Litecoin Regains Sixth Spot in Market Cap Amid Rumors that Charlie Lee Is Leaving Project


Litecoin prices traded firmly to the upside on Saturday, as rumors of Charlie Lee’s possible exit from the project was greeted positively by proponents of decentralization.

LTC/USD Price Levels

The value of Litecoin rose 7.5% to $178.50, its highest level since mid-March. With the gains, Litecoin’s market cap rose to nearly $10.1 billion, overtaking Cardano for sixth spot on the global leader board. The digital currency had dropped to seventh spot on the coin ranking list after Cardano and EOS rocketed in value.

Total trade volumes surged nearly 20% to $751 million, according to data provider CoinMarketCap. That makes LTC the sixth most actively traded digital currency on the market.

Hong Kong’s OKEx was the biggest market for LTC trades, processing roughly one quarter of the daily transactions. Coinbase’s GDAX exchange generated roughly 10% of the daily volume.

The latest uptrend came after an extended period of narrow trading that was characterized by firm resistance near $160. The recent breakout suggests the bulls are aiming for a higher target, though prices continue to trade at less than half of their historic highs.

Is Charlie Lee Abandoning Litecoin?

Rumors of Charlie Lee’s departure from Litecoin came to a head earlier this week when one of his Twitter followers asked him about his future with the project. In the conversation, Lee confirmed the rumors, but provided no indication of an imminent departure. He said the main reason for his eventual exit from the project was to ensure Litecoin becomes fully decentralized.

In December, Lee confirmed that he had “sold and donated” all his holdings of LTC, prompting speculation over his imminent departure. He cited “conflict of interest” as the main motivation for liquidating his LTC account amid accusations that he sometimes spoke of Litecoin merely for “personal benefit.” By relinquishing control of Litecoin, Lee aims to stay true to the founding principles of decentralized blockchain currency.

Like other digital assets, Litecoin experienced a sharp correction during the first quarter and eventually bottomed in early April. The cryptocurrency has since recovered roughly 60% from its April swing low below $110. There’s reason to believe the asset will appreciate further as more companies adopt the protocol for cheaper and faster transactions. For example, it has been confirmed that a recent LTC transaction valued at $99 million was processed for a fee of just 40 cents.

Disclaimer: The author owns bitcoin, Ethereum and other cryptocurrencies. He holds investment positions in the coins, but does not engage in short-term or day-trading.

Featured image courtesy of Shutterstock.

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