When altseason? Here’s why Bitcoin is leaving major altcoins like Ethereum behind

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Ether (ETH), the native cryptocurrency of the Ethereum blockchain, has been lagging behind Bitcoin (BTC). Historically, when BTC surges, altcoins tend to rally with larger upside price movements.

This time, Bitcoin has been clearly outperforming the altcoin market, particularly in December. BTC market cap dominance has recently risen to a one-year high of around 70%, largely due to the big sell-off in XRP in the past week. 

BTC/USD vs. ETH/BTC (yellow), LTC/BTC (orange), XRP/BTC (blue) 1-day candle chart (Bitstamp). Source: Tradingview

The difference in the price discovery of Bitcoin

The difference between the current price trend of Bitcoin and previous bull cycles in 2018 and 2019 is that BTC has entered price discovery.

Simply put, price discovery is when an asset’s price surpasses the previous high and keeps going into uncharted territory. Altcoins usually become stagnant when Bitcoin enters price discovery because BTC sucks up the volume from the altcoin market.