BitStamp’s decision to launch Litecoin trading has boosted the altcoin’s price 60 percent, pushing the price past $50 on June 10 and giving it a $2.6 billion market capitalization. The price has since tapered to $48.45 today, possibly signaling another chapter in its volatile history.
The $48.45 price actually marked a 0.47-point gain in the last 24 hours, with a market capitalization at $2.5 billion, according to coinmarketcap.com. A total $632,244,000 was traded in the last 24 hours.
Litecoin began the week hovering in the $28-32 range, and it remained there until June 16, when it began to climb. By June 17, it was trading above $40. On June 19, the price briefly crossed the $50 threshold, leading up to Litecoin trading pairs going live before falling back.
This marked the first time Litecoin has pierced the $50 mark since November 2013. After falling from this peak, the price spent several years averaging below $5 before mounting a recovery. It held a value of $10 as recently as April, meaning it has rallied more than 500% in the past two months.
BitStamp credited the recent price rise to its activation of Segregated Witness, which could serve to introduce technologies such as Lightning Network, further building on what the Litecoin network can achieve.
The Lightning Network was built as a way to expand bitcoin, but attempts to enact the necessary upgrade stalled, BitStamp pointed out.
“With Litecoin being the first major blockchain to pass the Segregated Witness (SegWit) technical upgrade, we decided it was time to enable Litecoin here at Bitstamp, and to start exploring the possibilities the Lightning Network offers,” the company noted on its website.
Earlier this year, Litecoin founder Charlie Lee spearheaded the activation of SegWit, which helped solve scalability and transaction malleability issues.
Litecoin’s price dropped from $39 to around $27 a few days after activating SegWit.
Lee has since left his post as director of engineering at Coinbase so he could devote his full attention to Litecoin development.
BitStamp, for its part, was expanding its customer base before adding Litecoin.
After recently accepting Visa or MasterCard credit/debit card purchases from U.S. customers, Bitstamp advised customers a month ago that its expanding customer base was resulting in longer service response times. The company’s phone service was currently offline, and it asked customers to be patient.
In a notice titled “Increased Demand,” the company encouraged customers experiencing delayed credit card payments to check their spam folders in the event that its partner Simplex reached out.
In introducing Litecoin, BitStamp noted there were frequent requests from customers to introduce LTC trading. BitStamp now pairs LTC with BTC, EUR and USD. BitStamp has also partnered with BitGo to introduce a multi-signature Litecoin wallet. BitStamp is also working to make LTC trading available on its mobile Android and iOS.
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