The overall cryptocurrency market valuations are at a record high of more than $500 billion. This time two altcoins are joining the party – Ethereum (ETH) and Litecoin (LTC). Ethereum, the second largest cryptocurrency by market cap has been showing a lot of strength during a week and is currently trading at $733.16, according to CoinMarketCap. In the past 24 hours, Ethereum has hit its new all-time high of $753.12 with market cap crossing $70 billion.
This year has been quite successful for Ethereum as the cryptocurrency has made more than 8700% returns since the beginning of 2017. When compared to its “arch rival” Bitcoin, it turns out that Ethereum has managed to give four times more returns than Bitcoin gave during the same period.
Ethereum, just like Bitcoin, is backed by the decentralized blockchain-technology. But in comparison with Bitcoin-blockchain, which is used only as a payments system, Ethereum’s blockchain offers space for running decentralized apps as well. This is the primary reason why many analysts prefer Ethereum over Bitcoin.
We have seen many startups raising funds through ICOs and selling their digital tokens on exchange for Ether tokens, created on the Ethereum blockchain. Recently, a decentralized game called CryptoKitties, which allows users to collect digital tokens on the Ethereum blockchain, has turned quite popular.
Another altcoin which has contributed significantly to the market momentum this week is Litecoin. This altcoin has been on a crazy rally during last one week with its price climbing up by more than 200% and its overall market valuation surging past $15 billion. Litecoin has proved to be a major underdog by delivering more than 7500% returns since the start of 2017. The major part of this rally has been taking place during the past one week, when it rose from sub $100 levels to hitting its new all-time high of $341.80.
Bitcoin is currently struggling with scalability-connected issues like network clogging, low transaction speeds, and higher transactions costs. Being more stable than Bitcoin, Litecoin is said to be up and prepared for these challenges offering a competitive advantage in the sphere.
Earlier this week, while speaking to CNBC, Litecoin-founder Charlie Lee expressed confidence over the future of altcoin and cryptocurrencies in general saying that digital currencies could replace fiat currencies very soon. At thw same time, he agrees with the fact that currently there are somechallenges connected with network scalability, which need to be addressed ASAP due to a massive influx of investors participating in the digital-crypto-space.
One of the largest exchanges in the U.S – Coinbase started this year with a customer base of 5.5 million people. Now it reports that this number has grown to 13.3 million at the end of November, showing 100% increase in the number of registered users. In light of intensive buying orders and massive rally in Ethereum and Litecoin, the exchange had to suspend trading for an hour this Monday morning for maintenance purposes.