Litecoin Touches New Five-Week High in Wake of Hard Fork
Litecoin hit fresh five-week highs Tuesday, as the coin continued to generate momentum in the wake of a hard fork that produce Litecoin Cash (LCC). Although holders of the original Litecoin were credited with the new token, project founder Charlie Lee has warned investors that LCC has nothing to do with the original cryptocurrency.
LTC/USD Price Levels
Litecoin jumped around 9% to a session high of $244.11, putting it on track for its best close since Jan. 15. At press time, the LTC/USD exchange rate was valued at $240 for a gain of 8%. The currency has added more than 53% over the past five days, but is still trailing its year-to-date high by about 25%.
With recent gains, Litecoin has moved back into fifth place on the active list of cryptocurrencies with a market cap of $13.5 billion. The coin was previously overtaken by Cardano, a lesser known altcoin that has seen huge gains this year.
The latest rally has also been accompanied by an upsurge in trade volumes involving LTC. More than $1.1 billion worth of Litecoin trades were placed over the past 24 hours, according to data provider CoinMarketCap.
Hard Fork Produces Litecoin Cash
Litecoin Cash came into existence on Sunday following a hard fork of the original LTC protocol at block 1,371,111. The official split occurred around 11:00 p.m. GMT. Investors who held the original Litecoin at the time of the hard fork received the new LCC at a ratio of 10:1.
The hard fork introduces bitcoin’s SHA-256 algorithm into the blockchain. The original uses Scrypt to verify transactions.
Earlier this month, Litecoin founder and chief visionary Charlie Lee warned investors that the planned hard fork was not affiliated with his company. In a Feb. 4 tweet, Lee issued the following statement from his @SatoshiLite handle:
“PSA: The Litecoin team and I are not forking Litecoin. Any forks that you hear about is a scam trying to confuse you to think it’s related to Litecoin. Don’t fall for it and definitely don’t enter your private keys or seed into their website or client. Be careful out there!”
A hard fork is generated when the original cryptocurrency splits into two, usually as a result of changes to the original blockchain’s code. Bitcoin went through two hard forks last year that produced bitcoin cash (BCH) and bitcoin gold (BTG).
As for the newly created Litecoin Cash, prices surged more than 400% following the Sunday fork. At the time of writing, LCC was valued at $7.63 for a gain of 150%. The coin peaked at $9.25.
Though largely influenced by the LCC fork, Litecoin’s recent bullish streak has also benefited from the planned launch of LitePay, a new payment processor that will help e-commerce businesses accept cryptocurrency payments. LitePay is scheduled to go live Feb. 26.
Litecoin’s popularity is also growing on the dark web and among those who are more concerned with privacy. A recent study published by Recorded Future found Litecoin to be the second-most popular cryptocurrency among criminals, behind bitcoin.
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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