5 months ago
Altcoins may be more than the ugly stepsisters of Bitcoin, many analysts say. During the Bitcoin rally, many have performed better.
The Bitcoin rally over the past weeks has drawn a great deal of attention. The cryptocurrency broke the US$ 10,000 barrier and at time of writing is hovering at just over US$ 10,300. But alternative digital tokens, altcoins, are outperforming the original. Even coins like Einsteinium and Kick that were written off long ago have more than doubled in value since December.
Hundreds of exchanges worldwide offer investors attractive terms to trade and capitalize on the renewal of risk-taking in crypto. Malta-based crypto exchange giant Binance, for instance, has also been issuing fresh coins on its network. While the market for initial coin offerings is a tiny fraction of what it was in 2018, it’s still alive. Last year, companies raised US$ 3.26bn through various types of coin sales, according to tracker CoinSchedule.
“I’ve long expected the demise of the long tail of alts, and so far been mostly frustrated,” says Nic Carter, co-founder of Boston-based tracker Coin Metrics. “Most of the coins did decline by 90% plus, but didn’t outright fail. It turns out that cryptocurrencies just tend to zombify or fade away over time, rather than dying quickly.”
Altcoins: a force to be reckoned with
The total market cap for altcoins is on an uptick. More than 1,440 coins have met their demise, according to dead-coin tracker Coinopsy. But there are about 5,100 coins – the highest number ever – that are still alive and kicking. That’s more than double the 2,073 token count on January 1, 2019, according to tracker CoinMarketCap.com.
Some of these coins are held by venture capitalists and hedge funds, many of which invested at the height of the ICO boom of 2017 and 2018, and may be actively propping up prices.
The coronavirus epidemic in China may actually be helping to fuel risk-taking rather than haven buying, said Omer Ozden, chief executive officer of RockTree Capital, a Beijing-based investment advisory firm and merchant bank.
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