Litecoin Founder Charlie Reminisces
Just one year ago, Litecoin’s founder Charlie Lee, better known as “Coblee” or “Satoshilite,” took to the Litecoin (LTC) subreddit to convey a surprising announcement. For those who missed the memo, Lee, who has been a cryptocurrency proponent for a majority of Bitcoin’s existence, revealed that he liquidated his LTC holdings to mitigate “conflicts of interest.”
Lee dictated that he didn’t want his comments on his brainchild to affect the price, rather, he wanted to continue to work on Litecoin as a passion project, rather than a way to gain financial standing. Case in point, the former Coinbase head of engineering explained that he didn’t need to “tie [his] financial success to LTC’s success,” before explaining that he had donated/sold every coin.
Many quickly took this the wrong way, with skeptics claiming that Lee had been poked to sell the top, and was attempting to “exit” the popular Bitcoin fork, Yet, the industry insider noted that he wasn’t quitting Litecoin development, far from in fact. Lee noted that he would “still spend all [his] time working on the [project],” adding that he will be rewarded in other ways for his work, rather than pure financial gain.
Speaking with Bloomberg in a homage interview to his ground-breaking announcement, Lee exclaimed that the accusations of insider trading thrown at him have been baseless. He stated:
People lose money and they want someone to blame… And they think for some reason I had inside information, and that’s silly. At the time when I sold, everyone thought it would go to $1,000.
Still, some haven’t believed Lee’s most recent rebuttal, as his announcement regarding the liquidations came on December 20th, 2017, a day after LTC reached an all-time high around $375. Regardless, Lee had another card to play, telling Bloomberg that he sold his LTC holdings over a number of days, which came down to an average sell-side basis of $200.
And again, Lee explained that he has only double-downed on promoting the Bitcoin alternative, noting that he is increasing LTC adoption by merchants, rather than specifically focusing on the code. Although he was hesitant to provide an exact update on adoption, the long-time crypto advocate noted that he has begun to advise HTC’s Exodus project, which supports LTC via the world’s first blockchain-centric device.
In spite of his efforts, however, network statistics for the now-eight most capitalized cryptocurrency have fallen through 2018. Per data from BitInfo, the average number of Litecoin transactions peaked in January 2018 at 197,200, falling to just 23,100 today. Aaron Brown, a reporter at Bloomberg Opinion, said that the plummeting transaction count can be, in fact, slightly attributed to Lee’s decision to liquidate.
Brown, backing his comment, noted:
It’s fine for a pure investor to decide something is worthless and sell without notice. But someone who continues to work in a sector while surreptitiously taking financial exposure to zero doesn’t look good. Not illegal, just less than forthright.
Lee himself acknowledged this fact, but still alluding to the fact that he truly believes his liquidation was logical. The Litecoin head remarked that it “definitely had some effect on people’s confidence in Litecoin,” subsequently adding that he isn’t paid to increase LTC’s price, unlike “CEOs of public companies.”
Litecoin.org Image Title Image Courtesy of Marco Verch Via Flickr