Litecoin, a cryptocurrency often seen as the silver to bitcoin’s gold, has been leading a crypto market rally that has already added $10 billion to the ecosystem, after rising a whopping 30% in the last 24-hour period.
According to CryptoCompare data LTC is currently changing hands at $42.8, a high the cryptocurrency hasn’t seen since November of last year. The cryptocurrency’s trading volume in the last 24-hour period notably hit 1.55 million LTC as its rally has been affecting the wider market.
Litecoin’s move up has seemingly affected the cryptocurrency ecosystem, as most top altcoins are up in said period, with ether, EOS, bitcoin cash, QTUM, and NEO moving up between 10% and 14%. Bitcoin, the flagship cryptocurrency, is currently trading at $3,654 after rising 7.73%.
Behind LTC’s rise could be various factors. Among them, news that the Litecoin Foundation is in talks to implement privacy features for the cryptocurrency via the Miblewimble protocol, a sponsorship of the Mammoth Film festival, and the potential use of Litecoin’s Lightning Network (LN) in over 4,500 merchants thanks to CoinGate.
Great news! We are finally enabling #Litecoin #LightningNetwork payments to all our 4,500 merchants! So, feel free to use #LiteningNetwork for making purchases online, or accept LTC Lightning payments with your business. Go $LTC! @SatoshiLite @litecoin @LTCFoundation pic.twitter.com/j5Zrd8KXtz— CoinGate (@CoinGatecom) February 8, 2019
While the rally has seen various cryptocurrency enthusiasts turn bullish on LTC, the rise may not entirely be related to it. According to economist and trader Alex Krüger, this “is a BTC move,” as it “almost always is.” Krüger stated LTC followed bitcoin’s pump, and that its chart “has been the strongest in crypto for a while.” He added:
On the fundamentals side, SEC Commissioner Jackson hinting towards eventual support for a Bitcoin ETF is big. On the technicals side, once BTC moved above $3450, it turned into a classic [short] squeeze.
When asked about whether the market could be overacting to LTC’s LN payments being rolled out to 4,500 merchants, he noted it “explains the overperformance, which has been noticeable for a few weeks.”
Per Krüger, if bitcoin’s price crashed through its lows litecoin would “almost certainly have crashed even more, regardless of any LN payments, etc.” As far as price points go, he noted the $3,450 mark set the stage for the short squeeze, and the $3,500 mark “closes the trap.” Above it, he said, “its just bear carnage nothing extraordinary.”