Litecoin prices have climbed sharply this year, leaving many top cryptocurrencies in the dust.
The altcoin (digital currency other than bitcoin) extended recent gains today, hitting a fresh 2019 high.
The digital currency reached $138.06 at roughly 4:30 Eastern Time, according to CoinMarketCap.
At this point, the cryptocurrency had risen more than 9% in the last 24 hours and was up roughly 355% since the start of 2019, additional CoinMarketCap figures show.
Further, litecoin was trading at its highest since May 21, 2018.
The cryptocurrency has risen more in 2019 than bitcoin and ether, the two largest digital currencies by market capitalization, according to CoinMarketCap.
Bitcoin appreciated roughly 140% between the start of this year and its annual high reached in late May. Ether, however, has climbed approximately 115%.
Leading Markets Higher
Litecoin has been leading the digital currency markets higher, generating compelling gains over the last several months.
Several analysts have lauded the cryptocurrency for its strong performance, with eToro’s Mati Greenspan recently stating that:
“Litecoin has been a leader throughout this recent bullrun.”
The digital currency has been climbing since hitting a local bottom in December 2018, when its price fell below $23.
In that time, the cryptocurrency has rallied more than 500%.
Traders Look To Halving
When explaining the consistent gains that litecoin has enjoyed over the last several months, analysts have repeatedly referenced the halving that the digital currency is scheduled to undergo on August 6th.
As a result of this event, the mining incentive or block reward will be cut in half, lowering to 12.5 LTC.
This development will reduce the rate at which new units of litecoin enter the digital currency markets, lowering new supply and potentially pushing prices higher.
Charles Hayter, cofounder and CEO of digital currency data platform CryptoCompare, summed it up nicely, describing the upcoming halving as a “price catalyst.”
Joe DiPasquale, CEO of cryptocurrency fund of hedge funds BitBull Capital, described the anticipation surrounding this event as causing litecoin’s recent gains.