Litecoin, the bitcoin rival founded by the widely respected managing director of the Litecoin Foundation Charlie Lee, has popped higher today, rising 10% over the last 24 period and boosting the wider cryptocurrency market, including ethereum, Ripple’s XRP, and bitcoin.
The litecoin price rose to $37 after falling under the psychological $30 price last month amid a bitcoin and cryptocurrency bear market that’s dragged on the sector for the last 13 months. Litecoin fell to lows of around $22 late last year as the so-called crypto winter took its toll, down some 93% from its all-time high.
Litecoin’s rapid rise saw it overtake first bitcoin cash, an offshoot of the original bitcoin, and then EOS, an ethereum rival, moving into fourth place on the list of the world’s biggest cryptocurrencies by market value, according to CoinMarketCap prices.
Litecoin’s leap higher comes after news yesterday that the Litecoin Foundation and Beam, a software development outfit which has its own cryptocurrency, have officially decided to work together to explore whether Litecoin should implement the protocol Mimblewimble, named after a Harry Potter spell that stops people from spilling secrets and designed to improve privacy and scalability.
“We have started exploration towards adding privacy and fungibility to Litecoin by allowing on-chain conversion of regular LTC into a Mimblewimble variant of LTC and vice versa,” Beam wrote in a Medium post. “Upon such conversion, it will be possible to transact with Mimblewimble LTC in complete confidentiality.”
MimbleWimble allows the user to encrypt all data with respect to a transaction made on the cryptocurrency network and if litecoin did adopt it, it would require a so-called hard fork of the cryptocurrency a new version of litecoin to reflect the update.
“Lee has previously mentioned in various conversations his interest and hesitation with MimbleWimble but had hoped that the community would adopt the change if it proved to be a worthwhile upgrade to the network,” according to a Litecoin Foundation blog post.
The MimbleWimble implementation will also help the Litecoin Foundation’s ambition to make litecoin more fungible, meaning one litecoin, or a smaller denomination, should be able to switched for another without loss of value. Bank notes are considered highly fungible as one $20 bill can be swapped for another or two $10 bills.
Elsewhere, the litecoin price rise has pulled the wider cryptocurrency market out of the doldrums, with investors waking up to a sea of green on trading boards this morning.
Ethereum’s tradable token ether rose 2% over the last 24 hours, while ripple (XRP) was up by 1% and EOS added almost 2%.
The bitcoin price has been falling steadily since it hit an all-time high of almost $20,000 in December 2017, forcing many bitcoin, cryptocurrency and blockchain startups to slash jobs or shut down entirely and leaving investors desperate for signals of which way the market will move next.
Bitcoin and cryptocurrency fever gripped the world in 2017, with some major coins, including Ripple’s XRP, ethereum, and litecoin, seeing price percentage increases that far outstripped bitcoin itself.