What is Up With Altcoin Prices Following Bitcoin’s Price?

It can seem like no matter what happens, the major altcoin prices follow Bitcoin’s price, even when it is illogical. We ask, “why?!”

UPDATE FEBRUARY 2018: The article below was written in October 2017 when Bitcoin was outpacing alts after a market-wide correction. It was then updated in December 2017 right before Bitcoin stagnated and alts boomed. Now I’m adding notes late February 2018, a few weeks after a market-wide correction and during a time when Bitcoin is outpacing alts. Keep that in mind as you read. We could be entering a cycle like the one we were in when I wrote this originally!

UPDATE DECEMBER 2017: I’ve learned over time that the fact that every major exchange offers BTC trading pairs (where you can trade BTC for alts rather than alts for fiat or USDT) is the key to understanding why alts follow BTC. Because BTC is the top coin being traded for other alts in terms of market cap, volume, and general popularity, it is thus at the center of the crypto economy and has some gravity behind it (enough gravity to have an almost constant relationship with alt prices). I make that point below, but I want to stress it here as I underestimated the importance of it in the original article. The bottom line is that BTC can, for a myriad of reasons including the ones listed above, lift up alts, suppress alts, or depress alts. Add that to the fact that people have stops set in BTC and many bots trade in BTC, and add to that the effects of everyone doing TA and watching the alt/BTC charts for buy/sell signals, and you can see how changes in BTC’s price or even stagnation in BTC’s price can have a cascade effect on the crypto economy. Consider these points as you read the rest of these insights and theories from October 19th, 2017 below. For a more recent article on historical alt and bitcoin relationships see this article on the relation between BTC and alts.

DEVILS ADVOCATE [this was written when BTC was on a run and alts were stagnating in October 2017]: This page will argue that recently the only move for investors wanting profit now has been to buy BTC because other coins have at best poorly tracked BTC’s price making them sub-par investments compared to BTC at this time. However, one could argue BTC is now overbought, and Ether and Alts have very attractive price tags. Maybe Bitcoin Gold will end up being a joke, and everyone will jump to the top Alts? One needs to consider these sorts of things. This page presents ideas and discusses theories and insights; it does not offer investment advice. We recommend a conservative strategy of dollar cost averaging in major coins, not putting all your eggs in the Bitcoin basket based on any article you read including this one. The investing strategy you use is your call.

UPDATE DECEMBER 2017: Bitcoin Gold did just fine, make sure to be in BTC for the forks (consider the perks of the Binance crypto exchange and wallets that let you control your private keys). BTC is still a clear winner for long-term dollar cost averaging. Other coins have out-performed short-term or at specific entry points, however, thus far, nothing has performed as well as BTC consistently over time.

NOTE: Below we compare two major Alts (AKA Altcoins, coins that aren’t Bitcoin), Ether and Litecoin, to Bitcoin. Most other major alts follow the same trend. Some minor alts only do generally (but the correlation is less pronounced). The idea is to speculate and present theories to help you better understand cryptocurrency; it is not to offer you investment advice. UPDATE DECEMBER 2017: One reason it is less pronounced with other alts is that a few alts will be “pumped” (for valid and less-than-valid reasons on a given day), alts that are pumped tend to break the trend. They will usually resume following BTC within 24 – 48 hours after the volume increase dies down.

NOTE: There are some exceptional alts out there tech-wise; the Ethereum smart contract network for example. Even without the Ether token, Ethereum is “bad ass” as they say. This article will focus on values of investing coins over the course of months (based on what has happened since the summer primarily). Obviously, in the short term, anything could happen, and long-term some alts might breakout and take the lead. In fact, I think this is very likely if crypto can hold against its upcoming challenges. In other words, there is much to like about the major alts (top coins by market cap). With that disclaimer in mind, Bitcoin has been the clear winner so far.

“The Bitcoin Standard”: Bitcoin is the Pack Leader, but That Only Explains so Much

The simplest answer to the question of Bitcoin’s standing is, that “Bitcoin is king and queen, and the other coins are at best following it.”

It is hard to come up with a fundamental algorithm with which to price coins, so coin prices just follow Bitcoin as a sort of gold standard, “the Bitcoin Standard.”

It is the number one coin, and thus it is the coin that decides the market price in general.

Unfortunately, though, that answer suggests that all other coins are somewhat pointless as anything other than short-term investments (compared to Bitcoin).

