The much-anticipated launch of Shibarium, the layer 2 scaling solution for the popular meme coin Shiba Inu, has faced significant technical issues in its first 24 hours. According to reports, over $1.8 million worth of Ether is currently stuck on Shibarium due to transactions being stuck in a pending state (Wu, 2023).
Shibarium utilizes a proof-of-participation consensus mechanism and launched on August 16 during the Blockchain Futurist Conference. The layer 2 was designed to provide faster and cheaper transactions compared to the Ethereum mainnet where Shiba Inu currently resides. However, Chinese journalist Colin Wu reported that just a day after launch, Shibarium was facing major transaction issues leading to locked funds (Wu, 2023).
The respected blockchain security firm Beosin confirmed the stuck transactions and advised users to halt utilizing Shibarium until the problems could be resolved. Over 1,003 ETH valued at $1.8 million became locked when bridging from Ethereum to Shibarium (James, 2023). Data from Shibarium block explorers showed zero new confirmed transactions for multiple hours after the launch as the network essentially froze (James, 2023).
Unverified screenshots from Shibarium's Telegram group indicated that developers acknowledged they cannot recover bridged ETH lost in limbo. The RPC status website for Shibarium also became unreachable amidst the technical troubles (James, 2023). Discord moderators began banning users from messaging channels when they inquired about the stuck funds.
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The price of Shiba Inu dove nearly 10% over the past day in response to the failed launch. The native tokens Bone and Leash, designed to reward participation on Shibarium, plunged 13% and 25% respectively (James, 2023). The excitement and fanfare surrounding the layer 2 release quickly evaporated as users demanded answers on the locked ETH and lack of transactions processing.
While innovative blockchains often struggle with bugs and glitches early on, a flawless launch was critical for Shibarium to bolster confidence and gain traction after months of hype and delays. The Shiba Inu team and developers have significant work ahead to smooth out issues, return stuck funds, and assure users of Shibarium's stability. If problems persist in the coming weeks, interest and adoption could falter.
The meme coin mania of 2021 catapulted Shiba Inu into the top 10 cryptocurrencies by market capitalization, but it has since sank down the ranks as hype faded. Shibarium presented an opportunity to boost real-world utility and transactions for the formerly speculative dog meme token.
Only time will tell if Shibarium can rise above its rocky start and still evolve into a viable layer 2 solution. But for now, the technical problems represent a setback in efforts to expand Shiba Inu’s ecosystem and use cases.