Crypto Update: Altcoin Season Is On The Horizon

Altcoin season is a term used in social media and other online communities to describe the part of the market cycle where altcoins, such as Ethereum or Ripple, experience a meteoric rise in value against Bitcoin and the US Dollar. During this period, many altcoins enter a parabolic state that enables them to grow anywhere from 200% to 3000%. This was the case in the last alt season, which was from December 2017 to January 2018.

While this highly anticipated season can bring a lot of profits, it can also end in disaster to those who fail to correctly time the market. During the last season, many were slaughtered as they entered only after news of market explosions. Little did they know that they were already buying the top. Therefore, it is crucial to enter positions just before the season starts. The price movements in the last two months have given us reasons to believe that altcoins are preparing for a bull run.

In this article, we reveal why we believe that the altcoin season is on the horizon.

Altcoin Market Cap Appears to be Bottoming Out

The altcoin market cap is the market capitalization of all cryptocurrencies minus Bitcoin’s market capitalization. We use this measure to track the amount of capital going in and out of all altcoins. The largest altcoin market cap ever recorded was at $554.916 billion in January 2018. Since then, the numbers have nosedived and even touched $78 billion in September. That’s an 85% devaluation.

The good news is $78 billion may have been the bottom as the entire altcoin market is working hard to generate a bullish higher low setup.

Altcoin market cap daily chart

A quick look at the daily chart reveals that the altcoin market chart is creating an inverse head and shoulders pattern. This structure is one of the most reliable patterns to indicate that the bottom is in. The higher low (right shoulder) tells us that participants are willing to buy at a higher price.

Bitcoin Dominance Looks Toppish

The Bitcoin dominance chart monitors the percentage of the cryptocurrency capital that can be attributed to Bitcoin. Bitcoin dominance has been on the up and up ever since it bottomed out at 32% on January 12, 2018. It climbed as high as 58% on September 9, but it has been sputtering since. This is a very good sign for altcoins.

A look at the chart reveals that Bitcoin dominance is toppish. It is moving near the apex of a rising wedge. More importantly, it appears to have created a bearish lower high setup. As we always say, the lower high kills bullish momentum.

What does it mean for altcoins and the alt season?

First, this chart doesn’t necessarily show that Bitcoin’s capital is decreasing. On the contrary, Bitcoin’s market cap is in the process of creating a higher low, which means money is flowing into the market. So if Bitcoin’s capitalization is not decreasing, then it would mean that new capital is being injected into altcoins. To be more accurate, altcoins appear to be growing at a faster pace than Bitcoin at the moment.

This would explain the bullish higher low setup of the altcoin market cap. Significantly more money is coming than leaving. Investments are flooding in that it threatens to send Bitcoin dominance into a downtrend.

Bottom Closely Resembles 2014 Bear Market

Technical analysis is the study of historical price movement. This is one of the reasons why we keep going back to the 2014 bear market. We study it to see if participants are behaving the way they did back then. What we discovered was surprising.

2014 altcoin bear market

During the 2014 bear market, altcoin market capitalization suffered a 86% devaluation in 38 weeks before it established a bottom. In today’s bear market, the altcoin market cap plummeted 85% in 36 weeks. From the looks of it, the bottom was already established on the 36th weekly bar on September 10, 2018.

2018 altcoin bear market

These are astonishing resemblances in terms of percentage loss and bear market length. If the resemblance continues, as clues suggest, then the altcoin season may be around the corner.

Bottom Line

The altcoin season can be profitable to people who enter the markets right before the explosion. In our analysis, we showed the stabilizing altcoin market capitalization, weakening of Bitcoin dominance, and mirroring to the 2014 bear market. All these clues tell us that alt season is on the horizon.

Kiril is a CFA Charterholder and financial professional with 5+ years of experience in financial writing, analysis and product ownership. He has passed all three CFA exams on first attempt and has a bachelor's degree with a specialty in finance. Kiril’s current focus is on cryptocurrencies and funds, as he does his own crypto research and is a Product Manager at Mitre Media. He also has his personal website, InvestorAcademy.org where he teaches people about the basics of investing. His ultimate goal is to help people with limited knowledge of finance and investments to create investment portfolios easily, and in line with their unique circumstances.
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