Litecoin (LTC/USD) has returned to $5.00 after soaring another 21% to $5.66 on BTC-e, matching its highest level in 9 months.
Trade became noticeably more chaotic, the price diving as much as 13% to $4.40 within 15 minutes, or 22% from its earlier peak, after which it recovered back to $5.00.
The increased volatility may be a sign of bigger moves to come in either direction. Litecoin has gained as much as 300% since May 1, and over 400% since nearly falling through $1.00 in early January.
Its appreciation bears resemblance to the wilder days of crypto trading during late 2013, which saw many altcoins gain more than 10x in what turned out to be a speculative bubble.
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Here, litecoin is mostly doing it solo. Bitcoin (BTC/USD) barely added to gains that brought it to its highest level since March (it has since pulled back, in tandem with litecoin). Among other major altcoins, some have managed at most to double during the past couple of months.
Due to bitcoin’s slower rise, the LTC/BTC shot up to 0.021, its highest in nearly 14 months.
Across all markets, volumes have surged to levels typically seen last year, when trading these coins was still new and exciting. Over $22 million worth of litecoin has changed hands during the past 24 hours, challenging levels last seen during the January and August sell-offs.
Such rallies are not unprecedented when losing over 95% of value within 12 months, and in the case of litecoin, may be exaggerated by further speculation and short covering.