UPDATE FEBRUARY 2018: One key here is that cryptocurrencies tend to follow a rotation. When alts are not in rotation, they are almost all sub-par compared to Bitcoin. When they are in rotation they tend to provide far bigger gains than Bitcoin if you can time them right. See May – June 2017 and December 2017 – January 2018. In these times alts were in rotation and BTC stagnated. Outside of these times alts are very tricky to invest in and generally Bitcoin will outpace them due to the relationship between Bitcoin and alts. Inside these times, when Bitcoin stagnates, altcoins heat up and heat up fast. Timing the market is next to impossible, but this is all worth keeping in mind.

They Don’t Just Follow Bitcoin Though, They Follow it in a Lackluster Way With Fewer Gains

If the above weren’t bad enough, it gets worse.

The major alts don’t follow BTC 100% of the time. Rather, they tend to exaggerate dips but not spikes.

That is, people tend to pull out of alts and go into BTC when BTC goes up, but all coins tend to go down in unison. If you do the math on that, it is not good.

This has led to altcoins not regaining highs as Bitcoin blew past its highs. The result is: when Bitcoin goes up the alts follow slowly (after going down and then lagging behind); And when Bitcoin goes down, the alts seem to follow perfectly or even exaggerate the decline.

After the early September crash, Litecoin and Ether picked up alongside Bitcoin, and all three regained some value. Then, Bitcoin sped off ahead of the pack (draining some value out of alts in the process). After that, Litecoin and Ether caught up a little (while Bitcoin Cash and some others either fell or picked up with Lite and Ether).

Then, Bitcoin went racing off for the moon and alts got left behind. Then alts picked up, but not back, and past highs like Bitcoin did. Then Bitcoin fell, and Alts fell with it starting October 17. Then, the same thing. Bitcoin got back to its high, but Litecoin and Ether have a ways to go to even see their pre-October 17 highs. Now, at mid-day Oct 20th, BTC is off past $6k, and Ether and Lite are dropping.

If this pattern keeps up over time, alts will see small gains and Bitcoin will blow past alts to the extent where investing in any crypto other than Bitcoin becomes absurd (compared to Bitcoin).

Now with that said, it is very likely this won’t keep up. That at some point people will realize that other coins have unique value and shouldn’t follow BTC around like an index that tracks the price of BTC. However, that time is not yet upon us, and for now, the whole thing is all a little lackluster (unless you are 100% in BTC).

I am not trying to be all doom and gloom here; in fact, I’m bullish on alts longterm. I’m just pointing out the obvious for the short and mid-term. That is, if alts can’t start standing on their own two bits in their trading price, they are going to become pointless as a medium-term investment over time (which might make them a more useful currency than BTC but has some negative implications).

NOTE FROM OCTOBER 2017: Since August of 2017, the best you can do with any coin other than Bitcoin has been to quickly jump in another coin for a quick profit if that coin lags when BTC rises. This would have worked wonders on October 12th for example if you bought Ether and Litecoin then and then sold again quickly. Sure, if you bought $225 Ether or $45 Litecoins in early September you are happy with the current prices. However, you are not as happy as if you bought a $3k Bitcoin and that is the point. Short-term trades have been fine, and long-term holds have been OK, but in the interim, compared to BTC, alts are lacking.

UPDATE FEBRUARY 2018: Again, this all changed when BTC went out of rotation and alts went into rotation in December 2017. This happened very quickly and it was hard to catch if you weren’t looking for the pattern to reemerge. If you see Bitcoin stagnate and a few alts like XRP and XLM start making constant and strong gains, this is a hint that the rotation is coming again. It is in these times that alts can break the trends noted on this page. Historically, it is really only in these times that alts break the trend. So although things could change, this is vital to keep in mind.

Please consider, Alts Have Very Little In Common With Bitcoin

The above would make sense if Ether were a Bitcoin copy, or if Litecoin didn’t have its own pros and cons, but coins like Ether, Litecoin, and say Ripple (just to add another interesting coin in here) are not carbon copies of Bitcoin.

Litecoin aside, most other alts have nothing to do with Bitcoin. Thus it begs the question of this page, “then why the heck is their price so closely connected?”

They are all cryptos, and they are all listed on major exchanges. However, Coke and Pepsi are listed on all major exchanges; they are both companies based on sodas, but they don’t exactly mirror each other’s prices every day. Nor would one expect them to.

