Litecoin achieved $200 on Wednesday, and this raised the LTC/BTC value to the highest in almost three years. Today, its bullish run continued, with LTC going briefly past the $235 mark to hit $236 on Bitfinex. This was the highest point since January 15th. At the time of writing, the price was hovering around the $230 mark, with its market cap slightly above $12 billion.
The trading volumes of the coin remain quite decentralized, with no single exchange accounting for over 16 percent of trading volumes. However, one exchange that has seen LTC trading surge is Upbit in South Korea, which saw volumes rise from $62 million to over $237 million in just a single day. Bithumb, another exchange in South Korea, saw a similar rise in volumes. The two exchanges, which price LTC at a five percent premium, account for 16.5 percent of daily trading volumes combined.
The Building of the LTC Payment Infrastructure May Have Played a Role
This appears to be driven in part by the assumption that the growing LTC payments infrastructure will turn LTC into the dominant crypto for transactions. According to a recent report, the payment-processing firm, which is closely modeled on BitPay, will go live on February 26th. According to the company launching the infrastructure, it will make it easy for merchants and consumers to send and receive payments in LTC.
In other positive news, Coinbase has upgraded its merchant processing platform on Wednesday, which will allow merchants to accept crypto directly via user-controlled wallets. The platform is currently compatible with all the four digital currencies supported by the exchange, which includes LTC.
The developer of Litecoin, Charlie Lee, was quick to remind the Litecoin community that these were not the only developments for Litecoin this year. He suggested in a tweet that LTC will be accepted on a popular web wallet and a goods trading platform, and feature one huge surprise.
There May Be a Fork Coming
The development of infrastructure may not be the only driving factor. A developer has suggested that there are plans to fork Litecoin and create Litecoin Cash. In most cases, prices usually rise prior to a fork. After a hard fork, all coin holders usually get coins airdropped to the new blockchain. However, Lee and others in the community have deemed Litecoin Cash to be a scam.
The Dark Web May Also be Driving Growth
Other reports indicate that Litecoin has become quite popular on the dark web. This is because criminals have become dissatisfied with the transaction costs of Bitcoin. This has led to a major loss of revenue for most operators on the dark web. However, if Litecoin becomes too popular amongst cybercriminals, it could cast a dark shadow on LTC. This could cause its value to drop over time as genuine traders start to avoid it.
Image Credit: Deposit Photos
What do you think about the rise of LTC? What do you think is driving it? Leave us your thoughts in the comments section below.