The Year Of Alt Season: Altcoins Dominate Market In 2021

Bitcoin has had a favorable year in 2021 but the altcoins have dominated the market. The advent of the alt seasons this year had seen multiple altcoins rally towards new highs even when market-mover bitcoin had remained stagnant at times. This move, coupled with the growth and adoption that rocked the crypto space this year, has proven that the altcoins dominated the market on a large scale.

Altcoins Rule 2021

So many new things came out of the altcoin industry this year and have found success at the same time. Basically, the year 2021 has been one long alt season when we look at the performance of some of these assets.

Related Reading | The Year In Review: An Emotional Rollercoaster For Crypto Investors

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A lot of this growth has been driven by decentralized finance (DeFi), NFTs, and most recently, the metaverse gaining popularity among investors. These have brought to the forefront some interesting projects that have had their tokens rally because of it. Most of the time, they followed the growth of bitcoin. While at other times, these assets broke free and rallied on their own accord.

Altcoins total market cap chart from

Altcoins market cap at $1.32 trillion | Source: Altcoins Total Market Cap on

This has led to bitcoin losing a significant portion of its market dominance to altcoins. Starting the year out at about 75% of total market dominance, it has now fallen to 38% where altcoins have continuously eaten into the pioneer cryptocurrency’s market share. Ethereum was, as always, leading this charge as it took the largest chunk of the market share.

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Memecoins also found favor in the market this year. Coins like Dogecoin and Shiba Inu grew into the thousand and million percentile, as well as “ETH killers” also making a play in the market.

Mid-Caps Take The Lead

Altcoins always showed out in the indexes with triple-digit gains for the year. Bitcoin which had a tremendous run of it this year still recorded the lowest gains being the only index that returned double-digit gains. All other indexes, the small, mid, and large cap indexes enjoyed the majority of the gains.

Related Reading | Bullish Signal? Ethereum Market Dominance Sitting Above 20%

Bitcoin’s returns for the year only came out to 73%. While this is still vastly ahead of top investment vehicles like gold, the S&P, and NASDAQ, it still performed poorly in comparison to the other indexes.

Chart showing crypto indexes performance in 2021

Mid Cap Index records highest returns of 2021 | Source: Arcane Research

The Large Cap Index saw the second-lowest returns with 179%, but even it saw returns over 100% higher than that of bitcoin. The Small Cap Index made a splash with returns reaching as high as 485% for the year.

Finally, the Mid Cap Index came out as the winner for 2021 marking returns of 830%. This index consists mostly of Layer 1 tokens which had seen some of the most gains for the year, outperforming even ethereum despite its massive 485% returns for the year.

Featured image from Investment U, charts from Arcane Research and


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XRP Set for Massive Breakout With Altcoins Poised to Steal the Show From Bitcoin, Predicts Top Crypto Analyst

One closely followed crypto analyst is bullish on XRP and thinks that altcoins are in a prime position to outpace Bitcoin (BTC).

The pseudonymous analyst known as Credible Crypto tells his 257,400 Twitter followers that XRP’s price structure looks very similar to data-sharing protocol OriginTrail, whose native token TRAC just rallied more than 300% following its recent listing on Coinbase Pro.


He expects XRP to follow a similar path to TRAC, taking the cryptocurrency back to its previous all-time high of $3.40.

“The XRP chart below is from my last YouTube video on XRP made in August. The chart next to it is another coin that I came across today that has the same structure but is one step ahead with the 5th wave already in progress. Do you see it now?”

Source: Credible Crypto

Source: Credible Crypto

After Ethereum’s new breakout against Bitcoin (ETH/BTC), the trader anticipates ETH’s next leg up to kick off a new alt season.

He also notes that Bitcoin dominance has likely already topped out, further paving the way for an altcoin rally.

“ETH/BTC broke out today, closing above the key resistance zone I was watching. This is a great sign and indicates BTC dominance may have already found its top and alts may be about to steal the show, led by ETH.”

The analyst says that Bitcoin dominance dropping doesn’t necessarily mean that BTC’s price will drop.

Taking a closer look at the top crypto asset, Credible says that Bitcoin is close to deciding whether it wants to break to the upside or continue ranging.

According to his analysis, a rejection of $63,000-$64,000 could take BTC back to major support around $58.000.

“63-64k tagged BTC. Now to see if we break out to new ATH [all-time high] or reject soon and continue to range.”

Source: Credible Crypto

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Why Bitcoin’s next breakout may not be an altcoin season signal

On April 14, Bitcoin (BTC) reached a $64,900 all-time high after accumulating 124.5% gains in 2021. However, a 27.5% correction followed over the next eleven days, marking a $47,000 local bottom.

The popular Crypto Fear and Greed Index reached its lowest level in 12 months on April 25, signaling that investors were closer to “extreme fear,” which was a complete reversal from the “extreme greed” level seen during the Bitcoin rally above $60,000.

This downward move from April 14 to 25 wiped out $200 billion from the altcoin market capitalization. Still, the recovery that followed could serve as a guide on what to expect when Bitcoin finally manages to exit the sub-$40,000 level.

Bitcoin price in USD, Coinbase. Source: TradingView

Altcoins posted a similar trend, bottoming at $850 billion on April 22 but fully recovering to a record $1.34 trillion high on May 10. There is no guarantee that this pattern will repeat, but there is no better source of information than the recent market itself.

Altcoin market capitalization, USD billion. Source: TradingView

Cheaper is not always better

Many investors believe that altcoins consistently outperform when Bitcoin price takes off, but is that an absolute truth?

Although that has been the case in 2021, Bitcoin was the clear winner in the last quarter of 2020 as it surpassed the broader market by 110%. However, analyzing the winners from the late-April bull run could provide interesting insights on what to expect for the next rally.

Top altcoin performances from April 22 to May 9. Source: CoinCodex

Among the top-100 tokens, Ether Classic (ETC), Polygon (MATIC), Waves, and Fantom (FTM) were the clear winners. The winners were either scaling solutions or smart contract platforms, and the sector leader Ether (ETH) also outperformed the market.

80% of the worst performers were sub-$1 coins which is precisely the opposite of investors’ usual expectations. There’s a persistent myth that cheap, nominally-priced altcoins will excel during altcoin rallies, but that clearly was not the case.

Worst performance from the top-100 altcoins between April 22 to May 9. Source: CoinCodex

Timing the market is impossible

Unfortunately, there is no way to predict when the current correction will be over, and altcoins historically do not usually excel during bear trends. This means calling ‘alt season’ at the first sign of Bitcoin’s price recovery is an inaccurate strategy that can lead to financial ruin.

A general rule of thumb for an ‘alt season’ kick-off is two or three consecutive days of 30% or higher accumulated gains on cryptocurrencies with little-to-no development, including Dogecoin (DOGE), Litecoin (LTC), and Ether Classic (ETC).

The views and opinions expressed here are solely those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of Cointelegraph. Every investment and trading move involves risk. You should conduct your own research when making a decision.