Bitcoin Beats Rest of Crypto Market as Ether, DeFi Tokens Struggle

Bitcoin's market share of all cryptocurrencies rises to highest since April 2021.

AccessTimeIconOct 17, 2023 at 10:05 p.m. UTC
Updated Oct 18, 2023 at 11:38 a.m. UTC
  • Bitcoin showed strength above $28,000 on Tuesday, while ether, uniswap and sui struggled.
  • BTC's market share of all cryptos rose to 52%, its highest since April 2021.
  • Bitcoin still has "the upper hand" among digital assets due to a potential spot BTC ETF approval and next year's halving event, ByteTree analysts said.

Bitcoin (BTC) continued to outperform the cryptocurrency market as Ethereum's ether (ETH) and decentralized finance, or DeFi, tokens slid Tuesday.

BTC, the largest digital asset by market cap, sunk to $28,100 early during the day before rising to near $28,500, slightly up over the past 24 hours.

Meanwhile, ETH showed weakness and dropped 1.8% to near $1,560 over the same period, marking a fresh 15-month low price relative to BTC. The broader digital asset market proxy, the CoinDesk Market Index, was slightly down by 0.6%.

Among crypto sectors, the CoinDesk DeFi Index (DCF) struggled the most during the day with its 3.7% decline, led by decentralized exchange UniSwap's native token (UNI) tumbling almost 7% after Uniswap Labs said it will impose a 0.15% fee on some trades executed via its front end starting Tuesday.

The native token of the Sui blockchain (SUI) plummeted 7.6% as the director of the South Korean Financial Supervisory Service reportedly raised concerns that the Sui team could be manipulating the supply of the token via staking. The Sui Foundation called the report "materially false."

Rising bitcoin dominance

Bitcoin's strong showing drove its market share among all cryptocurrencies – also known as the Bitcoin Dominance Rate – to over 52%, its highest level since April 2021, TradingView data shows.

The metric can go even higher, according to investment advisory firm ByteTree, as market participants yearn for a not-fake approval of a spot BTC exchange-traded fund and bitcoin's quadrennial halving approaches early next year, considered bullish for the asset's price.

"Crypto is much less risky today than at any time over the past two years," ByteTree analysts said in a Monday market report. "But, with halving close at hand, we sense bitcoin still has the upper hand for a while longer."

Edited by Nick Baker.


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Krisztian  Sandor

Krisztian Sandor is a reporter on the U.S. markets team focusing on stablecoins and institutional investment. He holds BTC and ETH.