UPDATE FEBRUARY 2018: Why would two coins have the same chart despite being so fundamentally different. One answer is because cryptocurrency is an isolated ecosystem and a lot of price action is based on technical indicators and not fundamental analysis. A lot of what you see is people jumping around from coin to coin trying to grow their BTC stack (or sometimes ETH stack)… so they can either 1. have more BTC or ETH or 2. cash out into fiat. Unfortunately, while coders and crypto fans will pin white-papers to their fridge and talk about PoS vs PoW, traders and their bots are focused on price trends and profits (not fundamentals like transaction speeds, fees, or tech). In terms of price trends and profits, from a purely technical perspective, BTC may as well be widget A, XRP widget B, TRX widget C, etc.

TIP: Above I’m speaking as a long-term investor in coins. As far as the usefulness of technology, nothing can diminish a great product like Ethereum. Likewise, Litecoin’s transaction speed is impressive. Ripple and other alts have positive aspects too. But Bitcoin has been the clear winner as an investment. Bitcoin’s history compared to alts since cryptos rise in 2017, but especially since the summer, makes all other coins look like a less sound investment. If you bought the major coins high on August 31st, you lost money on almost everything except Bitcoin. That right there is the proof that Bitcoin has been the only reasonable investment over the past few months.

NOTE: Bitcoin could be overbought, following the same logic above. However, it will almost certainly drag alts down with it in a crash. Thus, it is almost a moot point. It is like if Microsoft did poorly, so Apple crashed with it in perfect Unison; that would be unexpected. You would expect Apple to rise, or for Apple to take a slight hit, not for it follow Microsoft. You would not expect that with any other asset. It is strange that it happens to crypto.

Speculative Theories on Why AltCoins Follow Bitcoins Price

I have a few theories:

  1. It could be that all prices are based on Bitcoin as a gold standard because the market is young and that the days of “follow the BTC price” are going to end soon.
  2. One could speculate that given these events, true democratic free market psychology in a speculative market apparently behave very much like a herd. Way more than I would have expected.
  3. Perhaps, people are so nervous about the bottom falling out of coins that any change to BTC causes a panic when the price declines, but any spike causes everyone to rush to Bitcoin (especially when forks are on the horizon).
  4. Perhaps, someone(s) is meddling with the markets (for example by spoofing all major coins on major exchanges). This might possibly cause all the coins to fall in line and would explain why they are often in-line, but not always. I’ve seen the markets being spoofed, but it is unclear how much of the movement is natural and how much is spoofing.

Perhaps there is a magic leprechaun who lives inside the blockchain orchestrating everything. I’m not sure, which is why this page is speculation and theory and not hard fact.

Predictions on What Will Happen Next Based Purely on Past Events

What I am sure of though is, if the pattern continues then the following will happen (the following is pure speculation based on past events… which shouldn’t by all means directly affect future events aside from psychologically.

NOTE: This is a theory; it’s creative writing. I am not offering price projections on which you should base investments. We don’t do that on this site. This is a site about understanding cryptocurrency in all respects. Not a site for investing advice.

  • BTC will probably make some gains; it already recovered from Oct 17th.
  • Alts will lag for a minute.
  • Alts will then shoot up around Oct 19th or 20th (assuming BTC doesn’t crash back before then).
  • BTC will rise upwards to $6k throughout the week (reaching that point around the Bitcoin Gold fork on Oct 25th). NOTE: BTC popped up to $6k on Oct 20th. Thus, I may have under-estimated BTC. Let’s revise that to sub $7, with a specific projection of $6.4 (if BTC can hold $6k today).
  • Alts will follow (but not to the extent that they regain September highs; or if they do regain them, they won’t go too far past them. Say $70 LTC and $260 Eth).
  • Around $6k BTC will crash again to the low $4ks.
  • LTC and ETH will be dragged down with BTC, but they will be much closer to their early September levels than BTC.

With that said, if all that occurs and LTC and ETH (and other major Alts) don’t exaggerate the crash, then it could eat into my theory and show that this absurd trend will break soon. If they do hit the above lows, with $45 LTC and $225 ETH while BTC goes to $4k or so, well then I’ll be personally tapering back on Alts and going heavy in BTC in my portfolio. As, while I think Ether is much cooler (because of the smart Contract Ethereum network and lack of a crazy battle of the forks), my wallet prefers making money.

Now, of course, I am happy to be proven wrong. Trust me; if we break the pattern, I’ll be writing about it. I’ll be excited to see Ether, Litecoin, Ripple, etc. stand on their own two bits and see Bitcoin live its own life without telegraphed spikes and crashes.

