'Bitcoin Standard' Author Calls LTC Pump And Dump, Charlie Lee Reacts

‘Bitcoin Standard’ Author Calls LTC Pump And Dump, Charlie Lee Fires Back

UPDATE: In response to this article, Dr. Ammous reached out to Bitsonline with a clarification of his thoughts on Litecoin and altcoins in general. His response can be read at the end of the story. 

Author and economist Saifedean Ammous, who recently wrote the niche hit “The Bitcoin Standard,” just posted a scathing comment on Twitter suggesting that Litecoin is an economic failure and a “shitcoin.”

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Ammous even suggested that Litecoin is nothing more than a “copy/paste job” and a “pump and dump.” Litecoin creator Charlie Lee struck back shortly after, and had a few words to say to the author about his altcoin creation that is consistently in the top 10 on coinmarketcap.com.

Who Is Saifedean Ammous?

According to his recent book, Saifedean Ammous is a professor of economics at Lebanese American University, a member of the Center on Capitalism and Society at Columbia University, and a PhD holder in sustainable development from Columbia University. Earlier this year, Dr. Ammous published a book about Bitcoin called The Bitcoin Standard through John Wiley and Sons publishing.

The book takes a look at what currency is and where it gets its value. The first few chapters give examples of prehistoric forms of money and why they eventually became untenable or were replaced. The chapters then progress into describing modern money and how the gold standard was eventually abolished in favor of the fiat currency that we have today.

Finally, the book makes a case for why bitcoin specifically is in many ways the ultimate form of currency. The digital money presents an ideal degree of “hardness,” is largely immune to many of the factors that lead to currency devaluation such as hyperinflation, rampant printing by a government, or in the case of currencies like sea shells or large stones. Additionally, there is no way that someone else can suddenly find a new supply of bitcoin to flood the market with.

Let the Twitter War Begin

Just a short while ago, Saifedean Ammous retweeted an image from @MediumSqueeze which showed the top 10 cryptocurrencies from May 19, 2013, and how all of them have dropped in value against bitcoin. In his retweet, Dr. Ammous added that Litecoin, the top coin just below bitcoin, has dropped in bitcoin value by 40%.

To make things worse, Dr. Ammous then suggested that Litecoin was only successful in its “real goal,” which was to make its creator rich.

He then made reference to the fact that Charlie Lee publicly announced he had sold all of his Litecoin holdings when the cryptocurrency was trading at its all-time high of over $300 each. In contrast, Litecoin has been trading recently for between $120 and $150. This is still more than twice where it was trading on average last year where it consistently held for between $30-$50 before the major pump at the end of the year.

Charlie Lee Responds

Within a few short hours of the post going up, Litecoin creator Charlie Lee responded several times back and forth with Saifedean Ammous.

Charlie Lee Litecoin

First, Charlie stated that Litecoin is more than just a copy and paste of bitcoin code, and instead that it played a large role in the eventual activation of SegWit on Bitcoin. He then continued to say that claiming Litecoin was irrelevant suggests that Dr. Ammous does not “understand UASF and game theory” which Lee found “hard to believe” coming from an expert who wrote a book on the subject of Bitcoin.

Not allowing Charlie to have the last word, Dr. Ammous wrote back again just a few minutes later and claimed that even if he were to agree with Lee’s assertion that using Litecoin as a test bed for upgrades to bitcoin gave it a large part of it’s value, then Litecoin itself should only be trading for “[$0.10] max” and should not have made Lee a millionaire just from “promoting a copy/paste job like it matters for its own sake.”

Straight From the Book of Roger Ver

In what may be a surprising revelation to some, Charlie Lee shot back one more time to say that like well-known cryptocurrency personality Roger Ver, he too was already a millionaire before bitcoin, has “held much more in BTC than LTC,” and that he has been open about that for quite some time.

The reference to being a millionaire before bitcoin comes from a recent interview that bitcoin cash proponent Roger Ver had where he famously declared that he was “already a millionaire” before getting involved with bitcoin.

We reached out to Dr. Ammous for comment on what drove him to make these claims against Charlie Lee and Litecoin. As of press time he has not yet responded. However we will update this article if he gets back to us with a comment.

The argument itself appears to be ongoing, so we will update this article as the situation develops.

UPDATE: Dr. Ammous’ Response

Speaking on today’s Twitter exchange, Dr. Ammous told Bitsonline:

“I didn’t just decide to call Litecoin a shitcoin today. I’ve thought that for years and have always said it when it came up. The point of the tweet was not litecoin and I’m not interested in getting into discussion with Charlie or any other altcoiners because I truly believe altcoins do not matter at all and are a waste of time.”

He went on to add that in his opinion, all altcoins today are “simply recycling the same playbook used by hundreds of previous shitcoins nobody remembers today.” and was merely using Litecoin as an example. In his opinion, nearly all altcoins were created by people who wanted to “reinvent [bitcoin] with me at the helm so I can get rich”.

In regards to Charlie Lee, Dr. Ammous stated that his goal was “not to pick on Charlie, whose motivations and profits are completely irrelevant to me” and was instead to “illustrate to people why it is that Bitcoin matters and why no altcoin can ever recreate what BTC has achieved.”

He closed by saying:

“I firmly believe that all today’s altcoins will be remembered as worthless scams. Speaking out against them is absolutely necessary to protect my reputation and name, to not allow altcoiners to continue to leech onto us Bitcoiners to promote their scams, and to never be construed as being supportive of having people put their money in these completely pointless scams.”

What do you think about this Twitter exchange? Share your thoughts in the comments below.


Image via BitNovosti English

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