Bitcoin has surely made some moves, but 2020 so far is about altcoins, at least in terms of gains.
As Binance CEO, Changpeng “CZ” Zhao said, “bitcoin feels like a stable coin to me. It’s moving up so slowly. It only moved from $4100 in March to $11800 now. Every time it moved up, I get used to the new price in like 30 seconds, and starts to wish it will go higher…”
Meanwhile, altcoins have been flying. The growth seen by DeFi tokens has been even more dramatic, completely off the charts with the likes of YFI hitting new ATH at north of $15,000 with 46,800% returns in just a month while Aave (LEND) jumped 6,500% YTD.
“YFI is one of those few tokens driven almost entirely by smart money,” tweeted trader and economist Alex Kruger.
— Cantering Clark (@CanteringClark) August 20, 2020
Bitcoin struggling to sustain above $12,000 and ranging is working in altcoins’ favor, especially the small-cap ones. The small caps index is up 50% this month and more than 260% YTD.
Mid-cap index meanwhile is up about 90% while large caps underperform with Ethereum facing an “uphill battle” to control its skyrocketing transaction fees. Meanwhile, “Bitcoin is being used as a source of collateral to seek alpha elsewhere,” wrote Denis Vinokourov of Bequant.
Digital assets are looking a little “2016-2017”-ish with $173 billion added to the crypto market this year. In the DeFi world, meanwhile, this growth has been much crazier with its market cap reaching $15 billion.
“Exuberance across alts is so high people have been paying 100-500% annualized to be long via derivatives,” noted Kruger.
Amidst this market euphoria, the gains hit a snag when bitcoin dropped this week, and in turn, altcoins fell even harder. But even that correction hasn’t been able to calm down the over-eager bulls as the market began trending up again today.
Moreover, some retracement is better for cryptos to move more steps ahead. As analyst Rekt Capital notes, a similar movement was seen in late November 2017, which gave us the face-melting rally of December 2017 and January 2018.
Recently Altcoin Market Cap broke past $136bn (red) for the first time since late November 2017
And just like in late Nov’ 2017, Altcoin MC is now pulling back (blue circles)
Will Altcoin MC pullback into $128bn (green)?
— Rekt Capital (@rektcapital) August 19, 2020
Moreover, the search interest for “buy crypto” that spiked this summer is growing rapidly, currently at the highest level since January 2018 as per Google Trends.
Search interest for “buy bitcoin” took a jump before the halving, but now even a larger spike is seen in the term “buy crypto” over the past month and for “buy altcoins,” interest has skyrocketed.
But in the near future, the big event that could affect bitcoin and, by extension, altcoins is coming on August 27-28. Already, the minutes from the Federal Reserve’s July meeting show officials are in favor of additional stimulus.
It will be a big risk-off if the Fed Chairman Jerome Powell’s message at Jackson Hole is ultra dovish and if he talks about changes to the inflation target under the coming monetary policy framework review. Additionally, it won’t be good for the risky markets and, as such, would “crush” bitcoin, stocks, and metals all alike if no fiscal package is further agreed upon by then, said Kruger.