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Altcoins And BTC Halving: What Happens To Tokens Amid Bitcoin Mining Difficulty Changes

Last Updated February 21, 2024 2:51 PM
Andrew Kamsky
Last Updated February 21, 2024 2:51 PM

Key Takeaways

  • Historically, the Bitcoin halving has triggered shifts in capital from Bitcoin to altcoins, increasing altcoin valuations post-halving.
  • Increased mining difficulty post-halving can redirect investment toward more profitable altcoins.
  • Falling Bitcoin dominance post-halving signals a beneficial period for altcoin investment and growth.
  • Strategic investment in altcoins with solid fundamentals can maximize returns during Bitcoin halving events.

The Bitcoin halving event every four years (approximately) is a self-induced supply shock that not only reshapes the mining landscape in Bitcoin but also triggers significant volatility and trends within the broader cryptocurrency market or the altcoin market. 

As Bitcoin undergoes its programmed reduction in mining rewards, the ripple effects of its halving extend beyond its own ecosystem, influencing the valuation and dynamics of numerous altcoins.

Impact Of Bitcoin Halving On Altcoins 

How Bitcoin Halving Affects Mining Rewards 

Every four years, the Bitcoin network undergoes a halving event, slashing the rewards for mining new blocks by half. The reduction in mining rewards directly influences Bitcoin’s economic model by constricting the supply of new Bitcoins entering the market, potentially leading to an increase in Bitcoin’s price if demand remains constant or grows. 

Price Dynamics Of Altcoins During Bitcoin Halving Events

As Bitcoin’s price climbs, post-halving, this upward trajectory in asset valuation encourages investors and speculators to reallocate capital and resources towards altcoins, triggering an influx of new investment into the altcoin sector. 

This new capital typically results in short-term increases in altcoin valuations and amplified market volatility. Historical data, particularly following Bitcoin’s second and third halvings, illustrates a significant shift in market dynamics where the altcoin market is seen to rise versus Bitcoin. 

Bitcoin Dominance Post-Halving 2016
Bitcoin Dominance Post-Halving 2016

After the second halving, illustrated in the chart above, Bitcoin dominance, a metric that measures Bitcoin’s market capitalization as a proportion of the total cryptocurrency market cap, declined by 63%, finding a bottom 552 days later. 

Similarly, Bitcoin dominance dropped by 42% after the third halving, reaching a bottom 848 days post-halving.

Bitcoin Dominance Post-Halving 2020
Bitcoin Dominance Post-Halving 2020

Bitcoin dominance is an essential indicator in the cryptocurrency market. When Bitcoin dominance increases, it often signifies that capital flows more into Bitcoin relative to altcoins, suggesting a stronger market preference or confidence in Bitcoin. 

Conversely, a decrease in Bitcoin dominance indicates that capital is being distributed more broadly across the altcoin market, reflecting growing investor interest and investment in cryptocurrencies beyond Bitcoin.

Bitcoin Dominance Affect On Altcoins During Bitcoin Halving Events

In the six to twelve months following a halving, as Bitcoin’s price stabilizes at new highs and may further appreciate, the interest in the broader cryptocurrency ecosystem naturally spills over into the altcoin market. 

This effect, coupled with the historical declines in Bitcoin dominance post-halving, induces a rally in altcoins, marking a period of peak performance for the altcoin market post-halving of BTC. An illustration below depicts how an investment in Ethereum with Bitcoin would have increased value by 300%. The day marked for a sell coincided with the BTC dominance chart bottoming. 

ETHBTC Chart Post-Halving 2020
ETHBTC Chart Post-Halving 2020

The significant reductions in Bitcoin dominance after the second and third halvings, being 63% and 42% respectively, underscore a pattern where, despite Bitcoin’s appreciation, a substantial portion of capital is reallocated into altcoins, fusing more ‘life’ into the broader cryptocurrency landscape market. However, when BTC dominance after a Bitcoin halving does reach a low, it might be a wise time to sell the altcoin hedge for Bitcoin.

Role Of Mining Difficulty Changes In Altcoin Performance 

Understanding Mining Difficulty Adjustments

The halving can lead to increased speculation and investment in Bitcoin because it promises increased scarcity of BTC, implying that prices will increase after the halving. However, if computational power in Bitcoin mining increases, the mining difficulty will re-adjust, making it harder to mine. This difficulty adjustment implies that miners need to reassess profitability. 

