Litecoin, currently the world's fifth largest major cryptocurrency by value, has leaped higher today following a steady rise over the last few days, pushing bitcoin, ethereum, and the wider cryptocurrency market higher.
The litecoin price, which is some 85% down from its all-time highs, has risen 17% over the last 24 hours to a year-to-date high of $55. Litecoin began the year at just over $30 per coin.
Bitcoin has meanwhile added 3%, according to CoinMarketCap data, as traders and investors again try to cross the psychological $4,000 mark, with data signaling the long-running bitcoin bear market could be coming to an end. Ethereum rose almost 8% over the last 24 hours, buoyed by the wider market.
Litecoin has fallen steadily over the last 14 months as the cryptocurrency market struggles to free itself from a bear trap.Getty
Litecoin's rally, which has seen some $500 million added to its market capitalization over the last 24 hour period, comes as the crisis-hit Venezuela launches a government-sanctioned cryptocurrency remittance service, allowing users to send bitcoin and litecoin into the country.
People in Venezuela have been struggling against economic collapse and hyperinflation over recent years, with the president Nicolas Maduro clinging onto power despite a U.S.-backed challenge from opposition leader Juan Guaido and international sanctions.
The service is designed to "guarantee financial inclusion along with the social protection of the people of Venezuela" though it warns it could be disabled at any time "depending on the availability of funds in bolívars."
The litecoin price rallied to year-to-date highs today.CoinDesk
“Remesas is a service of the Patria Platform that allows you to send remittances to Venezuela in cryptocurrencies," according to the government's Patria website. "The resources sent will be available in sovereign bolivars ...