Litecoin has been on a tear for the last few weeks, as its price has surged over 10 times within a month or so. Perhaps for the first time ever, even more remarkably, the Litecoin trading volume tracked by Coinmarketcap has overtaken Bitcoin’s trading volume. In the last 24 hours, Bitcoin’s trading volume stood at $40.17 million and Litecoin’s at $42.67. The feat is remarkable, as Litecoin has catapulted once again into the eyes of the mainstream cryptocurrency community.
In a perhaps unrelated move, Peercoin, another older cyrptocurrency, has also surged by almost 50% just within the last 24 hours. Namecoin, the decentralized DNS system merge-mined with Bitcoin also saw a healthy surge in price in the last few days, with the last 24 hour price surge around 60%.
It is always hard to assign reasons to price increases in the crypto world. However, Litecoin’s surge is important because it has been suggested that one of the reasons is its upcoming mining reward halving. This event is about 46 days away based on current difficulty levels and network hash rate. The reason this is important is because Bitcoin is set to undergo its own reward halving next year.
In addition, the founder of Litecoin Charlie Lee took to Reddit to explain why the spam attack currently undergoing on the Bitcoin network is not possible to replicate on the Litecoin network, and taking a dig at the core developers, published his pull request for this fix was rejected 3 years ago.
The number of Litecoin transactions hasn’t risen proportionally, and it is possible that the recent price increase is just another pump which should be all too familiar to anyone in this space. However, the scale of this is quite enormous, as Litecoin is the second largest cryptocurrency by market capitalization.
Silver to Bitcoin
Litecoin has been marketed as the ‘silver to Bitcoin’s gold’, and has been true to a fair extent. By using Scrypt, a memory intensive proof of work, Litecoin mining is still relatively more decentralized than Bitcoin’s and Scrypt ASICs have almost died out, as they don’t provide a significant improvement over GPU mining.
Also, with the recent price surge, Litecoin is once again second in Coinmarketcap ratings, beating out Ripple in the process.
It looks like the older, more established cryptocurrencies are enjoying a surge in recent weeks, with Litecoin, Peercoin and Namecoin on the move. Other ‘Bitcoin 2.0’ technologies like Bitshares and NXT remain flat.