Avalanche, Helium Lead Monthly Crypto Gains as Bullish Bitcoin Consolidation Spurs Altcoin Season Call

Tokens in the DeFi and Culture & Entertainment sector indexes gained 39%-42% over the past month, showcasing the widening breadth of the crypto rally.

AccessTimeIconDec 1, 2023 at 6:38 p.m. UTC
Updated Mar 9, 2024 at 1:52 a.m. UTC
  • Smaller tokens outperformed bitcoin during bullish November for crypto markets.
  • AVAX, HNT, BLUR and RUNE were among the best performers with doubling prices in a month.
  • The widening breadth of the crypto rally indicates "alt season," ByteTree said.

November brought explosive gains for altcoins as a wide range of smaller cryptocurrencies outperformed bitcoin (BTC), prompting calls for an altcoin season.

The native token of Avalanche (AVAX) surged 97% over the past month, the most among large-cap digital assets, benefitting from news that finance giants JPMorgan and Apollo are using the network to test real-world-asset tokenization.

Transaction volumes on Avalanche's blockchain also experienced an uptick over the month, recording its highest weekly traffic of $2 billion in transactions in a year, a report by blockchain analytics firm IntoTheBlock pointed out.

The report also noted a sizable increase in inflows to Avalanche over the last two quarters of the year, with $79 million in net inflows in Q3 and $56 million in Q4 through late November, helping rejuvenate the ecosystem.

Avalanche weekly transaction volumes (IntoTheBlock)
Avalanche weekly transaction volumes (IntoTheBlock)

Internet-of-things communications protocol Helium (HNT) also stood out with a 110% rally last month, CoinDesk data shows. Other notable best-performers include non-fungible token (NFT) marketplace Blur's token (BLUR) and decentralized cross-chain liquidity protocol THORchain's native crypto (RUNE), both doubling in prices through the month.

Altcoins outperform as BTC grinds above $38,000

Bitcoin (BTC), meanwhile, booked a 10% monthly gain, spending most of the month between $34,000 and $38,000. After multiple previous breakout attempts being sold quickly, the largest crypto by market cap apparently jumped above the range on the last day of November, hitting a fresh yearly high of $38,800.

The second-largest crypto, ether (ETH), increased 13% in November, stabilizing above the $2,000 level for the first time since April and consolidating there.

Slowing momentum for large-cap cryptocurrencies prompted investors to rotate profits into riskier corners of the digital asset market.

This is visible in CoinDesk Market Index sector performances, which posted larger gains than BTC. The culture and entertainment sector index (CNE) – a proxy for NFT and metaverse tokens – and DeFi sector index (DCF) rose 42% and 39% over the past month, respectively.

CoinDesk Market Index Sectors' performance over the past month
CoinDesk Market Index Sectors' performance over the past month

The widening breadth of the crypto rally signals that we are in the midst of an "altcoin season," investment advisory firm ByteTree said in a report this week. Market observers refer to altcoin seasons as periods when smaller cryptos outperform bitcoin.

ByteTree data showed that about half of the top 100 cryptocurrencies are in neutral or rising trend versus BTC. "That confirms it is alt season," the report said.

Edited by Nikhilesh De.


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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.