Cryptocurrency Founder Sold

 Updated on 
  • Litecoin’s Lee says trying to avoid ‘conflict of interest’
  • Sale may cause ‘short-term’ dip in price of digital currency
Cryptocurrency Mania Rages On
Cryptocurrency Mania Rages On

Charlie Lee, creator of the world’s fifth-biggest cryptocurrency, cashed in during a 75-fold rally this year.

The San Francisco-based software engineer whose litecoin was founded in 2011 “sold and donated” all of his holdings over the past few days, he said in a Reddit post. The disposal was aimed at preventing a “conflict of interest” when Lee makes comments on social media about the digital currency that could influence its price, he said.

“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. “For the first time in six+ years, I no longer own a single LTC” other than a few collector’s coins.

Lee declined to comment in the post on how many coins he sold or at what price, but noted that the amount was a small percentage of daily volume and “did not crash the market.”

The news for litecoin investors “is positive because it allows him to speak freely on social platforms,” said Michael Kazley co-founder of Crescent Crypto Asset Management, a U.S. passive digital-asset fund. “On the other hand it’s also negative, because it’s hard to evaluate his go-forward financial incentives.”

Lee said litecoin’s price may now take a “short-term dip due to people losing faith thinking that I’ve lost faith,” Lee said in emailed answers to questions from Bloomberg. Ultimately though, the move will be good for the token long-term, he said.

Slump Wednesday

Litecoin dropped about 4 percent to $319 at 1:02 p.m. in New York, according to prices on Bloomberg. The coin is still up about 75-fold since the end of 2016, according to prices. The market value was $17.5 billion. It slumped on Wednesday with several of the biggest digital currencies lower after a string of news stories involving hacking and interventions by regulators. Lee insisted that his sale wasn’t a sign that he has lost faith in the cryptocurrency.

“I’m still working on litecoin full time,” Lee said via email. “That hasn’t changed. If anything, I will be more focused and less distracted by price.”

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