In the crypto market, all eyes are on Bitcoin (BTC -3.17%), and for good reason. Not only is it the largest crypto by market capitalization, it is also historically the one crypto that leads the market both higher and lower. That creates the opportunity for some cryptos to trade under the radar of investors who are too busy watching Bitcoin.

This could be the situation now with Litecoin (LTC -4.40%) and Dash (DASH -6.39%), which have pushed steadily higher over the past month at a time when Bitcoin is losing momentum. Litecoin is up 39.70% over the past 30 days, while Dash is up 8.13% over that same time period. In contrast, Bitcoin is down 16.68%. 

What do all of these coins have in common?

Both Litecoin and Dash are based on the same cryptocurrency technology used to create Bitcoin. While Bitcoin launched as the original cryptocurrency back in 2009, Litecoin launched two years later as a "lite" version of it, hence the name. The goal of Litecoin was simply to improve on what Bitcoin already offered in terms of faster, cheaper payments.

The story is similar for Dash, which launched in 2014 as a fork of Litecoin. This means that the original blockchain developers behind Litecoin decided to split the main blockchain and name the new one Dash.

Bitcoin split in half by lightning.

Image source: Getty Images.

The fact that all three cryptos are related is important because it means all three are based on roughly the same proof-of-work blockchain technology that relies on mining to create new blocks for the blockchain.

This also means that all three of these coins undergo a process known as a "halving" on a schedule set by an algorithm. In a halving, the block reward for miners is cut by one-half. Bitcoin undergoes a halving every four years, as does Litecoin. Dash undergoes a halving once every 365 days, because the block reward is reduced by only 7.14%, not 50%.

How to profit from the halving

Historically, halving events have been very lucrative for traders and have always been very much anticipated by the crypto market. The easiest way to profit from these events is to buy anywhere from 12 to 15 months ahead of the next halving. Since the date of each halving is determined algorithmically, it is easy to pinpoint when this is going to happen for each coin. The next Bitcoin halving is March 2024, the next Litecoin halving is July 2023, and the next Dash halving is May 2023.

Once you understand the timing of these halving events, it's easy to see why Litecoin and Dash both appear to be diverging from Bitcoin right now. If historical models hold, one would expect Dash and Litecoin to benefit first from their respective halving events, and Bitcoin to lag behind by at least several months. Moreover, since the Dash halving is not nearly as pronounced as the Litecoin halving (7.14% compared to 50%), one would also expect a greater rally in the price of Litecoin than in Dash, which is what we are seeing. Right now, traders are expecting that Litecoin could have a 200% price rally by the time of its next halving.

More potential than Bitcoin, but for how long?

For this reason, Litecoin and Dash could have more potential than Bitcoin over the near-term future. Crypto publications are already starting to talk about the "pre-halving rally" for Litecoin, which has only intensified the impact of this effect. Since the Bitcoin halving is not going to happen until 2024, it will likely trade sideways for the rest of this year and into early 2023. Thus, a very short-term window exists for Litecoin and Dash to outperform Bitcoin. At a time when much of the crypto market is deep in the red, this could be a sneaky opportunity to profit from both Litecoin and Dash. 

Over the long term, though, I'm still much more bullish on Bitcoin than on either Litecoin or Dash. For example, some traders are predicting that Bitcoin could rally to $63,000 by March 2024 as a result of investor anticipation of the next halving. If there is one cryptocurrency to buy and hold for the long term, it's Bitcoin. But if you are looking to pad your crypto portfolio by year-end, it could be worth a closer look at Litecoin and Dash.