Litecoin Sparks Huge Crypto Rally as Bitcoin Smashes Through $3,700

Cryptocurrencies broke out of their mundane trading range on Friday, as bitcoin and its altcoin peers posted their biggest gains in over a month. The move follows an explosive rally for Litecoin earlier in the day that was sparked by news that the protocol is moving closer to implementing privacy transactions.

Crypto Breakout

In the span of roughly 11 hours, the cryptocurrency market added $11 billion in value, reaching its highest level since early January. At the time of writing, the combined crypto market cap was worth $121.3 billion. It had peaked north of $122 billion earlier.

The bulk of the rally occurred over a two-hour stretch midday, as bitcoin and the major altcoins catapulted higher. Bitcoin peaked north of $3,700 on most major exchanges and printed a high of $3,800 on Bitfinex. The hourly chart showcases the sharp rise in momentum seen across the RSI and MACD.

The data feed on CoinMarketCap shows a 24-hour gain of 8.1%.

Litecoin was at the center of the dramatic turn and is presently tracking gains of 29%. The LTC price has clawed back above $43.00, its highest since mid-November. The gain propelled LTC to fourth spot on the crypto market index.

Like bitcoin, Litecoin has entered overbought territory as a result of the latest advance.

Weekly Recap: Crypto Markets Get a Shake-Up as Litecoin Ascends; Bitcoin ETF Has Another Backer at the SEC

Ethereum surged 14.1% to $119.54, where it was just $400 million shy of XRP for second spot in the market-cap rankings. As for XRP, it rose 7.2% to $0.3139, its highest in over a week.

EOS headed for double-digit gains, climbing 16.4% to reach $2.73. Bitcoin cash rallied 13.3% to $130.52. Double-digit gains were also reported for Monero, Cardano, IOTA and NEO.

The broad rally was accompanied by a 52% surge in trading volume, as exchange markets turned over more than $23 billion.

Lite the Torch

Litecoin was making waves long before bitcoin and the other major altcoins took off. The cryptocurrency surged 16% overnight after the Litecoin Foundation confirmed it was partnering with Beam Privacy to implement the Mimblewimble protocol. The protocol provides additional layers of privacy and confidentiality on the Litecoin blockchain.

For Litecoin founder Charlie Lee, confidential transactions are a precursor to fungibility. Without this crucial link, digital assets can never compete with fiat currency as a mode of transaction.

“Fungibility is the only property of sound money that is missing from Bitcoin & Litecoin,” Lee tweeted last month. “Now that the scaling debate is behind us, the next battleground will be on fungibility and privacy. I am now focused on making Litecoin more fungible by adding Confidential Transactions.”

More on the Litecoin rally: LTC/USD Sees Big Double-Digit Gains as Litecoin Foundation Moves Closer to Privacy Ambitions.

Litecoin reached a notable milestone on Friday by trading at fresh seven-month highs against bitcoin. The LTC/BTC exchange rate peaked at 0.01183190, according to CoinMarketCap.

Disclaimer: The author owns Bitcoin, Ethereum and other cryptocurrencies. He holds investment positions in the coins, but does not engage in short-term or day-trading.

Featured image courtesy of Shutterstock.

Chief Editor to and Contributor to, Sam Bourgi has spent the past nine years focused on economics, markets and cryptocurrencies. His work has been featured in and cited by some of the world's leading newscasts, including Barron's, CBOE and Forbes. Avid crypto watchers and those with a libertarian persuasion can follow him on twitter at @hsbourgi