Viacoin. Groestlcoin. Steem. Enjin. Civic. Long forgotten altcoins and dormant shitcoins have been having a fun week. Left, right, and center altcoins have been popping off, producing 100%+ gains for those fortunate to have been holding a bag. The question on many traders minds is whether these movements are isolated events or evidence of something greater on the horizon. Could this signal the imminent return of alt season?
Altcoins Keep Popping Off Like Champagne Corks
Trading volume remains muted and BTC is still stagnant, but in other respects, 2019’s cryptocurrency market has escaped the barren wilderness that closed out the previous year. Across the cryptosphere, there have been green shoots of growth, and in some cases those shoots have become beanstalks and ascended to the heavens overnight. On March 11, viacoin (VIA), which has languished in the crypto doldrums for months, went stratospheric, rising by over 80% in just a couple of hours.
A couple of days earlier, it was another altcoin with a Dutch connection, groestlcoin (GRS), that embarked on a moon mission, shooting up by over 200%. While movements of this magnitude have not been mirrored across the board, they are by no means isolated cases. In recent weeks, traders have become accustomed to awakening to news of another random altcoin doing a 2x. Notable examples include cosmo (up 471% for the year to date), enjin coin (318%), inocoin (343%), metadium (301%) and theta (219%).
Alt Season or Uncorrelated Events?
Popular wisdom holds that alt season occurs when cryptos begin recording significant gains in unison, with movements occurring wholly on speculation rather than fundamentals, prompting BTC’s dominance of the entire market to slip several percent. That hasn’t occurred yet, with bitcoin stubbornly clinging to a dominance of around 51.5% since the start of the year. Alt season is not back, therefore, despite the fact that half of the coins in the top 50 by market cap have posted double-digit gains for the year to date, the majority by 25% or greater. Just two of the gainers from this list – dash and monero (4% apiece) – are in single figures for the year, and the biggest winners from the top 50 – ENJ, THETA, BNB, and CRO – have notched up triple-digit growth.
While the explosive growth of altcoins such as viacoin appears unrelated to project fundamentals, other surges are easier to attribute. Groestlcoin has just announced a fiat-crypto debit Mastercard, while Enjin has confirmed a partnership with Samsung that’s believed to be tied to the cryptocurrency wallet that will ship with the Galaxy S10. The impressive growth of Binance’s native token has also been fueled by solid development work, including the platform’s forthcoming DEX and increased merchant acceptance. The cryptosphere hasn’t entirely lost its mind then: most of the altcoins popping off can be correlated, at least loosely, to tangible events. Even with this knowledge, however, predicting the next coin to pull a 2x or 3x remains little more than a crapshoot.