The last couple weeks were quite wild for the crypto ecosystem as a whole, and for the altcoin market in particular. Some of the most popular alternative cryptocurrencies suffered heavy losses, and the investors were worried that the blockchain space might be entering into a bear market. However, Bitcoin’s move upwards has breathed new hope into altcoin bulls and the past week was mostly good for altcoin investors. Without further introduction, let’s take a look at the most interesting recent news from the world of altcoins!
Ethereum Recovers as Major Altcoins Lead the Bull Rally
Compared to smaller projects, major altcoins supported by huge teams have dealt much better with the aftermath of the recent crypto crash. While most of the less popular altcoins have barely started to recover, the big names are already gaining momentum and making significant gains.
Ethereum (ETH) has managed to increase in price by over 18% over the last 7 days. The spike in ETH price is especially important for the altcoin ecosystem at large, since as the largest alternative cryptocurrency in the world, Ethereum greatly influences the market performance of other altcoins.
However, even though the recent price movement of Ethereum is certainly optimistic, in the long term perspective the ETH price still has a long way to go. Although the ETH price is moving upwards, it is still down almost 43% from its all-time high of $4,891 achieved in November last year.
Other major altcoins which made significant gains this week include Solana (SOL) which has appreciated by almost 15%, Tron (TRX) which has gained almost 11%, and Chainlink (LINK) which has increased in price by over 10%. Among this week’s best performers were also the leaders of the metaverse and NFT gaming market - Decentraland (MANA) and The Sandbox (SAND) have appreciated by 19% and 11% respectively.
Litecoin Releases a Massive Upgrade - Will It Be Enough to Take LTC Back to the Top?
Litecoin (LTC) used to be one of the most popular and valuable cryptocurrencies of the market, and is one of the oldest and most respected altcoins in the blockchain ecosystem. However, over time Litecoin got surpassed by newer, more innovative digital assets.
Now, the situation might be about to change. Litecoin has just released a massive update to the LTC network called Mimblewimble Extension Block (MWEB). The long-awaited upgrade that took two years to develop is expected to reignite investors’ interest in Litecoin, and give the LTC price a much needed boost.
The main goal of the Mimblewimble Extension Block is improving the scalability and fungibility of the Litecoin network. Thanks to the MWEB upgrade, the LTC blockchain will be able to accomodate more transactions and be more efficient.
Together with the Mimblewimble Extension Block, Litecoin has also integrated Taproot - the widely discussed upgrade which was added to Bitcoin in November 2021. Thanks to utilizing Taproot, Litecoin users will be also able to enjoy increased privacy of their transactions.
Although the market has reacted positively to the upgrade, so far it’s too soon to talk about a great bullish momentum of the LTC price. So far, Litecoin has only appreciated by a modest 6.27%. Currently the 21st largest cryptocurrency by market capitalization, LTC still has a long way to go if it wants to enter the top 10 again.
Massive Solana Hack Steals $322 Million from Wormhole Bridge
Multi-million dollar hacks are nothing new in the DeFi ecosystem, but the one that happened on Wednesday was truly unprecedented in scale. The hackers who targeted Wormhole Bridge managed to steal 120,000 wETH (wrapped ETH) worth over $322 million.
Wormhole Bridge is a protocol bridging the Solana (SOL) and Ethereum (ETH) blockchains and allowing crypto investors to use ETH-based assets in the Solana ecosystem and vice versa. According to the reports, the hack happened on the Solana side of the bridge, and allowed the perpetrators to mint and withdraw 120,000 wETH tokens.
After a few hours, the Wormhole Bridge team has announced that the vulnerability that allowed the hackers to steal funds worth $322 million has been identified and fixed. Furthermore, the Jump Crypto venture capital firm that owns the developer of Wormhole Bridge has decided to immediately bailout the protocol by reimbursing the stolen amount of ETH to the network.
However, the consequences of the hack might be more far-reaching. For one, the identity of the hackers is still unknown, and it’s not clear if any action will be taken to recover the stolen funds. Furthermore, the Wormhole Bridge also works with other blockchains, such as Binance Smart Chain and Terra, and some security experts are concerned that these bridges might be vulnerable to hacks as well.