Crypto Roundup, January 18, 2021: Altcoins spring higher as Bitcoin lingers below $40K

Ethereum and competitors outperform the leading crypto with double-digit gains

As Bitcoin takes a breather and prices linger around $35K, the cryptocurrency market is staying in the global spotlight.

Last week, Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey championed Bitcoin in a tweet explaining Trump’s Twitter ban, shortly before institutional investment fund Grayscale reported a record day of fundraising, and the mayor of Miami moved one step closer to adding crypto to the city’s treasury.

Meanwhile, altcoins have been waking from their slumber and springing upwards. Cardano is leading the pack higher with 35% weekly gains, followed by Ethereum with 10%, and privacy coin Zcash with 15%.

This Week’s Highlights

  • Altcoins awaken from slumber
  • Institutions buy the dip

Altcoins awaken from slumber

After a record-breaking Bitcoin rally, traders are eagerly awaiting the mythical alt season, when alternative cryptocurrencies will reach their own all-time highs.

This week, the first green shoots of spring have started to appear. Ethereum is inching closer towards record highs, and competitors Cardano and Tezos are both boasting high double-digit gains.

Privacy coins in particular are outperforming the market as controversy over WhatsApp triggers a global debate about digital rights. Zcash and Dash have both shifted higher, matching rising interest in encrypted messaging apps Signal and Telegram.

Institutions buy the dip

According to Michael Sonnenshein, CEO of the largest institutional crypto investment firm Grayscale, big players see a buying opportunity at current prices.

He tweeted yesterday that Friday was the firm’s biggest day ever, with $700 million flowing in as “momentum from Q4” picks up speed “into the new year.”

Similar sentiments were echoed elsewhere, with crypto hedge fund Cambrian telling The Block that while individuals were selling over the weekend, “institutions were overwhelmingly skewed to the buy side.”

The week ahead

The wave of fiscal stimulus that sent Bitcoin past record highs looks set to keep rolling in.

Following news of a $1.9 trillion coronavirus relief package from president-elect Joe Biden, IMF Managing Director Kristalina Georgieva has made her position clear, urging governments around the world to “spend as much as you can and then spend a little bit more.”

In the short-term however, traders are likely to be looking for a clean break of $40K for a clear signal that the uptrend will continue.

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