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  • Shibarium hopes to lure users to a low-fee ecosystem focused mainly on financial services and gaming.
  • The Ethereum layer-2 network will utilize BONE, TREAT, SHIB and LEASH tokens for applications built on the blockchain, which could lift the prices of these tokens as demand increases.

Shiba Inu developers on Wednesday were set to push live the much-awaited Shibarium blockchain, an Ethereum layer-2 network that uses SHIB tokens as fees, a representative told CoinDesk.

Layer 2s are networks built atop a layer 1 blockchain – in this case Ethereum – and designed to provide faster and cheaper transactions for users. Shibarium joins an increasingly crowded blockchain landscape; there are at least 50 other networks hoping to lure users with low fees to an ecosystem focused mainly on financial services and gaming.

Shibarium is part of a broader plan to position Shiba Inu as a serious blockchain project. Its popular SHIB tokens, themed after the Shiba Inu dog breed and inspired by Dogecoin, were issued in August 2020 and quickly became one of the largest meme coins by market capitalization.

But developers are now giving its tokens more utility by way of the Shibarium network, seeking to become a player in decentralized finance, or DeFi.

The network will utilize BONE, TREAT, SHIB and LEASH tokens for applications built on the blockchain, which could lift the prices of these tokens as demand increases.

Shibarium is said to have a focus on metaverse and gaming applications especially as the NFT sector is expected to heat up in the coming years, apart from the network’s use as a cheap settlement for DeFi applications built atop it.

A “DoggyDAO,” a decentralized autonomous organization (DAO) run and governed by token holders, will be introduced at the time and used to fund projects building on Shibarium.

The popularity of SHIB tokens – evidenced by some 21 million wallets created during a testing phase – could mean Shibarium quickly sees brisk network activity after going live.

“Many in the tech world, inside and outside the blockchain ecosystem, are promising ‘everything apps’ and full user interactivity in the world of ideas, goods, services and other opportunities,” said Shiba Inu lead developer “Shytoshi Kusama” (a pseudonym), in a message to CoinDesk.

“However, any such promise absolutely must start at a place of both community and decentralization,” the developer added. “As part of one of the most popular cryptocurrencies on the planet, Shibarium lives at the intersection of those two principles in a way that eludes most other technologies, even many other blockchains.”

Shibarium is a proof-of-stake blockchain, relying on validators and delegators. Validators run nodes, process transactions and create new blocks, ensuring the operation and overall security of the ecosystem.

Delegators, meanwhile, support validators by staking ecosystem tokens. Both validators and delegators are rewarded for their participation in this ecosystem with a governance token called BONE, which has a total supply of 250 million.

Edited by Nick Baker and Bradley Keoun.