Sui, Bittensor, Celestia top small pack with rising bitcoin price ratios

Crypto prices are largely denominated in US dollars, but basing them in bitcoin often makes far more sense


Art by Crystal Le


Crypto markets, overall, are about where they were at the start of 2024. But not every crypto has gone sideways like bitcoin and ether.

SUI, the native token for the layer-1 blockchain of the same name, has almost doubled its price against bitcoin since January 1. 

The network, stewarded by former Meta employees once focused on Diem and considered a rival to Solana, also just passed $500 million in total value locked in its DeFi apps for the first time.

SUI leads a small set of cryptocurrencies which have seen their bitcoin ratios increase year-to-date. 

Bitcoin generally leads the market. US dollar-denominated prices for other cryptocurrencies are usually heavily influenced by bitcoin movements — they tend to go up and down alongside BTC.

Bitcoin price ratios offer a less noisy alternative. Pricing ether in bitcoin, for example, makes it easier to determine whether ETH is simply rising or falling due to its correlation with bitcoin, or whether markets are valuing them more independently.

Of the 60 or so cryptocurrencies worth $1 billion or more that aren’t stablecoins, wrapped assets or liquid staking tokens, only 14 are ahead against bitcoin.

Bitcoin, ether and solana are plodding along

The bitcoin price ratio for machine-learning marketplace token Bittensor (TAO) is up 60% this year, followed by modular data layer Celestia’s TIA at 46%. 

ASTR, the crypto central to public Polkadot parachain Astar, has also added nearly one-third to its bitcoin price ratio. 

Astar presents itself as a “smart contract hub” that helps move assets between blockchains including Ethereum and Cosmos. The team maintains a strong presence in Japan and is preparing to debut its own zkEVM based on Polygon’s chain development kit.

Bitcoin-powered memecoin ORDI, layer-1 token algorand (ALGO) and decentralized storage asset filecoin (FIL) have performed the worst against bitcoin so far this year, each down around 30%. 

ORDI — styled as the first-ever BRC-20 token issued via Ordinals — had however multiplied its bitcoin ratio over the past six months, leading TIA and TAO for bitcoin-denominated returns.

Ether’s bitcoin ratio is down 14% in six months

Of the studied cohort, cryptocurrencies for legacy layer-1s Stellar (XLM), XRP, Litecoin (LTC) and Monero (XMR) fared the worst against bitcoin in the past half-year, each losing about 40%.

Updated Feb. 6, 2024 at 8:59 am ET: Added context.

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