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Altcoins Are Dying
Anyone unacquainted with the cryptocurrency market might assume, casually reading the price of bitcoin in their morning paper, that the past seven days have been good for investors. BTC is up 18% in a week and is now hovering around the $7,400 mark. By any reckoning, that’s good going. But bitcoin’s recent show of strength belies turmoil within the crypto markets. Many altcoins aren’t just down in BTC terms: they’re dying a slow death by 1,000 red wicks.
Alts Are Submerged in a Bloodbath
It’s been a mixed week for cryptocurrency investors. While BTC has been on fire, altcoins have been withering and dying, with lower lows, lower trade volume, and little by way of hope for their increasingly desperate bagholders. Telegram trading groups have been filled with pink wojaks and rekt memes as traditional support levels have fallen and price floors have been shattered. The weekly charts, in which gains and losses can be easily distorted by singular events, do not prevent a true picture of the state of altcoins right now. Zooming out to a monthly view provides a clearer picture. In addition to BTC, stellar and cardano – two assets shortlisted for inclusion on Coinbase – are in the green. Virtually every other asset has been subjected to deep, double-digit cuts.
Bitcoin’s dominance now stands at around 45%, the highest it has been since April. Part of its resurgence can be attributed to anticipation of impending SEC approval for an ETF, against a backdrop of increased institutional adoption. It figures that when bitcoin rallies, the rest of the market will suffer. While this fact can account for some of the slippage of the past few days, it does not explain the decline that virtually all crypto assets have suffered since the start of the year. BTC is down 63% from its all-time high, a figure which seems relatively benign when compared to the losses of other major cryptocurrencies.
<figure id="attachment_189558" style="width: 696px" class="wp-caption aligncenter">
<figcaption class="wp-caption-text">Most altcoins have posted major losses over the past month.</figcaption>
Smart Money is Rejecting Dumb Coins
Ripple and tron are down 88% from their ATH, cardano down 87%, and dash down 85%. The mania of January, when the entire market was convinced that their anointed altcoin was heading to the moon and staying there, has long since subsided. At the time, it was suggested by certain publications including this one that many of those investing in high supply coins may not fully understand concepts such as digital scarcity. Investors were fixated on the price per coin, rather than the value of the coin when adjusted for total circulating supply.
<figure id="attachment_189555" style="width: 696px" class="wp-caption aligncenter">
<figcaption class="wp-caption-text">The fate of dentacoin, a cryptocurrency for the dental industry, encapsulates the madness of January and subsequent decline that has characterized the altcoin market.</figcaption>
The subsequent downfall of altcoins that were mainstream media darlings at the start of the year, ripple, iota, and tron among them, can be attributed, in part, to novice investors getting scared off once the bear market kicked in with a vengeance. The resurgence of bitcoin in recent weeks, and the inability of altcoins to rally with it, owes something to rookie investors who got burned staying away, while smart money that was previously watching from the sidelines has begun to enter. These entities weren’t about to buy BTC when it was trading at an all-time high, but they’ll take a look now, having missed the boat the first time around. None of them, it seems, are interested in altcoins however, despite the fact that many are trading at a 5x discount. Institutional investors may be cautious, but they’re not foolish.
Do you think altcoins such as ripple and iota will ever surpass their ATH when the crypto market recovers? Let us know in the comments section below.
Images courtesy of Shutterstock, Coincodex, and Pixabay.
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