On Sunday (January 6th), Litecoin (LTC) surged over 11%, in the process overtaking Stellar Lumens (XLM) to become the sixth most valuable cryptocurrency (by market cap).
At press time (18:00 UTC), according to CryptoCompare, Litecoin is trading at $39.73 for a $2.38 billion market cap, while Stellar Lumens is trading at 0.1208 for a $2.31 billion market cap.
The past 30 days have been pretty good for Litecoin. During this period, Litecoin, which is often referred to as "digital silver" (assuming that Bitcoin is "digital gold"), has gone up an amazing 62% (from $24.50 on 7 December 2018 to $39.73 on 6 January 2019).
During that time, Bitcoin (BTC) has also done well, but its 20.46% increase pales in comparison to what Litecoin has achieved.
So what explains the current positive sentiment surrounding Litecoin? Here are a few possibilities:
- Expanding Lightning Network (recently "surpassing 100 Active Nodes for the first time").
- As Litecoin creator Charlie Lee said in a very interesting recent interview, he is planning to add support for Confidential Transactions to improve Litecoin's privacy and fungibility, as well as support for Schnorr signatures, which will help with scalability.
- As a Litecoin Foundation blog post pointed out on December 25th, "the development of Atomic Swaps through the Lightning Network" means that "Litecoin’s utility will increase as it will become a cheaper on-ramp to the Bitcoin Lightning Network"; also, the same blog post explained that Rootstock adding "Litecoin support to their roadmap" means that "users will soon be able to redeem their Litecoin for the sidechain Smart Litecoin (SLTC) in order to utilize ethereum-like smart-contracts."
- Litecoin Foundation's willingness to spend money to increase global awareness of Litecoin. Here is Charlie Lee's tweet about last month's sponsorship of a UFC title fight:
Excited to announce that the Litecoin logo will be on the canvas as the Official Cryptocurrency Partner of @UFC 232 on 12/29 in Inglewood CA! Read more: https://t.co/y4yvPWb6rj pic.twitter.com/ddML54j5GH— Charlie Lee [LTC⚡] (@SatoshiLite) December 26, 2018