Bitcoin, still the largest cryptocurrency by market capitalization by some margin, has been making up ground after being left in the dust by one of it’s biggest rivals, litecoin, this week.
The bitcoin price is now up more than 5% over the last 24 hour trading period, touching $8,720 on the Luxembourg-based Bitstamp exchange, and putting it once again in touching distance of its year-to-date highs of a little over $9,000 per bitcoin.
Bitcoin and cryptocurrency traders and investors have been closely watching the bitcoin price after litecoin, arguably the biggest rival to bitcoin and often known as “the silver to bitcoin’s gold,” has powered higher over recent weeks.
Litecoin has risen by more than 300% so far this year and is up a staggering 43% over the last month alone. Bitcoin, in comparison, is more-or-less flat over the last month, having briefly climbed over $9,000 per bitcoin before falling back a couple of weeks ago.
“If litecoin is indeed the leader, let’s look out for a bitcoin breakout this week,” said Mati Greenspan, senior market analyst at brokerage eToro, via Twitter earlier this week.
Cryptocurrency traders are piling into litecoin ahead of a cut to its supply, expected in August. The supply cut, usually well-telegraphed occurrences for major cryptocurrencies, are known as halvenings and see the number of digital tokens awarded to miners reduced by half—slashing supply of the particular coin instantly.
The next bitcoin halvening event is currently expected on May 22 next year, though this is subject to change based on the mining power directed towards bitcoin.
Earlier this week, a U.S. venture capitalist warned the market is heading for a “supply shock” thanks to next year’s closely watched bitcoin halvening event, now just 342 days away.