Litecoin founder and former Coinbase director of engineering, Charlie Lee, stated that he would “step away” from the Litecoin project at some point in the future, during an interview with TenX on April 27th.
Lee was talking with Julian Hosp, director of Fin Tec firm TenX via Skype interview when he made the statement. Lee’s explanation was that in order for the goal of true decentralization to be achieved, it was a requirement that he step back as the face of Litecoin.
“Litecoin is more centralized because I’m around, so it has a more centralized development team, has more centralized foundation. I can steer litecoins towards my vision, and people will listen to me because I created it.”
He also intimated that Litecoin was mutually reinforced by bitcoin and vice versa, saying that he saw Litecoin as ‘complimentary’ to bitcoin. But on discussing bitcoin, Lee made clear that he believes there is a level of decentralization in the bitcoin project, provided by the anonymity of Satoshi Nakamoto, which is missing within Litecoin.
Hosp went on to question Lee about how his leadership affected the direction of Litecoin, probing the subject of whether Lee had ever considered stepping away from the leadership position within the Litecoin community. Lee gave his thoughts on the matter:
“For a currency to really be … a worldwide decentralized currency, you can’t have … a real leader who’s trying to control things, so to make it more decentralized, eventually I would step away.”
This may seem at odds with Lee’s previous sentiment: in December 2017, Lee sold all of his Litecoin, however, stated at the time that he would continue to work closely on the currency.
“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.”
Lee has caused significant controversy within the Litecoin space, with a number of controversial tweets which many have argued damaged the Litecoin brand and caused the currency to lose value. His move to sell all of his Litecoin in December drew criticism from many corners with some investors accusing him of pumping and then dumping the currency. Litecoin saw an all-time high of $375 in December but since crashed to $125 in February. It has since rallied to $148 at the time of writing.
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Alex has been putting words on paper since he was old enough to hold a pen; when he bought his first bitcoin in January 2017, those words discovered their place within crypto as well. He holds a master’s degree in international relations from Leiden University in the Netherlands, and his special expertise lies in European cryptocurrency regulation.