Hopefuls call for ‘altseason’ led by Ether rally, analysts not so sure

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The cries are loudening for a potential “altseason” as Ether (ETH) approaches the $3,000 level; however, analysts have cautioned it may not come so soon.

On Feb. 19, Ether prices hit an intraday and 22-month high of $2,980. The last time the asset traded above $3,000 was in April 2022.

The price movement has seemingly led many observers to believe an “ETH bull market” is near, while others have declared that “altseason” has already returned to crypto.

“I think there are several powerful catalysts coming up that might spark an altcoin rally,” agreed Apollo Capital chief investment officer Henrik Andersson in comments to Cointelegraph.

These were primarily Ethereum fundamentals such as the Dencun upgrade and mainnet launches for scaling solution Blast and restaking platform EigenLayer, he said before adding:

“Ethereum has been underperforming BTC over the past year, it feels like it is due for a catch-up in particular due to the supply sinks and it being deflationary since the move to PoS.”

“We’re entering an ETH bull market [which is] beta for altcoins,” said Yuga Cohler, a senior engineering manager at Coinbase on X.

Meanwhile, economist and trader ‘Mikybull Crypto’ told their 60,000 X followers that March is always bullish for ETH. Hence $3,000 is on the table, before adding, “This cycle of altseason is going to be huge!”

Technical analyst and trader ‘Titan of Crypto’ shared a chart of the total market capitalization of altcoins without BTC and ETH revealing a breakout.

Not so fast

Markus Thielen, head of 10x Research however says there’s a lack of evidence suggesting an altcoin season is coming. 

“While speculation swirls about the possibility of an altcoin season, the current landscape lacks substantial evidence, with Bitcoin’s enduring dominance standing at 51%.”

He explained that to kickstart a viable altcoin season, “sustained reductions in Bitcoin dominance below 45% are necessary.”

“Unlike the thematic surges observed during the ICO and DeFi summer bull markets, the present upswing lacks a discernible narrative, aside from the influx of Bitcoin ETF investments.”

The analyst also pointed out that recent altcoin rallies have quickly fizzled out, indicating a higher risk-adjusted potential favoring Bitcoin investments.

Moreover, Ethereum momentum also seems driven by potential ETF approvals in May rather than increased on-chain activity within dApps, he said before concluding:

“We anticipate this bull market persisting until 2025, during which altcoins may attempt various rallies.”

Related: Is it altseason? Altcoin 30-day performance and total market cap flash bullish

On Feb. 20, blockchain analytics firm Santiment reported that since crypto markets began moving in October, the “vast majority” of crypto projects have generated profits for the average wallet on a mid to long-term timescale aside from a few lagging altcoins.

However, it cautioned that its model is indicating overbought signals, citing the market value to realized value (MVRV) metric which is “revealing there is a higher risk than average in buying or opening new positions while markets are in the midst of a 4+ month surge.”

MVRV is the ratio of the total market cap divided by the realized cap. It is used for spotting local market tops and bottoms.

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