In the meantime. I’m going to invest conservatively at this point. And when I do invest, my portfolio will be heavy in Bitcoin.

Meanwhile, you should just do whatever it is you are doing and not take my opinions and speculation as investing advice.

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"Why Do Altcoin Prices Often Follow Bitcoin’s Price?" contains information about the following Cryptocurrencies:

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Jacob on

I like the ideas you’ve posted here – but it doesn’t really answer the core question of why the prices appear pegged to each other. How can EVERYONE across all currencies – BTC and the alts, ALL drop and rise at the same time? Surely if, as you say – people rush to BTC, we’d see an inverse relationship with alts and BTC.

Compare any two graphs, and I’d hazard at guess that at least 30% of the movements are exactly the same – to the MINUTE. Not roughly, but to the minute. This makes me question lots of things – it even appears dodgy.

It’s hard to convince myself that everyone pulled money out of every single alt at 2.27am at the same rate, then magically decided to put it all back at 6.31 on the minute (as though they were all on the phone to each other, ready to ‘buy’).

Something bigger is ado here, and it feels dodgy.

Thomas DeMichele on

As I’ve traded more I’ve learned more. The best answer is “because the most popular coin to trade with is BTC.” in other words, all the top exchanges offer a BTC trading pair. Thus when BTC starts to move everyone starts trading out of (or into) alts via BTC. Thus the BTC economy is in many ways the crypto economy.

I’ll work on understanding this more and explaining it better as I grasp it more.

I don’t think its as dodgy as it appears. It is just an entire economy based in BTC reacting in BTC to the moment to moment. Many reacting are Bots and stops (they are automated). Thus when a big change happens, it sets of a cascade of action.

Now, is this sometimes partly also a planned move of whales and less savory traders? 100% think that is a solid theory to entertain. However, I know for sure it is more than just that from watching multiple exchanges and many BTC pairs.

Jeff on

I agree here with Jacob there are times of same to the t movements hey Jacob lets mark these times and figure it out , it’s a big pattern with minor changes based on simple facts that do change it overall otherwise it’s on a rotation

Thomas DeMichele on

So there is a lot of patterns going on here. You’ll note the page on historic relationships between alts and BTC. That is one key. //cryptocurrencyfacts.com/2017/12/15/the-relationship-between-altcoins-and-bitcoin-simple/

Then on top of that you have what I call “the rotation.” That is, the coins or types of coins that are doing well tend to rotate. Sometimes it is privacy coins, sometimes it is high supply, low volume, quick transaction, sometimes it is shhh coins (generally this is telling us a correction is coming; for example if doge coin is mooning, set stops), etc.

Likewise, sometimes ETH takes the lead, and sometimes its a period of BTC dominance. Sometimes alts preform well, sometimes the whole market corrects in lockstep. Predicting what pattern will occur next seems like a fool’s errand, but figuring out what cycle we are in early and then reacting is very effective.

https://cryptocurrencyfacts.com/understanding-the-rotation-of-coins-in-cryptocurrency/

Crypto King on

Seem as though something doesn’t add up. Eth and Litecoin go down in sync with Bitcoin. I know that wall street can now manipulate the Bitcoin price with future contracts, however it should not affect any other crypto. Can anyone clear this up?

Thomas DeMichele on

BTC and ETH are the main coins used to trade on crypto-to-crypto exchanges. They are also the main coins traded for fiat on the most popular exchanges like GDAX. This makes them the center of the crypto economy.

This makes them act like anchors.

Almost all other coins end up rising and falling with them, the only exception is when coins are “pumping” or “running” (i.e. they are hot and being bought actively at the moment). These coins will typically resist falling with the BTC and ETH.

To address LTC, in general LTC tends to be tied more to BTC than ETH is. If you notice the market today, on Dec 30, Ether is on a bit of a “run” but LTC and BTC are sinking and rising together.

There may be elements of market manipulation at play, but that isn’t the root of this. The root is found in trading pairs. BTC and ETH are the main currencies of the crypto world, and the effect comes from that primarily.

By the way, this is why crypto traders should not dismiss BTC and ETH and should consider having some in their portfolio, no matter what happens, those coins will give you buying power in the crypto economy (same is somewhat true for Tether, but that has a specific use case, and potentially in the future BCH, although that has had some sticking points in being adopted due to its divisive marketing strategy).

Lorraine C on

My speculation is that most people invest on bitcoin first. And then as bitcoin rises and breaks through certain marks like 5000, 10000USD, they are afraid that BTC may collapse soon, so they would sell the bitcoin. But instead of leaving the market, they diversify the risk by buying altcoins. That means you would often see altcoins going up and down at a pace later than bitcoin.

