The price of litecoin has today reached a three-year high, following strong trading activity in the run-up to a pending upgrade of the system.
Regarded as the “silver to bitcoin’s gold”, litecoin reached over $15.00 per unit in early trading today, the highest recorded value for the currency since March 2014.
The move comes after years of stagnation for litecoin, as the currency recognized the need to upgrade its underlying technology.
But now, with almost 80 percent of of litecoin miners supportive of the need for an upgrade, the likelihood of litecoin completing that process has spurred investment to its recent highs.
The technical upgrade, known as Segregated Witness, is expected to come on stream within the next two weeks.
Tim Enneking, chairman of fund Crypto Asset Management, said that the price of litecoin has surged as a direct result of the percentage of miners supporting the move to the new technology, underlining the significance the upgrade will have on litecoin in the future.
“Over the past week, LTC basically moved in tandem with the percentage of miners supporting it. Miner support is now 99.65 percent, so litecoin is doing well.”
Litecoin has the highest market cap of any digital currency other than bitcoin, and is widely regarded as the world’s second foremost cryptocurrency.
Compared to the 21 million coin limit of bitcoin, there are 84 million litecoins, with a mining time of just 2.5 minutes, compared to a mean of 10 minutes for bitcoin.
Created by Charles Lee in 2011, litecoin has grown to become one of the biggest rivals to the dominance of bitcoin.
The upgraded system would make the litecoin infrastructure more robust. While initially slow to gain the support of the litecoin mining community, support that is an essential precursor to any formal adoption of a new system, miners now appear to be coalescing around a more imminent adoption of the Segregated Witness system.
Litecoin has historically traded at around $4 per coin, with recent trading highs representing a significant jump in the value of the currency.
With investors now piling in behind litecoin ahead of the adoption of the new protocol, it remains to be seen just how high its value will soar.