Litecoin is now the fourth largest cryptocurrency by market capitalization after overtaking serious competitors IOTA and Ripple in a remarkable rally that started on Monday.
Litecoin is now trading for $321.20 a unit according to CoinMarketCap with a total market capitalization of $16,372,875,705. IOTA which has recently become a serious contender for the top spot is now estimated to have a market cap of $11,563,262,907, but its value has dropped approximately 8.85% on a day to day basis since Tuesday’s trading.
The spike in prices was so high that trading had to be paused on Coinbase due to the high number of transactions. “Litecoin and ethereum buy and sells are temporarily disabled. We the for any inconvenience,” the message from Coinbase’s status page.
GDAX, Coinbase’s exchange although old problems much to the dissatisfaction of its users who lashed the company for the inconvenience. Amid the rush, its iOS-based app was the most used in the US. Cryptocurrency exchanges have shown some cracks during times of intense trading.
Coinbase’s CEO Brian Armstrong has acknowledged it in his Medium post. The site has been adding over 10,000 users per day overtaking more established sites such as YouTube.
The low transaction fees and the faster network is also playing a big part. Bitcoin mining fees have been rising the value of the cryptocurrency making small trades unbearable.
“Despite the sizable and ongoing increases in our technical infrastructure and engineering staff, we wanted to remind customers that access to Coinbase services may become degraded or unavailable during times of significant volatility or volume. This could result in the inability to buy or sell for periods of time,” the post read.
“We have also invested heavily in our infrastructure and have increased the number of transactions we are processing during peak hours by over 40x,” he continued to say as he tried to assure disgruntled users.
There is the reason to believe that increased activity with bitcoin has a trickle-down effect on Litecoin. With the launch of bitcoin future by CBOE, frustrated users who could no longer tolerate the clogged up network might have been sent the Litecoin way.
Litecoin transactions are four times faster than bitcoin with its slightly different approach. In future, it could serve as the best alternative for small transactions possible because of the high volume of coins available. Coming soon after bitcoin was developed, Litecoin represents an entirely new concept.
The peer to peer currency was developed by Charlie Lee who once worked with Google. He also served as the head of Engineering at Coinbase. The simple algorithm allows for less processing power with blocks being generated in two and a half minutes.
Litecoin has now surged 5700 percent since the start of 2017, performing much better than bitcoin which has managed 1550 percent over the same period of time.