Thomas DeMichele on

Sure this is part of it, but there is a lot else to consider. First off, there are new investors in the market all the time, when the next wave of new investors hit they will go to BTC first. So there is that.

More broadly, crypto goes in waves in general. Sometimes everyone floods into BTC, especially when their alts buy a lot of BTC. Then sometimes everyone floods into alts, especially when their BTC buys a lot of alts.

Right now, here on the first of the year, many alts have gone up 100% – 1000%, meanwhile BTC is down about 30% from its ATH. That tells me that we don’t have a ton of time left in this current alt boom.

Ask yourself, what is easier, to 2x a given alt that just went 1,000%. Or for the collective buying power of all crypto investors to get BTC back to its ATH or beyond? At some point then answer will be to get BTC back. There is only so many 100% gains a given alt can make before it becomes more difficult to move than the King/Queen itself.

Thus, we don’t want to forget to have stops set to Bitcoin and to hold some Bitcoin if we would in general not want to miss the next Bitcoin run.

There is no magic rule that says cryptocurrency has to see patterns repeat. Yet, cryptocurrency loves patterns. If patterns do repeat, then alts are very likely to be suppressed a bit during the next Bitcoin run.

I want nothing more than all coins to rise together, for BTC to be the rising tide that lifts all ships… but history tells us that instead the end game in a given phase is to take that new alt money and trade it back in for satoshis. The power of all that money flowing back into BTC is the fuel needed to raise the mothership BTC.

If this happens it will be nothing more than history repeating.

If history repeats you want to be on the BTC mothership when it takes off, then you’ll be able to trade your BTC back to alts at the next high. Rinse and repeat. The pattern is so attractive to any investor clued into it that I have a hard to thinking that the pattern won’t occur again. This is just speculation though. Thus, the best move for a given person will be to prepare for all possible worlds and hold BTC and their favorite alts, not worrying about the short term game, but on the long game.

Anything that happens, we can expect BTC to be a force in the crypto market. So we have to keep an eye on it and dismiss it only to our own detriment.

It may seem like Bitcoin is mainly attractive to newcomers, but it is more than that. It is the main currency of the crypto economy… plus, there are likely many more waves of newcomers a-coming.

NOTE: The above very loosely applies to Ethereum too. There is one simple reason. Those are the coins that are the main trading pairs on exchanges. This anchors them to the crypto economy. Simple as that. For this reason every portfolio should consider holding a bit of each.

cam on

hi there! im a newbie here but trying to figure this out. question: if I currently have gains on xrp and lets say in about 1 week I suspect btc will go down significantly, is it asmart move to sell xrp at a gain and wait to btc to go down and hope for xrp to go down so I can buy at a low?, im noticing that lots of altcoins follow btc as u said. but not sure if im not seing the picture right on this thought? pls advice!!!thank u

Thomas DeMichele on

There is no perfect advice, and further the best advice depends on the whims and mood of the market.

https://cryptocurrencyfacts.com/2018/01/24/the-mood-of-the-market-changes/

In general though, if you have gains then taking them to dollars, USDT, BTC, or Ether makes sense. If you think BTC will go down, then taking them to dollars or USDT and then setting buy orders under the current price likely makes the most sense.

That said, BTC loves to go up when people think it is going to go down and loves to go down when people think it will go up (and generally crypto does this).

Because that is often the case, I buy into positions gradually and the exit positions gradually. I know many successful traders who sit in dollars until they think they have found the perfect time to buy, but I ladder into positions gradually over time. So I’d trade a little XRP for BTC, a little XRP for dollars, and then set some buy orders to buy as BTC goes down, and then leave a bit in XRP, and then leave a little bit in dollars. That helps hedge against any price movement of any coin in any direction.

If you just go all-in and all-out based on what you think will happen, then there is an element of gambling in there. Generally, unless you are pro, investing is going to get you a better return than trading and trying to back the right horse in the right moment.

mick on

I think this article is outdated and will become more outdated in time.

Sure in 2017 Bitcoin had faster growth than alts, but now alts generally have better growth.

It’s not hard to get 100% returns with alts, even in the recent dip alts like TRX and Ripple came close to getting 100% returns within days of the dip.

Compare this to bitcoin, if you take a current price of 11K it needs to hit 22K to get a 100% increase.

Possibly will happen but if so will take months.

