During the peak of the 2017 crypto-mania, Litecoin founder Charlie Lee announced that he had sold all of his LTC holdings. Lee, who founded Litecoin in 2011, cited the conflict of interest as the main reason for that move. Despite this explanation, Lee’s decision to sell-off his LTC holdings still does not sit well with so many in the cryptocurrency community. Some still believe he dumped his LTC due to some knowledge that was not divulged to the wider community.
In mid-December 2019, Ethereum co-founder Vitalik Buterin revealed that, under his instruction, the Ethereum Foundation sold 70,000 ETH during the 2017 parabolic bull market. This sale resulted in $100 million liquidity which according to Vitalik, extended the runway for the Ethereum Foundation. Funnily enough, Vitalik admitted this two years later after ETH hit its $1,432 all-time high.
His admission was met with strong criticism with many claiming that it was no different from what Charlie Lee did. In a recent episode of the Magical Crypto Friends podcast, Charlie Lee explains why he thinks his LTC sell-off was different from Ethereum Foundation’s ETH sell-off.
What Makes Charlie Lee’s LTC Sell-Off Different?
Charlie Lee cited a couple of differences during his discussion with Riccardo Spagni. For starters, he noted that Vitalik only made that revelation two years later. Further quipping that Buterin transferred ETH to an exchange which does not necessarily mean he sold it and he could be trading it.
Secondly, ETH coins were pre-mined for Buterin and for the Ethereum Foundation, which is quite different from Charlie Lee. Another important difference that Lee noted is the Ethereum Foundation’s lack of transparency. He opined:
“The Ethereum Foundation, it’s not very transparent at all, right. As a Foundation kind of centralized, where they pre-mined coins, they should be very transparent about how many coins they’re selling. At least Ripple is pretty transparent about how many XRP they are dumping every month or every year.”
Riccardo Spagni chimed in on the topic of lack of transparency, saying that even ZCash’s reward model is more transparent compared to ethereum’s pre-mine model, adding:
“I mean, you know everything’s suboptimal but certainly like the ZCash crowd has at least tried to make some effort of transparency to their detriment in some instances.”
Charlie Lee also pointed out that the Ethereum Foundation lacks transparency to the extent that the wider community has no idea how it allocates its funds, how much funds it currently owns, its processes and all the people that are part of it.
Currently, Litecoin Foundation has officially started the development of the Mimblewimble privacy protocol. Litecoin Foundation has donated $18,500 worth of cryptocurrency to the dedicated development fund meant to sponsor Grin developer David Burkett. This fund is intended to expand to $72,000.
Although 2019 did not end well for LTC, this year has started on a brighter note. So far this year, LTC has gained over 35 percent over the last few days. It has, however, retraced to $56 at press time amidst a market-wide correction.