Brief History of Bitcoin Dominance

Since its inception in 2009, Bitcoin has been the unrivalled pioneer in the crypto world. Its revolutionary technology, blockchain, transformed the way we perceive financial systems. Over the years, Bitcoin’s dominance has remained unyielding, even as countless altcoins emerged to challenge its supremacy. 

In this article, we delve into the brief history of Bitcoin’s dominance, tracing its origins, significant milestones, and the reasons behind its enduring relevance. 

From its humble beginnings to its current position, we will explore the captivating journey of Bitcoin in the crypto market.

What is Bitcoin Dominance?

Bitcoin dominance is the proportion of Bitcoin’s market value compared to the total market value of all cryptocurrencies. Essentially, it determines how much of the cryptocurrency market belongs to Bitcoin.

As the first and most well-known cryptocurrency, Bitcoin holds a significant position in the digital asset space. Its dominance is a key indicator of its relative strength and influence compared to other cryptocurrencies, often referred to as “altcoins.”

The dominance of Bitcoin fluctuates over time, depending on various factors such as price movements, adoption rates, technological developments, and market sentiment. When Bitcoin’s dominance is high, it means that Bitcoin is commanding a larger portion of the market, indicating that investors and traders are more focused on Bitcoin compared to other cryptocurrencies.

BTC Dominance Over the Years 

Over the years, the dominance of Bitcoin (BTC) in the cryptocurrency market has seen fluctuations, reflecting the ever-changing dynamics of the digital asset space. 

Let’s explore the historical trend of BTC dominance:

2009-2013: The Early Years:

In the early years of Bitcoin’s existence, its dominance was essentially 100% since it was the only cryptocurrency in existence. As the concept of cryptocurrencies gained traction, several altcoins were introduced, but Bitcoin’s dominance remained unchallenged.

2014-2016: Emergence of Altcoins:

During this period, the crypto market witnessed the emergence of various altcoins, such as Litecoin, Ripple, and Dogecoin. As a result, Bitcoin’s dominance gradually decreased, hovering around 80-90%. The introduction of these altcoins provided investors with more choices and diversified the crypto landscape.

2017-2018: The ICO Boom:

The years 2017 and 2018 marked the ICO (Initial Coin Offering) boom, during which numerous new projects and tokens were introduced. Bitcoin’s dominance dropped significantly, reaching as low as 33%, as investors poured funds into promising ICOs. However, the market soon faced a correction, and BTC dominance started to rise again.

2018-2019: The Bear Market and Recovery 

The bear market that followed the 2017 bull run affected both Bitcoin and altcoins. However, Bitcoin’s resilience and reputation as a store of value led to its gradual recovery. Its dominance climbed back to approximately 60-70%.

2020-2021: The Institutional Interest 

In the following years, Bitcoin experienced a resurgence in interest and adoption. Institutional investors and corporations started to recognize Bitcoin as a legitimate store of value, driving its price and dominance higher. BTC dominance fluctuated between 60-70% during this period.

2022-Present: Continued Market Evolution 

The cryptocurrency market has been evolving, but Bitcoin has remained dominant with a share of 40-50%. Although it has faced competition from other digital coins and DeFi projects, Bitcoin has managed to maintain its position as the top digital asset.

How to calculate Bitcoin dominance?

Bitcoin dominance is calculated using a simple formula:

Bitcoin Dominance (%) = (Bitcoin Market Cap / Total Crypto Market Cap) x 100

The “Bitcoin Market Cap” refers to the total value of all bitcoins in circulation, while the “Total Crypto Market Cap” includes the combined market value of all cryptocurrencies available. 

By dividing the Bitcoin market cap by the total crypto market cap and multiplying the result by 100, we obtain the percentage value of Bitcoin dominance.

Bitcoin dominance is not a static figure and can experience fluctuations over time. Various factors, such as market sentiment, regulatory developments, technological advancements, and the emergence of new altcoins, can influence these fluctuations. Understanding these factors and their impact on BTC dominance can help anticipate market trends and make informed investment decisions.

