This is a bit of a difficult period for altcoins.
It is enough to mention that since September, Bitcoin’s dominance has risen from 36% to 39%, while Ethereum’s has fallen from 19% to 16%.
A similar trend has occurred before, indeed during a bear market, when the price of Bitcoin tends to fall less than altcoins do. While this is true for Ethereum, it is even more true for other cryptocurrencies that have significantly less common and widespread real-world use.
Dogecoin, Shiba Inu, Litecoin, and Bitcoin Cash: which altcoins holding, and which are not
One of the most successful altcoins during 2021 was Dogecoin (DOGE), currently ranked 10th overall by market capitalization, and 7th if stablecoins are excluded.
In October 2020, which was before the big bullrun of 2021 was triggered, its price was less than $0.003. As a matter of fact, in the case of DOGE, the bullrun was not triggered in November 2020, as it was for Bitcoin, but in January 2021, although as early as December 2020 it was back above $0.003.
It is worth mentioning that the previous high was $0.013 touched in January 2018, so in December 2020 it was still far below this threshold.
Indeed, it didn’t manage to get back to the highs at the beginning of January either, because it stopped at $0.010, though it showed that the bullrun had begun for this cryptocurrency as well. At the end of January, there was the first major spike, with the price skyrocketing to $0.040, which is well above the previous all-time highs.
In February there was another spike that took the price to $0.070, while in March it remained steadily below $0.060.
It is important to note that this is also the current level, which is the level touched after the 2021 bubble burst. So this is precisely what should be taken as a reference. This is 360% higher than the level of the 2018 highs.
The curious thing is that after the bursting of the 2017/2018 bubble, the price of Dogecoin lost up to 87% in the subsequent bear market, and then in a very short time managed not only to recover, but to exceed the 2018 highs by 360%. This is a very interesting dynamic that seems to clearly show that there is a large and active community behind Dogecoin.
It is no coincidence that in 2021 Dogecoin was the most searched cryptocurrency in most US states.
Actually, in April 2021 the price of Dogecoin made a new spike that led it to record new all-time highs in May 2021, when it crossed the incredible $0.730 threshold, but that was an isolated pump due almost exclusively to the words of Elon Musk and his appearance on Saturday Night Live in the guise of the “Dogefather.”
Indeed, as early as the end of May it was back to $0.300, and has never again been able to even approach the $0.700 threshold. Until now it has practically done nothing but fall since 8 May 2021, so much so that the cumulative loss to date is a whopping 92%.
Nevertheless, it is worth pointing out that what happened in April and May 2021 was really a very anomalous, and in some ways unrepeatable, spike, so it would be better to take as a reference the price level touched in March 2021, before that anomalous spike. It is most likely no accident that the current price is perfectly in line with those March 2021 levels.
In light of this, it seems pretty unlikely that the price of Dogecoin could make another spike similar to that of April 2021, so it may struggle enormously to recover that -92% that now separates it from all-time highs.
Shiba Inu (SHIB)
A somewhat similar but even more resounding path is that taken by Shiba Inu (SHIB).
It now ranks 12th among cryptocurrencies with the largest market capitalization, separated from Dogecoin solely by Polkadot.
SHIB’s 2021 spike has been very impressive. Before the bullrun began, its price was 0.00006 millionths of a dollar, or practically insignificant. By May 2021 it had spiked to 35 millionths, a jump of more than +5,000,000%.
Even that spike, as is easy to guess, was something abnormal and currently unrepeatable, so much so that the current price of 10 millionths is below that peak.
What’s more, it made a second spike between October and November, also in 2021, to an all-time high at 86 thousandths. In other words from the May peak to the November peak, it made an additional +145%.
So like for Dogecoin, it is probably not convenient to take the November peak as a reference, but the value of March 2021. The current price of SHIB is 88% lower than the November peak, but “only” 71% lower than the March peak.
Regarding the success of Shiba Inu, the same argument about Dogecoin applies regarding the community, but without Elon Musk. The fact that it “only” lost 71% from its March 2021 peak suggests that Shiba Inu’s community is perhaps as large and active as Dogecoin’s.
In contrast, for Litecoin and Bitcoin Cash, the argument changes, because they are two cryptocurrencies that enjoyed their greatest successes during the previous bullrun, namely that of 2017/2018.
Litecoin has now slipped into 22nd position by market capitalization, and although the all-time high price was recorded in May 2021, at $410, it was not much higher than the previous peak of $360 in December 2017.
On the contrary, after that 2017 peak, the price in the following years fell as low as $30, which is a level not much lower than the current $50.
Hence during 2021 the price of LTC has actually done nothing but return to 2017 levels, and during 2022 it is returning to late 2018 levels. In other words, it seems that this project has exhausted the upward momentum it had during the previous cycle, the one that ended in May 2020 with Bitcoin’s third halving.
Despite several attempts to revive it, it has really lost a lot of steam and especially a lot of interest from the community that supported it in 2017. It is by far one of the oldest altcoins, and perhaps its time has passed by now, unless it changes.
In the case of LTC, it seems to make perfect sense to take the all-time high of May 2021 as a reference, and given that the accumulated loss since then is 87% the future does not look particularly bright.
Bitcoin Cash (BCH)
For Bitcoin Cash (BCH) the situation looks even worse, because during the 2021 bullrun it failed to approach the all-time high of 2017.
From the $3,700 touched five years ago, the price dropped to $77 in 2018, in a true vertical collapse.
During 2021, it managed to rise again but only to $1,500, less than half of its December 2017 value. The current value of $110 is not far from the 2018 lows, and is an impressive 97% below the all-time highs.
By now it has slipped to 33rd in market capitalization, and the project seems to have no momentum left to try to revive itself. Most likely the incredible spike of 2017, when it went from $300 to $3,700 in just four months, is not only not repeatable, but can also be considered a real anomaly.
Perhaps it is better to take as a reference the high of $1,500 touched in 2021, from which the cumulative loss so far is 92%.