XRP Soars 10%, Lifting Altcoins as Bitcoin Dominance Teeters at 1-Month Low

Bitcoin’s stall despite a recent wave of positive crypto news is a cause for concern, one observer said.

AccessTimeIconJul 19, 2023 at 9:33 p.m. UTC
Updated Jul 20, 2023 at 2:58 p.m. UTC

Ripple’s XRP extended its winning streak Wednesday as smaller tokens outperformed bitcoin (BTC).

The native token of the Ripple payment system recently soared some 10% in the past 24 hours, gaining the most among the top 20 cryptocurrencies by market capitalization.

In an email to CoinDesk, Markus Levin, co-founder of XYO Network, wrote that XRP continued to benefit from its partly favorable ruling in an ongoing Federal court feud with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC).

The decision has spurred a number of exchanges such as Coinbase, Kraken and Bitstamp to relist XRP, leading to a jump in investments, trading volumes and open interest for futures contracts.

"In short, we’re seeing a return of investors that had previously been spooked by recent regulatory measures," Levin said.

XRP was changing hands at around $0.84, not far off its recent high of $0.93 recorded shortly after last Thursday’s court decision.

Smaller cryptocurrencies also gained during the day. XLM, the Ripple-adjacent Stellar network’s token, surged 24%. Cardano’s ADA and Solana’s SOL were up roughly 6%, while popular memecoin dogecoin (DOGE) rose 4% after Twitter owner and Tesla CEO Elon Musk posted a dog-themed tweet.

BTC, meanwhile, traded mostly flat around $30,000. Ether (ETH), the second largest digital asset by market value, also remained muted during the day at $1,900. The CoinDesk Market Index, a measure of crypto markets performance, was recently up 0.7%.

“The general macro setup is looking more favorable for risk assets as a whole," Levin said, adding that "the market expects there to be one more rate hike – and then no more – given that inflation is clearly falling."

Crypto investors have visibly shifted their focus to smaller, riskier tokens, given the strong performance of so-called altcoins as BTC stalled.

Notably, the BTC dominance rate, which measures bitcoin's share of the total market capitalization of crypto assets, pulled back to 49.8% from a 52% high in late June, according to TradingView. This is close to its lowest level in a month.

Bitcoin dominance rate (TradingView)
Bitcoin dominance rate (TradingView)

“Despite a swath of positive news stories over the last month for the crypto industry – from the Blackrock ETF announcement, the XRP legal victory through to presidential candidate Kennedy stating he would back the US Dollar with BTC today – nothing has helped bitcoin sustain momentum above $31K,” Charles Edwards, founder of bitcoin-focused hedge fund Capriole Investments, noted in a market update.

“When good news like this, probably the best news for our industry in years, can’t transform into sustained inflows and price progression, there is cause for concern,” Edwards said.

Edited by James Rubin.


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Krisztian  Sandor

Krisztian Sandor is a reporter on the U.S. markets team focusing on stablecoins and institutional investment. He holds BTC and ETH.

James Rubin

James Rubin was CoinDesk's U.S. news editor based on the West Coast.