Charlie Lee, the creator of the world’s fifth-biggest cryptocurrency, Litecoin, announced shortly after midnight that he was cashing in his profits after a torrid, 9,300% rally in the past 12 months. In a post on reddit, the San Francisco-based software engineer who founded litecoin in 2013, said that he sold and donated all of his holdings over the past few days.
"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. For the first time in 6+ years, I no longer own a single LTC that’s not stored in a physical Litecoin" Lee said in the post.
Lee explained that his liquidation was aimed at preventing a “conflict of interest” when the creator of what is known as "Bitcoin Silver" makes comments on twitter about the digital currency - something he tends to do with chronic zeal - that could influence its price, he said. That said, Lee declined to comment in the post on how many coins he sold or at what price, and asked readers to please "don’t ask me how many coins I sold or at what price. I can tell you that the amount of coins was a small percentage of GDAX’s daily volume and it did not crash the market."
Litecoin, which was trading at $3.67 on December 20, 2016, and $4.40 at the start of the year, has climbed 9,300% in the past 12 month. It tumbled on Wednesday, following most digital currencies lower after a flash crash in bitcoin after Coinbase announced it would finally transact in Bitcoin Cash which led to a brief avalanche of selling as traders repositioned.
However, Lee insisted in his post that his sale wasn’t a sign that he has lost faith in the cryptocurrency: “I will still spend all my time working on litecoin,” he said. “When litecoin succeeds, I will still be rewarded in lots of different ways, just not directly via ownership of coins.”
How does it feel to take profits on a high from the crypto boom that has been described as the biggest financial bubble of all time? “Weird” but also “somehow refreshing,” Lee wrote.
His full post below:
Litecoin price, tweets, and conflict of interest self
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 bads 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. 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.
For this reason, in the past days, I have sold and donated all my LTC. 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. For the first time in 6+ years, I no longer own a single LTC that’s not stored in a physical Litecoin. (I do have a few of those as collectibles.) This is definitely a weird feeling, but also somehow refreshing. Don’t worry. I’m not quitting Litecoin. I will 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. I now believe this is the best way for me to continue to oversee Litecoin’s growth.
Please don’t ask me how many coins I sold or at what price. I can tell you that the amount of coins was a small percentage of GDAX’s daily volume and it did not crash the market.
UPDATE: I wrote the above before the recent Bcash on GDAX/Coinbase fiasco. As you can see, some people even think I’m pumping Bcash for my personal benefit. It seems like I just can’t win.
On Wednesday morning, Lee was busy on twitter where he had dozens of posts defending his sale:
This is not business for me. It's my life. I'm dedicated to Litecoin.— Charlie Lee [LTC] (@SatoshiLite) December 20, 2017
He also responded to a question by Mike Novogratz whether "@SatoshiLite selling all his $ltc is bullish or bearish? If @VitalikButerin or @ethereumJoseph sold all of their $eth I’d be worried."
I think it's extremely bullish! ????— Charlie Lee [LTC] (@SatoshiLite) December 20, 2017
In a sense he is right, as there is no more whale overhang that can be sold at a moment's notice.
He left off with a challenge to Satoshi Nakamoto, the creator of bitcoin, to do the same:
Satoshi Nakamoto, your move. https://t.co/efKxK3coV4— Charlie Lee [LTC] (@SatoshiLite) December 20, 2017