The litecoin price soared to $74 on Thursday, shattering its previous all-time high and catapulting the coin’s market cap to $3.9 billion. The advance seems to have been sparked by litecoin developer Charlie Lee’s announcement that he had Lightning’s LND and a Lightning-enabled wallet “installed and working” on the mainnet.
The $11 gain represented a 24-hour increase of 17%. In the past week, litecoin has leaped over both the $60 and $70 thresholds. Significantly, its weekly rise translates into a 50% gain over what was already a near-record for litecoin, one of the oldest cryptocurrencies.
As is often the case, the rally was fueled by strong volume on the Asian cryptocurrency exchanges. Bithumb’s LTC/KRW trading pair accounted for $119 million in volume, while OKCoin and Huobi’s LTC/CNY pairs combined for a total of $197 million. GDAX, the largest LTC/USD pair, experienced $77.5 million in volume.
The impetus for the rally appears to have been a tweet from litecoin developer Charlie Lee. In the tweet, Lee posted a screenshot of a Lightning network-enabled Zap wallet and stated that he had it working on the litecoin mainnet.
As CCN.com has previously reported, the activation of SegWit on both the litecoin and bitcoin networks will enable cross-network transaction swaps between the two cryptocurrencies. These “atomic swaps” are expected to facilitate a host of other innovations within the cryptocurrency ecosystem. Lee had previously revealed that he was testing Lightning on the litecoin mainnet, but today’s tweet is confirmation that the system is functioning correctly.
In addition to litecoin, the cryptocurrency markets broke several records today. The bitcoin price punched through $4,700 to reach a record $4,765, while the total crypto market cap ascended to $173 billion. Finally, the total number of cryptocurrencies with valuations exceeding $1 billion rose to 14, a new all-time high.
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