Shibarium Layer-2: Everything We Know About The Shiba Inu Layer-2

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September 13, 2022: Updated with comments on a potential Shibarium release date.

Of the SHIB projects already announced, the Shibarium Layer-2 has perhaps garnered the most attention from the Shiba community.

With the Shiba Inu ecosystem continuing to grow through its expansive SHIB roadmap, projects such as SHIB: The Metaverse and the Shiba Inu game will add to an already extensive network. However, for several other projects in the works, they will all rely on Shibarium.

Here's a look at everything we know about the Layer-2, and what it can offer to the ShibArmy.

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What Is Shibarium?

Shibarium is a blockchain/layer-2 solution first proposed by Ryoshi, the creator of Shiba Inu. Once it launches, SHIB will migrate to the L2.

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Ryoshi initially used the phrase blockchain, Shibarium is more likely to be an L2 that sits on top of an already existing (Ethereum) blockchain. The SHIB creator said in his now-deleted blog post: “The line between an L2 and own blockchain is thin, I mean what is the difference really between Matic L2 and BSC?”

It's worth noting here that Shibarium is not its own blockchain, nor does it mean there is a Shiba Inu 2.0 token coming. Shiba Inu will remain connected to Ethereum.

One of the primary goals will be to lower transaction fees for those in the Shiba ecosystem. In a blog post by its developers, Unification said transactions would be "approved in seconds for pennies".

Ryoshi first said that Shibarium’s transaction fees will be minimal, or even zero. Speaking on the Shiba Discord, Shytoshi Kusama, the Shiba Project Lead, said “Shibarium will offer low fees for every service, game or whatever that builds on it.”

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High gas fees is one of the most pressing issues faced by Ethereum. Given Shiba’s reliance on the Ethereum network, it suffered from some hefty gas prices when the Shiboshi NFTs launched.

Shytoshi even touted the advantages of the L2 on Twitter, following backlash to the Shiboshi release.

As with other projects, the Layer-2 will feature some kind of SHIB burning mechanics to burn SHIB. It could also act as a bridge for other ecosystems, according to one Shibarium sneak peek.

External developers will also get the chance to develop on top of the L2 pretty soon via the Shibarium Hackathon. This event, according to Shytoshi, will grant successful teams fund to build on Shibarium.

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Shibarium Release Date

We don't have an official release date for Shibarium just yet, but it could launch in late-2022.

Shibarium developers, Unification have confirmed that the Shibarium public beta will launch in Q3 2022. This is between July and September 2022. This comes after Unification previously said Shibarium was in alpha.

However, comments from members of the Shiba Inu team may have tempered these expectations. After rejecting comments that Shibarium would launch on September 30, it seems SHIB has distanced themselves from the comment made by Unification regarding a public beta in Q3 2022.

Several members of the SHIB team have reiterated that no date for Shibarium has been announced. However, the Unification blog, shared in text on the official announcement channel in the SHIB Discord, does say Q3 2022 for a beta. We'll need to wait to see what happens here.

Elsewhere, in late April, Shiba lead Shytoshi Kusama said Shibarium is coming "very soon". Shytoshi also said that Shibarium documentation, likely in the form of a new blog post, should also come out soon.

During the Shiba Inu AMA, Discord mod Queenie tempered release date expectations by affirming the project doesn't do them to avoid disappointing people. However, she then said she expects the Layer-2 to launch in 2022.

This matches up with previous comments on its release date. In September 2021, Shytoshi described Shibarium as in the mid-stage. The Shiba team confirmed the layer-2 remains on track for a 2022 release in a March blog post, too.

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Developer Eric M also said it will launch faster than Ethereum 2.0 - which is still expected to launch in 2022, although the Ethereum merge date is in September.

However, with so many projects on the go, such dates may change depending on priorities and development progress. As Shytoshi said in the Discord on January 20:

The game is moving well. Shibarium. Shi. All moving forward. Just takes time juggling so much.

Will Shibarium Use SHIB?

While SHIB and LEASH tokens currently have more utility in ShibaSwap, neither of these will be the primary pair token for Shibarium. Instead, it will be BONE.

Ryoshi explained this reasoning, stating “BONE will have a fair and ‘0’ start in which we will not have to be concerned about over-arching whale bags.”

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Of course, SHIB and LEASH holders earned BONE when ShibaSwap first launched, meaning there are likely a hefty number of BONE whales out there.

According to Unification's preview, Shibarium validators will also be able to earn BONE via Shibarium. To allocate this BONE, the Shiba Inu DAO voted to halt BONE minting for ShibaSwap. Instead, the DEX will soon use the new TREAT token as a reward. BONE minting halted in September after it hit 230 million tokens.

Despite Ryoshi's original vision including BONE, some users expressed frustration when the December SHIB AMA re-confirmed BONE's role in the L2.