Factors that Influence Bitcoin Dominance 

Several factors can influence Bitcoin’s dominance in the cryptocurrency market. These factors play a crucial role in determining the relative strength and influence of Bitcoin compared to other digital assets. 

Let’s explore some of the key factors:

  1. Market Sentiment: Market sentiment, driven by investors’ perceptions and emotions, has a significant impact on Bitcoin’s dominance. Positive news, regulatory developments, and institutional interest can boost confidence in Bitcoin, leading to increased dominance.
  2. Price Performance: Bitcoin’s price movements play a vital role in determining its dominance. When Bitcoin’s price surges, it tends to attract more attention from investors, leading to a higher dominance in the overall market.
  3. Technological Developments: Technological advancements within the Bitcoin network can enhance its utility and appeal. Improvements in scalability, security, and transaction speed can positively influence Bitcoin’s dominance.
  4. Media Coverage: Media coverage can shape public opinion and influence investment decisions. Positive or negative news about Bitcoin can impact its dominance, as it affects how investors perceive the cryptocurrency.
  5. Altcoin Performance: The performance of altcoins, also known as alternative cryptocurrencies, can have an inverse relationship with Bitcoin dominance. If altcoins experience significant price rallies, investors may shift their focus away from Bitcoin, leading to a decline in its dominance.
  6. Halving Events: Bitcoin undergoes halving events approximately every four years, reducing the block rewards for miners. These events create scarcity and often precede significant price increases, which can strengthen Bitcoin’s dominance.
  7. Regulatory Environment: Regulatory developments and clear guidelines regarding cryptocurrencies can influence investor confidence in Bitcoin. Positive regulatory measures may enhance its dominance, while uncertain or restrictive regulations could have the opposite effect.
  8. Institutional Adoption: Increased interest and investment from institutional players can boost Bitcoin’s dominance. As more institutional investors recognize Bitcoin’s potential as a store of value, its dominance may rise.
  9. Global Economic Conditions: Economic uncertainties and geopolitical events can drive investors towards safe-haven assets like Bitcoin, potentially increasing its dominance during times of market turbulence.
  10. Community Support: Bitcoin’s strong and dedicated community of developers, miners, and enthusiasts contributes to its resilience and overall dominance in the market.


Bitcoin’s dominance in the cryptocurrency market is a testament to its enduring legacy and impact on the world of finance. From its humble beginnings as a whitepaper to its current status as a store of value, Bitcoin has come a long way.

Through the challenges, forks, and market fluctuations, Bitcoin has stood strong, fueled by the support of its passionate community. As the crypto landscape continues to evolve, Bitcoin’s decentralization and innovative technology remain at the forefront of the digital revolution.

So, the next time you hear about Bitcoin’s dominance, remember the remarkable journey that brought it to where it is today—an essential catalyst for change in the world of finance and beyond.

FAQs on Bitcoin Dominance

Q: What is the current dominance of Bitcoin in the cryptocurrency market?

A: As of the latest data, Bitcoin’s dominance hovers around 40-50% of the total cryptocurrency market capitalization.

Q: Can altcoins surpass Bitcoin in the future?

A: While altcoins play a vital role in the crypto space, Bitcoin’s unique position as the first cryptocurrency and its store of value narrative make it unlikely for any single altcoin to surpass its dominance.

Q: How does Bitcoin’s scarcity contribute to its value?

A: Bitcoin’s fixed supply of 21 million coins creates scarcity, similar to precious metals like gold. This scarcity, combined with increasing demand, drives its value higher.

Q: Is Bitcoin a safe investment?

A: As with any investment, there are risks involved in investing in Bitcoin. However, its status as a well-established digital asset and growing institutional interest has provided a level of stability and potential for long-term growth.

Q: What are the benefits of the Lightning Network for Bitcoin?

A: The Lightning Network enhances Bitcoin’s scalability and reduces transaction fees by enabling faster off-chain transactions.

Q: How has the regulatory landscape affected Bitcoin’s growth?

A: Uncertain and inconsistent regulations have initially impacted Bitcoin’s growth. However, as regulatory frameworks become clearer, Bitcoin’s legitimacy and institutional adoption are expected to improve.