The LINK token (Chainlink) and other leading alternative cryptocurrencies (altcoins) chart solid gains as the cryptocurrency market leader bitcoin is bull breather.
LINK (+4.77%) set a new record price of $23.68 today and is changing hands near $21.73 at press time, a 7.3% gain on a 24-hour basis. The previous high of $19.90 was reached in August, according to the data.
The cryptocurrency has nearly doubled in the first two weeks of the year as a strong follow-up to last year’s 530% gain. Oracle Chainlink acts as a bridge between cryptocurrency smart contracts and off-chain data feeds.
Some altcoins like OMG (+11.88%) and OXT (+10.31%) are up more than 10% in the last 24 hours, while others include ether (ETH, +3.6%), litecoin (LTC, + 8.52%), bitcoin cash (BCH, +5.9%) have earned at least 2-8% each.
Bitcoin is currently trading near $36,900, representing a 5% gain in 24 hours, but has remained stuck for the week from $30,000 to $40,000. The period of consolidation appears to be paving the way for the flow of money into relatively inexpensive altcoins.
The shift to alts began last week with the Polkadot blockchain DOT token rising sharply to become the fourth-largest cryptocurrency by market cap, according to Alex Melikhov, CEO and founder of cryptocurrency Equilibrium and stablecoin EOSDT. “Other coins now seem to be following Polkadot higher,” he said.
The ether-bitcoin record implies a spread of volatility seen earlier this month suggesting a rally in ether and alternative cryptocurrencies in general may be on its way.
Altcoins could continue to “burst hard” while bitcoin (BTC, +5.12%) is held in a narrowing price range, market analyst Lark Davis said on Twitter.
LINK could receive an additional boost from the upcoming switch to proof-of-stake (PoS) this year. Staking refers to the process of guaranteeing coins for a period to support operations on the blockchain network in exchange for a reward. In layman’s terms, this is similar to earning interest on fixed income investments such as bonds.
The altcoin rally could stall if bitcoin’s recent price range ends with a bullish breakout, opening the door for stronger gains.
“If bitcoin breaks through $42,000, it will test $50,000 pretty quickly,”
Vinny Lingham, investor and founder of crypto wallet and identity verification company Civic, tweeted Thursday.