In March this year the crypto community on social media was beginning to discuss when the next alt season might occur.
For those new to the world of cryptocurrency, an alt season is the part of the cryptocurrency market cycle when altcoins can “moon” – ie rise quickly
against the Dollar and Bitcoin at once.
This might happen only once annually and perhaps last for up to a week or so. Alt season is a term used by currency traders to describe a period when all altcoins can outperform Bitcoin and the Dollar.
Catching the upturn can require skill in predicting the market – traders generally watch the price of the most successful altcoins at the time, for example Ethereum. However, this may change according to the market.
So, at the beginning of March, the crypto community was beginning to debate when an alt season might next occur.
Alt season predictions begin
On 6 March, David Holt tweeted:
Short handguide (thread) to the next altseason (may be soon, may not be).
— David Holt (@IDrawCharts) 6 March 2019
He followed this with a list of pointers on what to look for, so here in compact format is the handy guide to getting the best out of the alt season which he tweeted over the course of a few days:
- Look for coins which are attached to functioning, consumer-friendly and easy-to-use applications. These applications should not REQUIRE cryptocurrency to use, as it’s a barrier to entry, but should integrate crypto seamlessly in a way which enhances the user experience.
- The next run will be fueled by some combination of greater user adoption, and corporate speculative interest. Both sides will want to see functioning products and companies. They’re far easier to understand and value from a traditional perspective.
- Avoid companies who are “overly disrupting”. The odds are high that the tech is not ready, nor are the consumers for adoption. This is a longer game than many realize.
- I refer to a company in the same breath as a coin, because for “smart money”, the company is more important. Without a strong company, the coin will likely fail (unless it follows the lines of Bitcoin, which is not currently replaceable).
- Examples of companies/coins I think do this well: @brave ( $BAT ) @RealHxro ( $HXRO ) @metalpaysme ( $MTL ) @binance ( $BNB ) Note how each has a strong and thriving userbase, which in all cases except $HXRO does not REQUIRE their coin to be used in order to function.
- This is not a recommendation to market-buy these coins, rather to give an example of the qualities you should be looking for. I’d be interested in hearing other’s thoughts on the matter, as I have not yet seen much discussion on the topic. We’ll see how this ages in 1 year.
Holt predicts that a combination of user adoption and corporate speculative interest will “fuel” the next alt run – and by the end of Q1, there was already speculation that the alt season might be closing in on the crypto community fast.
On 2 April, entrepreneur, investor and cypbersecurity/compliance expert Larry Beck tweeted:
— Larry Beck 🔑 (@larrybeck_) 2 April 2019
What was revealed in the tweet and link was that, although Bitcoin had experienced a 10% rise in QI, according to data from Messari, a total of 118 cryptocurrencies had outperformed it. Some experienced percentage growth that was in triple digits, meaning the network value of all cryptos excluding Bitcoin was within 1% of exceeding Bitcoin’s network value in March 2019. It seemed the alt season really was upon us.
Bitcoin remains the most popular and widely used cryptocurrency, but with more choice in the crypto space, consumers are exploring other options, it seems. Winning the popularity contest does not always guarantee growth.
In the Weiss Crypto Ratings released in March, EOS was ranked first for growth, going from 7,000 daily user transactions in 2018 to 4.6 million by March 2019 – fourteen times the growth rate of Bitcoin and eight times the comparable growth rate of Ethereum, signalling significant consumer confidence in EOS.
WAX went from zero daily user transactions to 4.4m in the same period – while data from Binance show that Ravencoin (RVN) experienced a 386% increase in the first quarter of 2019, most of which occurred in March due to a price jump ($0.013 to $0.016 USD).
Alt season declared almost open – then Bitcoin surges
On 6 April, Larry Beck tweeted about the media coverage of a sudden surge by Bitcoin, which experienced a jump in price on 2 April to take it to nearly $5,000 USD at $4,926.59 USD. There had already been predictions of a high for Bitcoin of around $6,000 USD – proving how unpredictable the market can be, as it reached its highest price since November 2018, rising nearly 20% over 24 hours and increasing its market cap by $5.1m, which took it to more than $78m.
Bitcoin is the largest crypto by market cap – the total value of its shares – but recently there have been predictions that it will be overtaken by Ripple XRP simply because of Ripple’s “bank-friendliness”. However, XRP remains in third place by market value – and Bitcoin’s recent surge suggests that it is not done yet as being the most popular crypto.
This is why in an alt season it is generally recommended to avoid going all-in at the height of the season and holding, however tempting it might be, as the price of crypto or altcoin can drop just as quickly as it can surge.
But as David Holt says on his Twitter feed:
also why do people argue over being right on calls on twitter?
The guy who’s right makes money and the guy who’s wrong loses it. Rinse and repeat enough times, and…?
— David Holt (@IDrawCharts) 8 April 2019
Alt season can require nerves of steel and the instincts of bird of prey – for some an alt season can be a thrill a minute, for others a nightmare. But as David Holt conceded in his tweet of 6 March, currently Bitcoin is “not replaceable” – and in recent days, has proved itself to be the original and at times, still the best.
Chart image licensed via Shutterstock.