Litecoin Spikes to New High as Market Cap Reaches $20 Billion
The value of Litecoin surged on Tuesday, a sign that investors were opting for the smaller altcoins amid bull market exhaustion for bitcoin.
LTC/USD Price Levels
Litecoin values have been trekking higher all day long, with the LTC-USD exchange rate hitting an intraday record of $370.42. At press time, the coin was up 5% at $353 for a total market capitalization of $19.7 billion. There are nearly 54.38 million LTC tokens in circulation.
The latest surge in price gives Litecoin a five-day return of 15%. LTC/USD has gained a staggering 370% over the past month.
Trade volumes over the past 24 hours approached $2.6 billion, according to CoinMarketCap. Coindesk processed more than a quarter of the transactions, which was equivalent to $367 million. Bitfinex also saw more than 10% of daily turnover. South Korea’s Bithumb processed roughly 6% of transactions.
There was no apparent catalyst behind Litecoin’s latest upsurge. The cryptocurrency has been on a tear all month long even as bitcoin continued to exert its dominance. The world’s largest digital asset peaked near $20,000 earlier this week, sending the global cryptocurrency market cap north of $640 billion.
Litecoin Gaining Prominence
As the third-oldest cryptocurrency still in circulation, Litecoin has seen its prospects grow significantly this year. There are several factors suggesting Litecoin will continue to rise in the near term, including renewed commitment from founder Charlie Lee to add new improvements to the system. Thins includes, among other things, addressing the lack of fungibility facing Litecoin and other altcoins, as well as improving confidential transactions.
The Litecoin cryptocurrency was founded in 2011, and is currently one of three digital assets available on the Coindesk GDAX exchange. Lee was employed as an engineer by Google when he founded Litecoin. He left his job this year to focus on the Litecoin project full-time. Unlike other market participants, Lee has been careful to rein in excitement about cryptocurrency investing.
In a recent quote, he said the following:
“Buying LTC is extremely risky. I expect us to have a multi-year bear market like the one we just had where LTC dropped 90% in value ($48 to $4). So if you can’t handle LTC dropping to $20, don’t buy!”
Despite Lee’s repeated warnings, many investors have been eager to load up on Litecoin over its real and perceived advantages over bitcoin. For starters, mining an LTC block takes only 2.5 millions, which is a fraction of bitcoin’s 10-minute timeframe. Litecoin’s supply of 84 million is also much larger than bitcoin’s 21 million. Finally, Litecoin transactions are virtually zero whereas bitcoin is subject to transaction fees that change based on network activity.
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.
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