If the start of 2019 is any indication, the demise of the altcoin market has been greatly exaggerated.
While Bitcoin (BTC) is up 31% since January 1st at time of publishing, Ethereum (ETH) is up 98%, XRP is up 45% and Bitcoin Cash is up 93%, according to the crypto price aggregator CoinCodex.
The altcoin market has a history of tracking BTC, and at times outperforming the asset, during bull market stretches. But this time around, the co-founder of the London-based crypto analytics firm TokenAnalyst says he believes institutional whales are playing a key role in the rise of the altcoin market.
Sid Shekhar tells Bloomberg big players appear to be making waves behind the scenes in an attempt to break even.
“There appears to have been a large mass of early investors (including many VC firms) who have a vested interest in seeing some of these tokens reach a certain price point so they can realize their gains or break even.
As such, with the overall market rally, there are definitely select institutional players who are effectively spurring price action.”
The crypto market is currently mixed, with BTC down 1.75% at $9,622. Ethereum is up 2.32% at $257.95 and XRP is down 1.37% at $0.2822.
Luke Martin of Venture Coinist says the next shift in the price of Bitcoin will ripple out to the broader market. He thinks the altcoin market may once again turn green and continue to outperform BTC if the king of crypto can bounce off a key line of support at $9,556.
“This weekend major alts pulled back vs Bitcoin as BTC dropped. [Bitcoin reaching] a potential support today, stopping the drop for now, is allowing ETH and other majors to begin bouncing.
*If* Bitcoin uptrend resumes – I expect altcoin outperformance to continue.”