At this point, some of the capital may move from Bitcoin to altcoins, either as a diversification strategy as more miners go offline and the difficulty adjustment gets more straightforward to be profitable or miners choose to deploy resources into the altcoin market in search of higher returns. This reallocation of capital can increase demand for altcoins, driving up prices during this period.

Correlation Between Bitcoin Mining Difficulty And Altcoin Values

As Bitcoin becomes more complex and potentially less profitable to mine, post-halving, the liquidity allocated to BTC might shift towards altcoins, enhancing altcoin market activity and possibly altcoin value to the upside. 

As Bitcoin undergoes mining difficulty adjustments, the broader market sentiment can shift, with investors and speculators looking to altcoins as alternative investment opportunities. 

This speculative interest can drive up altcoin prices, especially if these assets are perceived as undervalued or poised for growth.

Strategies For Altcoin Investors During Bitcoin Halving 

During Bitcoin halving events, altcoin investors should consider strategies that capitalize on the anticipated market volatility and potential shifts in investment flows. One effective approach is to closely monitor the market leading up to and following a halving, ready to adjust positions based on emerging trends. 

Hedging Strategies For Altcoin Portfolios

It might benefit investors to hedge the amount of BTC they hold by strategically purchasing altcoins with BTC held. Purchasing strong altcoins versus BTC that show promise or are likely to appreciate during the post-halving surge often seen in Bitcoin is one kind of hedge that can be strategized. 

Investors can increase Bitcoin gain by deploying BTC to buy strong altcoins that will appreciate faster than Bitcoin, thereby maintaining a more stable investment portfolio following a Bitcoin halving. 

This means that when Bitcoin dominance finds a bottom after the halving, investors can circulate out of altcoin positions and rotate back into Bitcoin with more BTC than they had at the halving date.

Identifying Altcoins With Strong Fundamentals

Identifying altcoins with strong fundamentals involves thorough research and analysis of various factors that indicate the potential for long-term success and some form of resilience against market volatility. 

Key aspects to consider include the project’s technology and its unique value proposition, the strength and activity of the development team, and the level of community and developer support. 

Additionally, evaluating the token’s market liquidity, historical price performance, online communities, and adoption rate across relevant industries can provide insights into its stability and growth prospects. 

Investors should also pay close attention to the regulatory environment and potential legal challenges that could impact the altcoin’s future. Prioritizing altcoins with solid fundamentals and a clear use case can lead to more informed investment decisions, especially during the turbulent periods surrounding Bitcoin halving events.


The Bitcoin halving significantly influences both Bitcoin and the wider cryptocurrency market, including altcoins. This event, which halves Bitcoin’s mining rewards, can lead to increased Bitcoin value due to its reduced supply. 

Historically, this has resulted in shifts in investment from Bitcoin to altcoins, as investors seek higher returns, leading to increased altcoin valuations and market volatility. 

Post-halving, as Bitcoin’s price stabilizes, capital often flows into altcoins, causing their prices to rally. This cycle is evidenced by decreases in Bitcoin dominance post-halving, indicating a redistribution of investment towards altcoins. 

For investors, this period offers opportunities to hedge and reallocate investments, focusing on altcoins with strong fundamentals to maximize returns amidst the market shifts caused by Bitcoin halving events.


What impact does Bitcoin halving have on altcoins?

Bitcoin halving often leads to increased altcoin valuations as capital shifts from Bitcoin to altcoins seeking higher returns.

How does Bitcoin mining difficulty affect altcoin prices?

Increased Bitcoin mining difficulty post-halving can drive investment towards altcoins, potentially boosting altcoin prices due to perceived better returns by investors based on history.

Can Bitcoin dominance indicators predict altcoin market movements?

Decreases in Bitcoin dominance post-halving suggest capital flow towards altcoins, often indicating upcoming rallies in the altcoin market.

What strategies should altcoin investors consider during Bitcoin halving?

Investors should monitor market trends closely, consider hedging strategies, and focus on altcoins with strong fundamentals for potential gains.

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