A familiar pattern is playing out in the crypto-sphere: Bitcoin is pumping and altcoins are slumping.

But if this plays out the way it has in the past (never a guarantee) alts will join the party once BTC takes a breather.

For now, the king of cryptocurrencies appeared poised to make a run at $US60,000 ($77,000) after jumping from $US46,500 ($60,000) last Friday to a two and half week high of $US57,200 ($74,000) around 6.20am AEDT today.

Shortly after noon, BTC was changing hands for $US55,708 ($71,800), up 1.8 per cent from 24 hours ago. But nearly every other cryptocurrency in the top 20 on Nomics was down, aside from Theta Token (up 24.3 per cent) Bitcoin Cash (up 0.16 per cent), Wrapped Bitcoin (tokenised Bitcoin that trades on the Ethereum network and closely tracks the price of BTC) and two stablecoins, Tether and USD Coin.

Of the top 100 coins on Coingecko, just 17 were in the green in the past 24 hours, with Theta the top performer. It hit an all-time high of $US6.75 around 11.30am AEDT, and was trading at $US6.51 an hour later.

Bitmax Token, Polygon (MATIC), SwissBorg, THORChain, Near, Decred, Kusama and FTX Token were the other coins in the top 100 to hit all-time highs in the past 24 hours, according to Coingecko.

Bitcoin ascendant

The bullish moves for Bitcoin came as the US Congress passed a $US1.9 trillion ($2.5 trillion) stimulus package that includes $US1,400 ($1,800) checks for most Americans.

It’s the third payday for Americans since the pandemic. Social media users pointed out that if the April 2020 check for $US1,200 ($1,550) had been invested in Bitcoin, it’d now be worth nearly $US10,000 ($12,900).

Gold bug and prominent Peter Schiff even announced that his son was “all in” on Bitcoin with 100 per cent of his assets invested in the original cryptocurrency.

Bitcoin to overtake silver?

Some on Crypto Twitter were even talking about Bitcoin overtaking silver as the sixth most valuable asset in the world. It’s currently ranked eighth, with a market cap of just $US1 trillion.

If silver prices stay constant at US$26 an ounce, BTC would have to trade at around $US76,700 ($99,100) to “flip” the precious metal.