I also think in time this Bitcoin influence and dominance will get less and less for a number of reasons.

1. Pairings on exchanges will become less focussed on Bitcoin.

2. Overall bitcoin % of the market in time will become less and less, already down around 34$ IMHO will be closer to 10% by end of the year.

3. ETH will gain number one in market cap by end of 2018, its a quality crypto with countless tokens on its platform, it has true value, while bitcoin is really just an outdated almost unusable crypto (slow and expensive ) perhaps the argument could be Lighting network will make it faster and cheap. maybe we will wait and see.

4. Bitcoins hype has died, at one stage it looked as though it would never stop gaining value, but for the last 6 weeks its gone mostly sideways and down in price, its now an uncertainty.

5. The next bitcoin effect, people are starting to understand that it’s actually hard to make good money in Bitcoin now, just because its so hard to double in price, while other cryptos can get 100% returns quickly even 1000% returns (yes often with big corrections)

6. People like to own a whole bitcoin or own huge amounts of cryptos, owning a whole bitcoin is expensive and high risk putting all your eggs in one basket, for the price of 1 bitcoin you can own thousands of cryptos and have a variety of cryptos.

Thomas DeMichele on

Nice thoughts, thanks for sharing.

Personally, I agree that it is reasonable to assume that Bitcoin dominance will decrease over time, but specifically I think it will decrease in waves (which very means that we could potentially see another wave or two of Bitcoin dominance).

For now BTC is still the center of the crypto economy and the main trading pair. I would not discount BTC and I would not be too quick to crown Ether the new king. We have been down this road before in May – June. Times like this are signs of what the future may hold, but the overall pattern is not a downward trajectory, it is wave-like.

Here are my thoughts:

https://cryptocurrencyfacts.com/2018/01/12/bitcoin-dominance-is-at-an-all-time-low-what-can-this-tell-us/

Daniel R. on

My money on why the prices of alts are so tied to BTC is in the charts. It is The charts that are showing avery alt compared to BTC price and then they convert it to USD or other fiat. It is the only explanation so far, that makes sence on how prices can move together within seconds.

Thomas DeMichele on

Yeah for sure, I agree with that. This is what I mean when I say “because BTC is the main trading pair.”

The effects of that aren’t simple and aren’t singular, but that generally explains most of what is happening. When I try to explain the details I end up leaving out mechanics. You have TA traders and bots focused on single pairs, they will sell when BTC goes up (as it makes the alt/BTC pair look like its going down). You have people trading multiple pairs and BTC and ETH, they will go to fiat or Tether when BTC looks like it is going down. You have traders who will buy when crypto is bullish, generally marked by BTC going up. All this and more, especially bots doing this, results in patterns forming across almost all coins across the board.

It is mostly not purposeful manipulation from what I can tell, although that does occur as well. But even then, manipulators are going to aim to do the least work possible, so they will usher on or prevent a trend. What value is there in trying to squeeze blood from a stone and control the whole market when a well timed push can set off some natural dominos?

I had originally thought it was more malicious than it is… but time trading and talking to people in the community has made it pretty clear that it is more like a culmination of natural forces and lots of white-hat(-ish) bots. Think about the effects of many bots placing limit orders due to a resistance or support level being breached or a bearish or bullish moving average cross over. It results in this quick flood of buy or sell orders that then ripples across the markets.

Dan on

If someone or many someones had to sell a large amount of BTC.. ie Mt. Gox… Then they would spread the selling around. If I was a large trader like that I would try and capitalize on the entire cryptosphere. BTC can be exchanged for major alts and then those alts exchange into lesser alts and tokens. You would have a BTC hoard and leave the balance in BTC while trading. You would then have incentive to preserve the value of your hoard. Explains why BTC ends up being a better investment and why alts follow.

Rowie on

What I don’t understand is, that if I am trading a coin AGAINST the bitcoin, and bitcoin drops, WHY does MY coin drop also? If I trade the USD againt the YEN and the YEN drops, the USD goes up? Serious question, hope someone can explain it to me

Thomas DeMichele on

If an alt held its value no matter what and Bitcion went down, then it would in theory rise in its price in satoshis.

In practice however alts tend to pull back harder than BTC when BTC drops. In practice alts tend to magnify BTC’s loses, dropping not only in dollars, but in Satoshis. Often the pullback in Satoshis looks more like the pull back in BTC/DOLLARS.

The why is complex and involves understanding the behavior and psychology of the markets and then making educated guesses. Theories on why aside, it does tend to happen.