Bitcoin ignited a market rally when its price rose to $52,000 on Sep. 6. Both large and small investors look to BTC to set the standard for the cryptocurrency market, especially for older, established coins. When BTC's price goes up, so do other altcoins. Conversely, if BTC's price plummets, other altcoins will see their price's drop.

Bitcoin Cash followed BTC's lead, rising 30 percent. BTH is a hard fork and effectively a separate cryptocurrency. It was created to address high transaction fees and slow processing times. Litecoin increased 41 percent as BTC rose, LTC's merits, including better network scalability and token supply, will hopefully help the altcoin increase in price without relying on a BTC rally.

Even new investors soon realize most altcoin market prices are very closely tied to Bitcoin's performance. For investors, the key is to determine which altcoins are affected the most, whether it is a price increase or decrease. It's often difficult to pinpoint trends since BTC's market dominance is almost 70 percent. Also, many altcoins wait till BTC's price stabilizes before they see their prices rise.

Ethereum's price is the exception as it is the most trusted digital coin aside from BTC. It is also an important indicator of upward or downward trends. What happens to Ethereum impacts altcoins, since it is where many smart contracts and DeFi protocols are located.

Most altcoins have no effect on BTC. People thought Facebook's Libra, now called Diem, would make altcoins more popular, but it hasn't happened. BTC remains the gold standard because it is highly liquid and traded on nearly all crypto exchange. BTC is also the most trusted cryptocurrency, although Ether, BTH, LiteCoin and others are also highly trusted. Unfortunately, too many shady altcoins, like Bitconnect, ruined some investor's trust. Bitcoin is most likely to remain the gold standard that affects all other cryptocurrencies.