Bitcoin price, litecoin and ethereum value see dramatic surge as cryptocurrency market suddenly gains billions
The latest price rise comes after months of stagnation for crypto markets
Cryptocurrency markets have seen a dramatic turn-around in fortunes, as bitcoin, ethereum and litecoin experienced a sudden surge in price.
Litecoin, which is often described as the silver to bitcoin's gold, saw the biggest gains, rising by more than 30 per cent in value in the space of just a few hours.
The price rise is the most significant of 2019 and follows months of market stagnation.
Bitcoin had been trading close to a seven-week low before the unexpected reversal, which saw it gain more than $200 over the last 24 hours, with one $100 surge coming in the space of just 30 minutes.
The positive market movement will come as a relief to cryptocurrency investors, who have witnessed steadily declining prices ever since bitcoin surged close to $20,000 (£15,400) in late 2017.
Speaking to The Independent before the latest price surge, one cryptocurrency expert lamented the negativity in the market but hinted a spark could set it off in a positive direction once again.
"Cryptocurrency has been comparatively dull by the standards that we have become accustomed to, and for the most part caution and negativity still prevail," said David Thomas, director of Mayfair-based cryptocurrency broker GlobalBlock.
"Something needs be the catalyst to get things going again. Unfortunately, global uncertainty for a multitude of reasons is driving many to become more risk averse and so whatever that spark is, it needs to be significant."
Some analysts have even speculated that bitcoin could return above its 2017 highs, with the next major wave potentially rising as high as $65,000 if previous market patterns are used as a forecast tool.
The latest rise follows news that bitcoin's hashrate – the amount of power its network consumes to process transactions and generate new units of cryptocurrency – is at its highest level since November 2018.
This can be an indicator of subsequent price gains, though there are many factors that determine a cryptocurrency's value. A rising hash rate will also raise concerns about bitcoin's environmental impact, with its electricity consumption estimated to be more than the country of Ireland.
Other analysts had warned that a fall below $3,000 would have signalled a "blood bath" for bitcoin, as traders sought to offload the crashing cryptocurrency.