And like Bitcoin, each of these blockchains come with their own advantages and vulnerabilities.
This is where memecoins — like Dogecoin or Shiba Inu coin — enter the picture. Bitcoin, Litecoin, or Ethereum seem to be serious financial products in many ways. Their use and maintenance is surrounded by all sorts of technical language that many people find alienating. This creates a barrier for people to enter the cryptocurrency space.
Memecoins disrupt this picture of cryptocurrencies as being solely for technophiles or serious financial investors. By definition, memecoins are cryptocurrencies built around a meme — an idea, image, or text that is widely disseminated on various platforms and references some aspects of popular culture. For instance, the primary reference of both Dogecoin and Shiba Inu Coin — both very popular memecoins — is the Doge meme, which typically consists of a picture of a Shiba Inu dog accompanied by funny monologues in broken English. The reference to memes and popular culture makes these cryptocurrencies instantly relatable. Indeed, at the beginning, people were sending each other Dogecoin as jokes or rewarding each other for making good memes. A fun and vibrant community focused on jokes and having fun rapidly formed around these coins — something unheard of when thinking about Bitcoin, Litecoin or Ethereum. Many people who would not otherwise invest in cryptocurrencies found themselves buying small amounts of Dogecoin to participate in the Dogecoin community. In many ways, these memecoins significantly lowered the barrier of entry into the cryptocurrency space for many users, and have a big role to play in their current popularity.
Memecoins are typically built upon existing blockchains, or based on modifications of them. For instance, Dogecoin is based on Litecoin, while Shiba Inu Coin is based on Ethereum. Typically, the choice of blockchain to build a memecoin on, signals the creator or creator’s evaluation of the blockchain. This is reasonable — no one wants to build their community upon a blockchain that they do not believe will succeed, or at least persist into the future. In doing so, memecoins actually serve an important role in popularizing the blockchain that they are built upon. Indeed, many Dogecoin users first discovered and invested in Dogecoin, before proceeding to find out about Litecoin! In this respect, memecoins can be seen as a gateway for ordinary users to become familiar with certain blockchains, and eventually with the cryptocurrency space as a whole.
Vita Inu Coin
There are, however, two main practical issues with memecoins like Dogecoin and Shiba Inu Coin — transaction times and transaction fees. For instance, it takes around 5 minutes to complete a Shiba Inu transaction, and 40 minutes to complete a Dogecoin transaction. Shiba Inu transaction fees are often between $0.28 to $20, Dogecoin fees come up to $0.50 to $30. Often users pay more than these amounts in fees, especially when they are attempting to complete their transactions during periods of increased network activity.
These problems are serious impediments to the adoption of these memecoins as genuine methods of payment. Indeed, very few people are prepared to wait for 5 to 40 minutes to complete a payment, or to pay massive amounts of fees in addition to their payments!
This is where Vita Inu Coin, and the Vite network upon which it is built, enter the picture. Launched in 2019, Vite is a next-generation network designed with the goal of bridging different blockchains in a decentralized way. Vite uses a ‘Directed Acyclic Graph’ (DAG) ledger structure. There are many technical differences between a DAG architecture and a traditional blockchain structure like Bitcoin. The brief comparison is that the DAG architecture allows more transactions to be validated simultaneously, compared to a blockchain — new transactions can proceed without requiring previous transactions to first be validated. On the DAG architecture, transactions can be directly added to the blockchain. Transactions are validated only if they are referenced by another transaction — they do not need to be validated by every single node within the network before they can proceed.
In these ways, the DAG architecture boasts two practical benefits compared to the traditional blockchain. First, it allows for much faster — often practically instantaneous — transaction speeds. Second, there is often no need for transaction fees, since the method of achieving network consensus about transactions is significantly different.
The DAG architecture is at one of the frontiers of the cryptocurrency space, and still in its infancy. While there are close to 10,000 tracked coins and tokens on CoinMarketCap, only a handful of them adopt DAG. However, more people are becoming aware of DAG and its benefits relative to blockchains. There is also increasing interest and adoption of DAG cryptocurrencies in general. Vite is one of these few DAG cryptocurrencies, and boasts fast and feeless transactions.
Vita Inu Coin (VINU) is a token built upon the Vite network. It was created in November 2021 by creators who are bullish about the Vite network, and its potential for market dominance. Like many memecoins, the main aim of VINU is to build a fun and engaging community that serves as an accessible platform to the cryptocurrency space.
