Litecoin (LTC)–Litecoin creator, managing director of the Litecoin Foundation, and frequent media figure Charlie Lee has been a mainstay in the industry of cryptocurrency going back to the beginning of the decade. After graduating from MIT with a degree in Computer Science, Lee took the road to Silicon Valley and worked as an engineer with Google for most of the 2000s, including writing code for the Chrome OS.
In 2011, Lee became interested in Bitcoin, which led to part of his time at Google being spent working on developments related to blockchain. By the end of the year, he had created a fork of Bitcoin, which became the currency we know today as Litecoin. The idea behind Litecoin was simple: improve upon the groundwork laid by Bitcoin, and create a similar cryptocurrency that would serve as the perfect “testing ground” for BTC and crypto innovation. Lee focused on improving the transaction utility of Bitcoin, creating a currency with shorter confirmations, leading to faster transfer speeds and lower mining fees. In addition, he raised the max supply of the currency to four times that of Bitcoin, providing more liquidity to the market in addition to keeping the price per coin lower.
While Lee has been a strong proponent of his offspring currency, he has also maintained a role as a figure of authority and information in the space of cryptocurrency. After leaving Google in 2013, Lee took a position with U.S.-based exchange Coinbase, which eventually led to Litecoin being listed on their limited supply of cryptocurrencies (Lee contends he did not directly influence Coinbase’s decision to list LTC). Given his close relationship with both Litecoin and the cryptocurrency community, he shocked the industry last December when he announced he had sold his entire holding of LTC. Citing a conflict of interest in promoting Litecoin and LTC news, Lee argued that removing himself from a monetary relationship with the coin was in the best interest for its future.
“[W]henever I tweet about Litecoin price or even just good or bads news, I get accused of doing it for personal benefit. So in a sense, it is conflict of interest for me to hold LTC and tweet about it because I have so much influence.”
Instead, the market reacted as expected, sharply declining from an all time high of 370 USD before steadily dropping throughout 2018’s prolonged bear cycle.
Buying Bitcoin Over Altcoins
Lee has continued to make headlines in the crypto space by making regular appearances on traditional media outlets, promoting the potential of cryptocurrency despite its volatility, and his continued efforts to support LTC through his position with the Litecoin Foundation. However, today Lee made a direct appeal to cryptocurrency investors by reminding them of the scarcity involved in Bitcoin, in addition to the wisdom of buying BTC over altcoins. Speaking in a Twitter post, the LTC Founder recommended all investors secure a full Bitcoin before looking to other currencies,
“There will be at most 21 million bitcoins in existence. There isn’t even enough BTC to go around for EVERY millionaire to own one. So before you buy any other coin (LTC included), try to own at least 1 BTC first. Once you have 1 BTC, buy all the s**tcoins you want!”
It’s not a surprise to hear Charlie Lee be bullish on the outlook of Bitcoin–he has been an industry supporter for many years which includes backing BTC–but it is surprising his investment advice neglects promoting his own currency at the expense of Bitcoin. However, this also reveals why much of the industry of crypto has found Charlie to be such an endearing figure: he has regularly put what is best for the industry ahead of his own promotion.