Crypto users react to death of Shiba Inu behind viral memes
The 12-year-old dog had appeared in memes with Dogecoin’s own inspiration, the Shiba Inu named Kabosu, including “Swole Doge vs. Cheems.”
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Cheems Balltze, the dog behind viral images of a Shiba Inu enjoying cheeseburgers, died in his sleep on Aug. 18 amid a battle with cancer.
The dog, also called “Ball Ball,” was 12 years old at the time of his death. The Shiba Inu breed, in particular, is famous among cryptocurrency users as the basis of cryptocurrencies like Shiba Inu (SHIB) and Dogecoin (DOGE), pushed by retail investors as well as high-profile figures like X (formerly Twitter) owner Elon Musk.
“Don’t be sad, please remember the joy that Balltze brought to the world,” said an Aug. 18 post on Cheems’ Instagram page. “A Shiba Inu with a round smiling face connecting you and me, he has helped many people during the pandemic and brought a lot of joy to many of you, but now his mission has completed.”
A different dog from Kabosu — the one featured in the meme on which Dogecoin was based — Cheems also appeared in shared images with the DOGE dog, such as in the meme “Swole Doge vs. Cheems.” Kabosu is expected to celebrate his 18th birthday in October but has also been experiencing significant health issues. The Doge meme went viral in 2013, prompting the creation of the DOGE token the same year by Billy Markus and Jackson Palmer.
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Crypto users, including those involved in the Dogecoin Foundation, offered their condolences at the loss of Cheems and support for Kabosu’s continued health:
Memes of animals, from cats to dolphins, have often been the basis of token projects in the crypto space since its creation. In some real-world use cases, animals shelters have accepted DOGE and other coins as a way to encourage interest in spaying and neutering cats and dogs
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