While bitcoin has seen a huge surge in price and popularity, it is far from the only cryptocurrency making market gains. Just as there are many different types of fiat currency including the US dollar, the euro, and the pound, there are also many types of cryptocurrencies. Two of the biggest altcoins, the names for these coins other than bitcoin, are litecoin and ethereum and they have also surged in price in the past week along with bitcoin.
This rapid increase in trading volume has lead to outages across Coinbase, one of the leading cryptocurrency exchanges. Ethereum buys and sells were temporarily disabled for about 40 minutes and litecoin trading was disable for about 90 minutes earlier today. As of publishing, ethereum and litecoin were still listed as having major outages.
Ethereum's price has risen by nearly 35% in recent days to a current value of $620. Litecoin on the other hand has seen even larger growth, jumping from $120 to $360 in a matter of days.
While bitcoin's market cap is nearly $300 billion, altcoins like ethereum and litecoin account for another $200 billion total. One of the potential reasons for this growth may be the skyrocketing transaction costs for bitcoin. They have jumped to over $25 per transaction while altcoins like litecoin only charge about 1% of that.