Cryptocurrency Litecoin Tops $12 on Renewed Optimism for SegWit Upgrade

The digital currency Litecoin (LTC) topped $12 on Wednesday after several mining pools began showing support for the Segregated Witness (SegWit) upgrade. Shenzhen-based pool, which accounts for 5.8 percent (160 GH/s) of mining capacity on the Litecoin network, according to estimates by LitecoinPool, mined its first SegWit-signaling block on Tuesday night.

Litecoin founder, Charlie Lee, made the announcement on Twitter:

In addition to BW, Multipool, a cryptocurrency mining pool based out of California that supports several alternative digital currencies, also began signaling support for SegWit on Wednesday.

Although miners’ support for the upgrade surpassed the needed 75 percent threshold today - 79.51 percent at press time - this support has to be maintained for the next two weeks before SegWit activation occurs on the Litecoin network.

Assuming everything goes according to plan within the next 30 days, Litecoin will be one of the first major alternative digital currencies to successfully implement SegWit, according to Charlie Lee on Twitter.

But not all Litecoin miners are on the same page when it comes to the potential benefits offered by the SegWith upgrade.

For instance, several large Litecoin mining pools like Antpool and LTC1BTC - 2nd largest pool with 14.2 percent of all mining capacity on the Litecoin network - have refused to signal support for SegWit, and have even been accused by many within the Litecoin community of stalling progress by adding additional mining power to push the threshold under 75 percent at opportune times.

While it remains to be seen if such tactics are deployed over the next two weeks, investor interest in Litecoin has already risen dramatically.

Data from CoinMarketCap shows that volume on Poloniex’s LTC/BTC pair accounts for 15 percent ($42,642,900) of global Bitcoin turnover over the past 24h, surpassing even Bitfinex’s BTC/USD pair, which usually receives the largest chunk of daily turnover:

At the height of today’s SegWit-fueled rally, the LTC/BTC exchange rate hit a 6-day high of 0.010 11 on U.S.-based exchange Poloniex, while the LTC/USD rate rose to a 6-day high of $12.318 on Hong Kong-based exchange Bitfinex.

LTC 3D graphic by BTC Keychain