Bitcoin (BTC) is facing fresh competition from altcoins this month as data shows that — technically — it is already "alt season."
Bitcoin sheds market cap prowess
After suffering at the hands of the Terra LUNA — now renamed Terra Classic (LUNC) — collapse, altcoin markets have rallied considerably in recent months.
Alongside Bitcoin's return from 18-month lows of $17,600 in June, altcoins have enjoyed their own renaissance, one tha is now giving Bitcoin bulls a run for their money.
According to CoinMarketCap, Bitcoin's market cap share is now at its lowest since mid-January, with the largest altcoin Ether (ETH), in particular, stealing the limelight in recent weeks.
From lows of 14.3% on June 19, Ethereum's market cap dominance now stands at 19%.
The case for altcoin bets is further bolstered by a dedicated metric tasked with calling "altseason" — a period where altcoins outshine Bitcoin as investments.
With a normalized score of 94/100, the Altcoin Season Index is currently flashing its most convincing altseason reading since June 2021.
The closer to zero the score is, the more the metric favors Bitcoin over altcoins. Alt season is called once "75% of the Top 50 coins performed better than Bitcoin over the last season," its description explains, adding that a "season" equates to the past 90 days.
Bitfinex ETH long bets crash to May lows
Controversy over the upcoming Merge event, meanwhile, meant that ETH performed similarly unconvincingly on short timeframes this week.
In the 24 hours to the time of writing on Aug. 9, ETH/USD was down almost 7%, while BTC/USD shed $1,000 in hours on the day.
Nerves over the Aug. 10 United States Consumer Price Index (CPI) readout contributed to the downside, analysts including Cointelegraph contributor Michaël van de Poppe argued.
On-chain monitors, meanwhile, noted that a major player on exchange Bitfinex had drastically reduced their long ETH exposure, indicative of a belief that downside was all but guaranteed next.
At the time of writing, longs were at the same lows as immediately before May's Terra incident.
Van de Poppe nonetheless called for constraint when it came to upcoming ETH price action.
"People already flashing targets of $300 or $600 for Ethereum on the first slight correction," he tweeted.
"There's literally no need for that, despite the fact that people are heavily stuck in their bias. Due to that bias, they won't be able to watch markets objectively."
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