Another altcoin cycle seems to begin, as the dominance of Bitcoin (BTC) in terms of market capitalization fell toward 38.8%, after keeping above 43% for weeks. As altcoins bottomed out and started booming, a new trading cycle has begun. At the same time, traders are even more confident of a breakout in prices, coming on track in May, as predicted.
But this time, Bitcoin’s price seems to be bound within a range, stabilizing around $8,000. Despite the drop in dominance, the BTC price remains robust at $8,340.54, while trading has recovered on robust volumes above $7 billion. At this point, Bitcoin may once again turn into a store of value for speculative gains made in altcoins.
And while the share of BTC from the entire market cap of the crypto market is falling, the share of altcoins and tokens is rising with a rather fast pace.
But this time, the rally in BTC prices is not appealing to US-based investors, where regulations tightened in the past weeks. Japan is, once again, responsible for up to 56% of the volumes, and the share of the US dollar has fallen to 19% of trading. Even Korea has slid, with around 4.5% of trades. This entirely new risk profile of Bitcoin will have to stay around for a while to reveal an effect on the price. Even USDT trading remains subdued compared to the yen, at around 11% of all deals.
Meanwhile, in an event of “miners follow the money”, the Bitcoin network’s hashrate has increased to 30,537,557 TH/s, a record rate as new hardware came online in 2018. A rough estimate of energy consumption is 950 kW for one transaction. In terms of energy consumption, the Bitcoin network matches Switzerland, as more powerful machines are added. ASIC mining may be an even larger drain on energy, as the powerful machines have been built for mining Monero (XMR) and even Ethereum (ETH).