Market Wrap: Bitcoin Rises Again as Altcoins Outperform

Bitcoin is back above $62K and investors are pumping more money into crypto funds.

AccessTimeIconOct 25, 2021 at 8:27 p.m. UTC
Updated May 11, 2023 at 5:12 p.m. UTC

Bitcoin is recovering from a weekend dip as traders anticipate the third U.S. futures-focused bitcoin exchange-traded fund (ETF) listing. The VanEck Bitcoin Futures ETF is expected to launch on Tuesday and will trade under the ticker symbol XBTF. Analysts continue to expect further upside in bitcoin’s price given strong investor sentiment on ETF approvals.

Last week, crypto investment funds saw a record $1.47 billion in inflows as investors positioned themselves ahead of the first U.S. bitcoin-linked ETF launch, by ProShares. Alternative cryptocurrency-focused funds also saw inflows, which coincided with a near 30% rise in Solana’s SOL token over the past week.

Analysts are also monitoring the recent rotation to alternative coins (altcoins), which are starting to outperform bitcoin. “The crypto market is turning from being dominated by short-term traders who want to ride the speculative trends to longer-term investors who value the technical capabilities of the different blockchains, challenging bitcoin’s market dominance,” Anders Nysteen, quantitative analyst at Saxo Bank, wrote in a research report.

Latest prices

  • Bitcoin (BTC): $62,813.67, +3.3%
  • Ether (ETH): $4,191.45, +3.53%
  • S&P 500: $4,566.48, +0.47%
  • Gold: $1,806.85, +0.69%
  • 10-year Treasury yield closed at 1.64%

Record $1.5 billion crypto fund inflows

Investors pumped a record $1.47 billion in new money into digital asset investment products last week, fueled by a rally in cryptocurrencies and the launch of the ProShares bitcoin futures exchange-traded fund, according to a CoinShares report Monday.

Bitcoin-focused funds dominated last week’s inflows, at 99%. During the prior week, inflows into bitcoin-focused funds were at $70 million, CoinDesk’s Lyllah Ledesma reported.

Weekly crypto asset flows (CoinShares)

Bitcoin dominance declines

The bitcoin dominance ratio, or the measure of bitcoin’s market capitalization relative to the total crypto market, declined last week to 45%. The decline in the dominance ratio was due to the recent outperformance of several altcoins such as ETH and SOL.

Some traders are starting to rotate into altcoins, which suggests a greater appetite for risk. “Overall, we are structurally long BTC, ETH and most layer 1s such as ALGO and SOL,” crypto trading firm QCP Capital wrote in a Telegram chat.

But is the rotation to altcoins sustainable?

The chart below shows the bitcoin dominance ratio, which increased from a recent low of 40% in mid-September. A similar situation occurred in 2018 before the start of a crypto bear market. At that time, the bitcoin dominance ratio rose as investors reduced their exposure to altcoins and sought relative safety in bitcoin.

Currently, the bitcoin dominance ratio is declining from a high of 48% in July, which was when crypto prices stabilized from a correction earlier this year. Similar to February-March 2018, traders are returning to buy the dip in altcoins that have lagged behind a sharp recovery in bitcoin over the past month. For now, some analysts expect altcoins to take the lead, because cryptocurrencies typically produce positive returns during the fourth quarter.

Bitcoin dominance ratio (CoinDesk, TradingView)

Altcoin roundup

  • Shiba Inu hits record high: Shiba Inu (SHIB) tapped lifetime highs on Sunday, trading at $0.0000455 at 11:20 UTC, topping the previous record reached on May 10, CoinDesk’s Omkar Godbole reported. Prices for the meme token have risen by nearly 50% in the past 24 hours, with a month-to-date gain of almost 500%. SHIB’s latest rise comes amid rumors that Robinhood may soon list the cryptocurrency on its platform.
  • Solana also hit a new record high: Prices for Solana’s SOL tokens hit a record high on early Monday as a majority of tokens representing layer 1 blockchains followed bitcoin, CoinDesk’s Muyao Shen reported. The token, which is backed by FTX crypto exchange founder Sam Bankman-Fried, traded at $218.9 on Monday. According to decentralized finance data provider Defi Llama, the total value locked in Solana reached an all-time high of approximately $13.91 billion.
  • Ether hit all-time high last week while seeing continued outflows: Ether (ETH), the native cryptocurrency of the Ethereum blockchain, hit a record high on Oct. 21 at $4,361, CoinDesk’s Lyllah Ledesma reported. However, despite the price increase, funds focused on the world’s second-largest cryptocurrency by market capitalization saw outflows for a third consecutive week, totaling $1.4 million last week. Other altcoins, including SOL, Cardano’s ADA currency and Binance coin (BNB), all saw inflows.

Relevant news

Other markets

Most digital assets in the CoinDesk 20 ended the day higher.

Notable winners as of 21:00 UTC (4:00 p.m. ET):

  • Chainlink (LINK): +10.86%
  • The Graph (GRT): +9.89%
  • Algorand (ALGO): +9.71%

Notable losers:

  • Tether (USDT): -0.02%
  • USD coin (USDC): -0.01%


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Damanick Dantes

Damanick was a crypto market analyst at CoinDesk where he wrote the daily Market Wrap and provided technical analysis. He is a Chartered Market Technician designation holder and member of the CMT Association. Damanick is also a portfolio strategist and does not invest in digital assets.

Helene Braun

Helene is a New York-based reporter covering Wall Street, the rise of the spot bitcoin ETFs and crypto exchanges. She is also the co-host of CoinDesk's Markets Daily show. Helene is a graduate of New York University's business and economic reporting program and has appeared on CBS News, YahooFinance and Nasdaq TradeTalks. She holds BTC and ETH.