Small Cap Altcoins Down 54% Against Bitcoin in Three Months

By Kyle Torpey

2019 has been an awesome year for Bitcoin so far, with the price up roughly 180% since January 1st. While altcoins are also in the green this year in U.S. dollar terms, they haven’t kept pace with the world’s first and most popular cryptocurrency, especially over these past few months.

According to the Bletchley 40 Index, small cap altcoins are down 54% against bitcoin since April 1st, and other categories of altcoins haven’t fared much better.

The Bletchley Indexes

Bletchley offers a variety of indexes for tracking different areas of the crypto asset market. Some of their indexes focus on specific sectors of the crypto economy, while others are based on the relative size of the assets’ market caps.

The Bletchley Top 40 Index tracks small cap crypto assets, while the Bletchley Top 20 Index tracks medium-sized crypto assets. The Bletchley Top 10 Index tracks the largest ten cryptocurrencies on the market, and the Bletchley Total Index tracks the top 70 crypto assets on the market that meet a set of eligibility requirements.

It should be noted that all of these indexes are weighted based on the relative market cap of each crypto asset compared to the others in the indexes. Having said that, Bletchley also offers indexes where crypto assets are weighed evenly.


As the above chart indicates, the past three months have been pretty rough for the altcoin market, at least in terms of their Bitcoin-denominated values. The Bletchley Ethereum Token Index is down 39% against bitcoin, the Bletchley Top 40 Index is down 54% against bitcoin, and the Bletchley Top 20 Index is down 34% against Bitcoin. Notably, the Ethereum Token Index was one of the bright spots of the altcoin market earlier in the year.

Things look a bit better for the Bletchley Top 10 at and Bletchley Total Indexes with their losses counted in the teens, but Bitcoin itself also makes up a large percentage of these particular indexes (71% in the case of the Bletchley Top 10 and 66% of the Bletchley Total Index).

Exceptions to the Rule

It’s rather difficult to find any crypto assets that have outperformed Bitcoin over the past three months, but they do exist.

Bitcoin SV (BSV) is up 17% against Bitcoin since April 1, and Chainlink (LINK) is the real outlier, gaining 168% against bitcoin during this recent downturn for altcoins. Notably, LINK makes up a good portion of the Bletchley Top 20 (nearly 8%) and Bletchley Ethereum Token (12.5%) Indexes, which at least partially explains why they’re not down quite as much as the Bletchley Top 40 Index.

Ripple’s XRP has been the biggest loser of this time period, at least among the large cap coins (if you even want to consider it a cryptocurrency), losing roughly 50% of its value against Bitcoin over the past three months. This is on top of losses from earlier in the year.

According to data from Coin Metrics, altcoins have also become less correlated with bitcoin during the past three months than they were earlier this year, when they were more correlated with bitcoin than ever before. Unsurprisingly, BSV is the only major outlier.

There are plenty of people who still think “alt season” is just around the corner, but all eyes are on Bitcoin right now. In the past, altcoins have tended to outperform bitcoin in bull markets and underperform Bitcoin in bear markets, but that has not held true over the past few months.

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