Bitcoin (BTC/USD) roared back after a week-long slump, soaring 16% to $370 on Bitstamp during the past 24 hours.
It was bitcoin’s biggest 24-hour gain since its massive run-up to $500. It is currently trading at a 2-week high.
Litecoin (LTC/USD) had its biggest 24-hour spike this month, gaining 20% to $3.67- its highest level since October 30. It has once again surpassed Ripple as the second highest cryptocurrency in market capitalization. It had briefly held the position earlier this month during the climax of the rally in crypto prices.
The LTC/BTC rate crossed back over 0.01.
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The rallies are a sudden reversal from what had been a stubborn downtrend during the past week. Bitcoin had fallen as low as $310 and litecoin touched $3.00.
Bitcoin had come to within 2.5% of its 50-day moving average (MA), which recently caught up to $300 for the first time since January. Bitcoin is now up by 15% year-to-date.
Volatility had been decreasing during the past two weeks in the wake of bitcoin’s $500 bubble. Reported volume had also fallen to the lowest since August after setting record levels during the spike. It is therefore possible that a series of sudden high-volume buying surges- the first hitting 4,000 BTC ($1.3 million) on Bitstamp within an hour- are responsible for the unexpected rise.
Altcoins like Peercoin and Namecoin also experienced surges in price and volume. In 2015, trading interest in altcoins has generally been weak. Only the top four cryptocurrencies by market capitalization- Bitcoin, Litecoin, Ripple and Ethereum- have shown consistently high volumes in recent months.