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Ahead of a planned Litecoin Cash fork on Feb. 18, 2018, Litecoin prices surged 32%.
Litecoin rallied to just above $211 per coin and pushed into the top five cryptocurrencies by market capitalization
The upcoming fork is promising Litecoin holders at block 1,371,111 a bounty of "Litecoin Cash" during the hard fork. Each LTC will receive 10 LCC, according to the group behind the fork.
But LTC holders are also excited about a new payment system...
Litepay will give users the capacity to "spend dollars anywhere debit cards are accepted, or withdraw cash from any compatible ATM," according to Litecoin's website.
The company said that it built the infrastructure for its own payment system after Bitpay refused to accept LTC.
Below is a recap of the top cryptocurrency prices at 10:30 a.m. EST.
- Bitcoin: $9,256.77, +7.34%
- Ethereum: $896.03, +5.92%
- Ripple: $1.07, +4.37%
- Bitcoin Cash: $1,384.05, +11.51%
- Litecoin: $211.77, +32.38%
Now that we know all of today's price movements, here's what has been moving these cryptocurrencies...
Cryptocurrency News Today
On Wednesday, the market capitalization of the global cryptocurrency sector hit $449.44 billion.
Bitcoin represented 34.8% of the total cryptocurrency market, with a market capitalization of $156.1 billion.
The best performers from the top 50 largest cryptocurrencies by market capitalization included Litecoin (up 32.38%), ZClassic (up 26.88%), Stratis (up 21.65%), Dogecoin (up 21.59%), OmiseGo (20.58%), Monero (up 14.88%), RChain (up 14.49%), Dash (up 12.95%), and Stellar (up 11.41%).
The worst performers from the top 50 largest cryptocurrencies by market capitalization included U.CASH (down -40.26%), Revain (down -1.81%), Populous (down -1.08%), and Tether (down -0.20%).
Bitcoin Prices Bounce Back
The price of Bitcoin pushed back above the key resistance level of $9,000 as traders lessened their fear about a cryptocurrency ban in South Korea.
It has been a little more than a month since South Korean officials announced the possibility of a complete ban on cryptocurrencies.
That spurred a dramatic sell-off.
Microsoft Embraces Blockchain
Microsoft Corp. (Nasdaq: MSFT) also offered a boost to the global cryptocurrency market today with the announcement that it will embrace blockchain technology to improve security challenges and identity confusion.
"After examining decentralized storage systems, consensus protocols, blockchains, and a variety of emerging standards we believe blockchain technology and protocols are well suited for enabling decentralized IDs," the firm said.
U.CASH Craters Another 40%
It was the hottest cryptocurrency in the market on Monday, surging more than 100%.
That pushed the little-known cryptocurrency into the top 25 by market capitalization.
But today, some investors are paying the price for the "pump."
U.CASH cratered another 40.2% over the last 24 hours in a dramatic sell-off. The market capitalization slumped to $703.1 million, but the coin remains in the top 40 in terms of market capitalization.
Are You Paying Your Bitcoin Taxes?
Finally, the IRS is going to have a lot of questions for Bitcoin traders in 2018 and beyond.
Last year, the agency won a dramatic court case that will require Coinbase to turn over records of users with more than $20,000 in transactions for tax purposes.
It is likely that the IRS is going to audit a number of people who have not reported profits from Bitcoin and other crypto trading in the past.
But the IRS may seek even more oversight in the future due to the growing trend of tax evasion.
According to data from Credit Karma, roughly 250,000 people have already paid their taxes using the company's software.
However, fewer than 100 of those people have declared gains or losses from cryptocurrencies.
The sheer sample size indicates a potential misunderstanding of tax law, or it's possible that large single trades are not that frequent, making the number of taxable events smaller than many analysts had expected.
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About the Author
Garrett Baldwin is a globally recognized research economist, financial writer, and consultant with degrees from Northwestern, Johns Hopkins, Purdue, and Indiana University. He is a seasoned financial and political risk analyst, with a focus on stocks, hedge funds, private equity, blockchain, and housing policy. He has conducted risk assessment projects for clients in 27 countries, and consulted on policy and financial operations for some of the nation's largest financial institutions, including a $1.5 trillion credit fund, a $43 billion credit and auto loan giant, as well as two of the largest Wall Street banks by assets under management.
Garrett joined Money Map Press as an economist and researcher in 2011, specializing in alternative strategies with an emphasis on fundamental and technical analysis.