Bitcoin’s overall market dominance dipped under 50% today versus altcoins. This marks a 20% drop from its market share at the start of 2021 and the first time in 3 years it has broken through the support level. Based on historical behavior, when Bitcoin loses dominance, altcoins quickly rush in to rally higher.
The biggest alcoin season took place at the turn of 2017–18 when Bitcoin dropped from 71% to just 35.5% dominance in the space of 5 weeks. As this chart shows, when Bitcoin (shown in orange) begins trending down, altcoins typically experience an inverse surge.
This comes as Ethereum rose to a new lifetime high above $2,600 today on speculation an upcoming blockchain upgrade may result in a drop in supply. Ethereum bulls believe that it may now be entering an aggressive 2021 price rise of tens of thousands of dollars. Other coins like Chainlink and Litecoin and have both seen sharp increases today.
Could now be the time to build exposure in higher-risk altcoin assets? Some are warning against reading too much into historical trends, noting that the playing field is vastly different to three years ago, given there are now nearly 1000 coins competing against each other. In fact, with altcoins becoming more mainstream, some believe Bitcoin may struggle to maintain more than 50% into the future.
Regardless, the performance of altcoins in coming days and weeks will be crucial indicators of the possibility of a sustained altcoin run leading up to summer.