HomeCryptoThe altcoin season is long gone

The altcoin season is long gone

The last big bull run in the crypto market was characterized by an incredible altcoin season (or altseason). 

In fact, while for example the price of Bitcoin has gone from about $10,000 to about $70,000, or +600% in just over twelve months, there have been smaller cryptocurrencies that have registered four- or even five-digit percentage increases, sometimes in just a few months. 

In other words, the speculative bubble of 2021 focused on altcoins, though not all of them, and literally blew some of them up. 

Perhaps the most striking case was that of Shiba Inu (SHIB), which went from $1 million to $88 million in the space of six months. 

The Altcoin Season Index

A chart called the Altcoin Season Index is posted on BlockchainCenter.net that measures precisely the ratio of Bitcoin price performance to altcoin price performance. 

In November 2020 this incide was at its lowest, partly because at that time it was Bitcoin that dominated the crypto markets, and it was BTC’s price growth that triggered the bull run. 

But it wasn’t until five months later that the situation had reversed, with a peak high that highlighted very well that at that point it was altcoins that were making the market. 

However, the Altcoin Season Index is far too volatile an index, meaning it is only good for tracking short-term trends. 

In fact, by August 2021 it had already returned to the lows, and five months later it had climbed a lot again. 

Then again, it is an index that compares daily performance, and these in crypto markets are very volatile. 

Bitcoin’s dominance

A different matter is Bitcoin’s dominance, which is the percentage of the overall crypto market capitalization occupied by the capitalization of BTC alone. 

This is a parameter that moves very slowly, because the various price trends of different cryptocurrencies often look very similar. 

While the Altcoin Season Index measures the differences between these trends on a day-to-day basis, Bitcoin’s dominance on the other hand better measures their differences over the long term. 

According to CoinMarketCap data, Bitcoin’s dominance in October 2020 was at about 58%. 

During the very early phase of the bull run, particularly through January 2021, it had risen as high as 70%. 

At that point, the prices of some altcoins also began to rise significantly. 

In fact, as early as March it was back up to 60%. But that was still higher than it was in October 2020. 

The real altcoin season began in April, when BTC’s dominance began to plummet. In fact, by the following month it had fallen to 39%. So in less than five months it had halved. 

Thereafter, throughout the rest of the bull run, it had never again managed to exceed 50%, and indeed with the bear-market of 2022 it had fallen again, down to 38% in November last year. 

Thus, as of May 2021, the balance of power between Bitcoin and altcoins in the crypto markets had remained essentially unchanged, until just a few days ago. 

The beginning of the Bitcoin season

While a new Bitcoin season had begun for the Altcoin Season Index as early as April this year, dominance had to wait until June for confirmation. 

Truth be told, Bitcoin’s dominance had begun to rise as early as January, but it had only returned above 40%. Indeed, until March it had not even managed to rise back to 43% yet, although in April it rose to 47%. 

As of late March 2023, it was clear that Bitcoin was returning to prominence in the crypto markets, but definitive confirmation came only recently. 

Until 5 June Bitcoin’s dominance was still below 46%, but as of 6 June it began a growth phase that still seems to be ongoing. 

On 10 June it had approached 48%, and on 16 it had surpassed it. 

In the last two days it has first exceeded 49%, and now it is approaching 50%. 

Note that this figure changes depending on who is measuring it, as different criteria are used. For example, for CoinGecko it is still below 49%, while for TradingView it is at almost 51%. 

In any case, everything points to the fact that since April Bitcoin has once again become the absolute protagonist of the crypto markets, and altcoins have ended up playing an absolutely secondary role for a few days now. 

Predictions about the future of the altcoin season

Similar dynamics have occurred before. 

Typically when Bitcoin season starts during a bear-market, or shortly thereafter, it tends to last until after the halving. The next halving will occur in the spring of 2024. 

So it is possible that the Bitcoin season will last for another year, and it is possible that it will always be the price of BTC that triggers a possible new bull run. 

However, when Bitcoin’s price growth starts to slow slightly, altcoins could recover, triggering a new altcoin season.

Marco Cavicchioli
Marco Cavicchioli
Born in 1975, Marco has been the first to talk about Bitcoin on YouTube in Italy. He founded ilBitcoin.news and the Facebook group" Bitcoin Italia (open and without scam) ".