December 20, 2017 (THE FEROWICH REPORT) — Litecoin creator Charlie Lee announced that he has liquidated all litecoin holdings following the altcoin’s 7,500 percent rally in 2017 but denies charges of losing faith in the cryptoasset.
Litecoin has “been very good for me financially, so I am well off enough that I no longer need to tie my financial success to litecoin’s success,” Lee said in a Reddit post, adding that all of his LTC holdings have been sold or donated.
The announcement comes at an interesting time: Litecoin has surged to more than $350 in recent weeks after beginning 2017 at a trading price lower than $25. While Lee seems vulnerable to charges of watching the market “pump” LTC’s price and then “dumping,” the former Google engineer explained that removing himself from a stake in litecoin prices will reduce conflicts of interest in the long run.
“Over the past year, I try to stay away from price related tweets, but it’s hard because price is such an important aspect of litecoin growth. And whenever I tweet about litecoin price or even just good or bad news, I get accused of doing it for personal benefit. Some people even think I short LTC! So in a sense, it is conflict of interest for me to hold LTC and tweet about it because I have so much influence,” Lee wrote.
As a frequent guest on TV channels like CNBC, this argument passes the smell test. By getting out of LTC, he opens himself to talking about cryptoassets and litecoin without having a stake in how his words influence price. In a sense, it’s like preventing Donald Trump from owning Boeing or Lockheed Martin stocks when he’s tweeting about Boeing and Lockheed’s military projects.
“I have always refrained from buying/selling LTC before or after my major tweets, but this is something only I know. And there will always be a doubt on whether any of my actions were to further my own personal wealth above the success of litecoin and crypto-currency in general,” the note reads.
Contrary to leaving the litecoin community in general and litecoin community in particular, Lee stated he plans to “still spend all my time working on litecoin. When litecoin succeeds, I will still be rewarded in lots of different ways, just not directly via ownership of coins.”
Amidst a rather horrific past 24 hours at Coinbase, which has launched of an internal investigation following charges of insider trading before the broker announced the addition of Bcash, Lee clarified “I wrote the above before the recent Bcash on GDAX/Coinbase fiasco.”
News outlet MarketWatch tied Lee’s sale with the Bcash pump and went so far as to allege Lee might be involved in insider trading.
“Litecoin’s creator sold all his litecoins, and this is why,” MarketWatch tweeted with a link to an article on the Coinbase insider trading probe.
“Lee said his move was prompted by repeated accusations that he was trying to influence the virtual currency [LTC] price,” MarketWatch reported.
As the above Ferowich Report demonstrates–and indeed a simple full read of the Reddit post–Lee justified his decision on the basis of avoiding conflicts of interest. The MarketWatch report double down on those same accusations.
“As you can see, some people even think I’m pumping Bcash for my personal benefit. It seems like I just can’t win,” Lee said in an amendment to the Reddit post.
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