Insofar as VINU is built upon the Vite network, it inherits its core features of having fast and feeless transactions. In fact, VINU may very well be the world’s first fast and feeless dog-based meme-token. These are huge benefits compared to the currently dominant Dogecoin or Shiba Inu Coin which, as we have seen earlier, involves long transaction times and potentially high transaction fees. The following infographic sums up the relevant comparisons:
As we can see, because of its low transaction speed and lack of transaction fees, VINU is the token that can actually be used for daily transactions. Want to reward someone for making a good joke or meme? Want to pay someone for a task they’ve completed or a product or service they are offering? You can do so with VINU — you pay no additional fees for the transaction, and your recipient receives the payment almost instantaneously.
These strengths of VINU compared to Dogecoin and Shiba Inu are not merely of practical interest. In fact, they go right back to addressing the central problem that Bitcoin and its precursors were created to solve — allowing people to send money to each other digitally. Insofar as VINU and other DAG tokens have essentially instantaneous transaction speeds and have no transaction fees, they are best placed to replace physical currency. That is, they most resemble paying someone with physical money — it is basically instantaneous, and you do not have to pay fees while making that payment. Once we see this point, it’s understood as one of the most crucial drawbacks of other blockchain technologies — despite their sophistication, they do not approximate our everyday use of money due to their slow transaction speeds and potentially high transaction fees.
In line with its own goals and with the original aims of cryptocurrency in general, VINU has taken steps to ensure that it is as easy as possible to enter the cryptocurrency space and begin using cryptocurrency as a currency. In addition to multiple listings on centralized exchanges, VINU has also recently finalized a partnership with Simplex — one of the world’s largest fiat-to-crypto services. VINU has also completed a cross-listing on the popular Binance Smart Chain, which has a very extensive and vibrant DeFi ecosystem. All of these increase the ease of accessing VINU and, through it, the cryptocurrency space in general. The ideal that VINU strives towards, is for people to be able to make their daily transactions in all aspects of their lives with VINU.
Realizing the original vision
Memecoins are often mocked within the cryptocurrency space. For instance, they are typically described as “shitcoins'' with neither fundamentals nor utility, made by people who just want to make a quick buck. They are usually regarded as non-serious projects that inevitably and regrettably spring up whenever there is a new blockchain or network. Many memecoins — fueled by investors who are seeking the next “moonshot” that may lead to profits of hundreds or thousands times their initial investments — end up drawing market capital away from serious and legitimate projects that attempt to solve real-world problems using the blockchain. Moreover, the seemingly inevitable failure of many such memecoins — and there are many such failures — often ends up diminishing the legitimacy of cryptocurrency in general.
These criticisms are not unfair. Many memecoins indeed are worthless in exactly the aforementioned ways. However, these observations do not license us to dismiss all memecoins. As we have seen, memecoins can serve to publicize and popularize a particular blockchain or network, help to build a community of holders within the network, and, most importantly, realize the original vision that undergirds the creation of the blockchain — to have secure digital financial transactions, while addressing the problem of trust.
And it is on these three fronts — popularizing a blockchain, creating a community, and approximating the use of money — that VINU truly shines. And these advantages of VINU, compared to its main competitors, have not gone unnoticed. Within a short span of around three months, VINU has built a community of over 30,000 people within the new fast and feeless Vite network. Already, VINU holders and community members are using VINU for all sorts of fun activities — tipping each other for good jokes and fun memes, rewarding members for organizing fun events and games, and so on. Also worth mentioning is the fact that VINU is used to pay community moderators and project team members for their work! Of course, all of these may seem trivial to cryptocurrency veterans who have seen cryptocurrency projects come and go. However, it’s been shown these things are precisely what the blockchain was created to do in the very first place.
- Cryptocurrencies were created to solve the problem of enabling and facilitating secure digital payments and transactions.
- Many existing blockchains and networks involve long transaction times and potentially high transaction fees, making them unsuitable as means of payment in everyday life.
- DAG cryptocurrencies are fast and feeless, and well-placed to serve as digital currencies.
- VINU is a memecoin on the Vite network (a DAG cryptocurrency), and lowers the barrier of entry into the cryptocurrency space for many users, creating immense potential for its future growth.