Litecoin creator, Charlie Lee, announced this week that he has sold or donated all his Litecoin to avoid potential “conflicts of interest”. Lee, who was also previously the director of engineering at the Coinbase exchange, has become a well-known influencer and communicator in the cryptocurrency world with nearly 400,000 followers on Twitter.
The surprise move was announced by Lee on Reddit. As the public face of Litecoin, Lee felt that he was now too influential to speak about prices without affecting them. In the post Lee describes the dilemma of holding currency and talking publicly about it, stating:
“In a sense, it is a conflict of interest for me to hold LTC and tweet about it because I have so much influence.”
Lee stressed that he had always been careful separating his trading from his comments, but that although he had “always refrained from buying/selling LTC before or after my major tweets”, this was something that only he knew. By publicly selling his holdings he hopes his position is now unambiguous. He will continue to spend all his time on Litecoin and will still be rewarded by its success.
The amount of coins sold is unknown, though Lee says it was not enough to make a significant difference to prices.
Sharing his statement on Twitter Lee said, “Satoshi Nakamoto, your move.” This is a reference to the anonymous creator or team behind Bitcoin who still owns around 1 million BTC, about $17 billion at current prices. No one answering to Nakamoto has been seen for years, and any sale of those BTC would be an enormous shock to the market.
Litecoin has been one of the biggest success stories of the year, going up almost 9,000% in 2017. Often billed as the “silver to Bitcoin’s gold”, Litecoin benefits from quick transaction times and low fees. Though down on its record high of a few days ago, Litecoin is taking Lee’s announcement well and at time of writing is still 10% up on last week and 360% up on last month.