Litecoin is up 5800% this year. A signal of an altcoin rally? – December 12

It’s official. The entire cryptocurrency market cap has surpassed half a trillion dollars! It’s as much about altcoins as it is about Bitcoin now.

Tuesday was a record-setting day for crypto markets. Both Litecoin and Ethereum exploded to new all-time highs of $338 and $643 respectively, rallying the altcoin market cap to $20 billion.

This makes the combined value of all cryptocurrencies worth more than Chinese technology conglomerate Alibaba, whose founder, Jack Ma recently said that Bitcoin is “not for me.”

The price of Bitcoin continued the rally as usual after U.S. exchange CBOE launched regulated bitcoin futures contracts on Sunday. The cryptocurrency registered an all-time high of $17,500 on Bitfinex.

After reaching $17,500, the Bitcoin price dropped to $16,906 but soon advanced to above $17,500 once again. This rally constituted a single-day increase of approximately 5%, and it raised Bitcoin’s market cap to $293 billion.

It is worth noting that Bitcoin futures trading is little more than a blip in the market. CBOE first day volume was $50 million, respectable for a nascent asset class, but it pales in comparison to the $12 billion in trades that Bitcoin exchanges processed during the same period.

Futures prices continued to signal that traders believe the Bitcoin price will increase heading into the new year but will slow down its rally considerably. At the time of writing, January futures were priced at $18,350, while February and March contracts traded close to $19,000.

Top Stories from the Crypto World

1. Litecoin surpasses all expectations

Litecoin is aiming for the stratosphere! The fourth largest cryptocurrency by market cap has rallied from under $5 at the start of 2017 to an all-time high near $338 today.

With this advance, the asset’s year-to-date gains stand at more than 5,500%, three times more than Bitcoin’s 1,800% rally. Unreal!?

The meteoric rise could be associated with the broad-based rally in the cryptocurrency space, though Litecoin’s accessibility to more user-friendly, and the ongoing general fear of missing out is perhaps the biggest driving factor.

In the last three days, Litecoin has appreciated from around $95 to $313 at the time of writing, posting a market cap of $17 billion.

2. Jamie Dimon remains highly skeptical of Bitcoin after futures launch

JPMorgan CEO Jamie Dimon is famous for his bombastic Bitcoin bashing, but he had been largely silent over the past two months.

He broke silence this week, issuing a short, muted statement that indicated he has not altered his view of bitcoin or other public, decentralized cryptocurrencies.

Look, everyone has a personal opinion about Bitcoin. I remain highly skeptical of it. But as I’ve said previously, I’m open-minded to uses of cryptocurrencies if properly controlled and regulated,” Dimon said.

A good thing to know: In an interview today, Tyler Winklevoss called out on Jamie Dimon suggesting that the JPMorgan CEO should kick off the shorting of Bitcoin futures. “He should put his money where his mouth is, now that he can.” Tyler added.

3. Bulgaria seizes enough Bitcoin to pay off 1/5 of national debt

The Bulgarian crime enforcement agency and the Southeast European Law Enforcement Center caught 23 Bulgarian criminals and confiscated a total of 213,519 Bitcoins – roughly valued at $3.5 bln.

The syndicate had hacked Bulgarian customs computers, effectively allowing them to import goods without paying the prescribed duties. With the help of a few corrupt officials the group installed viruses on customs computers in order to allow remote access.

At the time when 213,519 Bitcoins were seized by the Bulgarian officials, Bitcoin was valued at $2354. It’s now well past the $17k.

It’d be interesting to see what Bulgaria does with the seized wealth. According to National Debt Clock, Bulgaria’s national debt is in the region of $16 bln. At the current value, Bitcoin could pay a fifth of the country’s debt.