The long-awaited altcoin season doesn’t seem to be anywhere nearby, as Bitcoin’s price movements continue to dictate the entire market. Regardless of what direction the cryptocurrency takes, it appears that altcoins just can’t get out of their slump.
Bitcoin Goes Up, Altcoins Go Down
It’s safe to say that 2019 has been great for Bitcoin so far. Since January 1st, the cryptocurrency’s price is up by more than 210%. Looking at shorter-term charts gives us pretty much the same picture.
In the past three months, Bitcoin surged from around $5,070 to its current price of $11,600, which represents an increase of more than 125%.
However, this has had a tremendous impact on the overall market as well. Bitcoin’s dominance index, which tracks its relative share of the entire crypto market, also took off for the skies. Presently, the BTC dominance stands at 65.1%, leaving altcoins hanging out to dry.
Indeed, altcoins have been suffering, especially when trading against BTC. Ethereum (ETH), the second-largest cryptocurrency by market cap, has lost about 35% of its value against BTC since the beginning of the year. Things are looking even worse for Ripple’s XRP, the value of which dropped by about 77% against BTC in 2019. The situation is more or less the same with other large-cap altcoins as well.
Smaller altcoins are also feeling the pain. WAVES, for instance, is down a whopping 85% against Bitcoin since January 1st.
Amid this Bitcoin-dominated market, many have hoped that a drop in the price of the largest cryptocurrency by market cap would allow altcoins to recover and potentially reclaim a higher percentage of the market. But it hasn’t turned out that way.
Bitcoin Goes Down, Altcoins Still Go Down
The last week has been nothing but tumultuous for Bitcoin. After surging to around $13,100, it suffered a significant loss which brought its price back to about $11,600, a decline of more than 11%.
Yet what many thought would help revive altcoins turned out to do the exact opposite. Not only did altcoins continue to depreciate against BTC, they also saw serious declines against the dollar.
Looking at large-cap cryptocurrencies, we note that ETH lost around 10% of its dollar value. Ripple’s XRP lost about 18% of its value while Litecoin (LTC) lost about 16% before starting to recover.
In other words, it didn’t do the altcoins any good that Bitcoin dropped in value. What is worse, BTC dragged them with it and most of them actually lost more percentage-wise than BTC itself.
Alt Season Postponed?
Indeed, it doesn’t seem to matter which direction Bitcoin goes in right now. The fact that it shed almost $2,000 of its value didn’t seem to cause its dominance to drop, as it remained almost unchanged.
As CryptoPotato reported a few days ago, analysts seem to believe that the next altcoin season won’t arrive until 2020. Whether or not this is accurate, it’s definitely nowhere to be seen at present.
Perhaps among the reasons why Bitcoin is currently dominating the market is that it has an actual use case. Such a sentiment was validated by the chairman of the US Federal Reserve, Jerome Powell, who recently said that “Bitcoin is a store of value… like gold.” Apart from that, altcoins are bleeding to historical proportions, which is another potential reason for their current situation.