When Will Charlie Lee Leave Litecoin? Looking at His SFOX Interview
In a new interview with institutional crypto dealer SFOX, Litecoin founder Charlie Lee waxed on the history of his brainchild cryptocurrency, how LTC needs to be totally independent of him in the future, and why he should’ve pulled a “Satoshi Nakamoto” when he had the chance. The grand question that arises accordingly is this: when will Lee leave Litecoin for good?
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‘Democracy … a Lot More Inefficient, But It’s More Decentralized,’ Says Lee
In an October 9th interview with SFOX, Litecoin creator Charlie Lee gave a series of reflective comments on pivotal moments in LTC’s history, including notable remarks on how he would’ve launched the cryptocurrency differently in retrospect.
Therein, Lee noted his own leadership position was ultimately a security hole in the Litecoin ecosystem, and that he’d need to walk back his position in the community in the years ahead if LTC was to become as resistant and sovereign as BTC.
“Litecoin is more centralized than Bitcoin,” Lee said. “If anyone wants to target Litecoin, they could attack me. That’s something that definitely could be improved. So I think that moving forward, I’ll eventually have to step away from Litecoin — I’m talking years down the road, when Litecoin is used and more as a real-world currency.”
On a similar note, Lee later added that he wished he would’ve gone the route of Bitcoin creator Satoshi Nakamoto in maintaining anonymity via a pseudonym from the start and thereafter never straying from the ensuing privacy:
“I think that, for good reason, Satoshi remained anonymous and kind of left the project. In hindsight, I should have done the same thing. I mean, being a public face for a decentralized cryptocurrency is kind of an oxymoron.”
For Better or For Worse, the Burden of the Father
Lee has raised both defenders and detractors in the wake of his December 2017 sell-off of his LTC holdings, which came near the peak of the cryptoeconomy’s last unprecedented bull run.
Said defenders called the move a plus for the cryptocurrency — a divestment marking a decisive and paternal pivot by Lee toward a more decentralized future for the asset.
On the flip side, detractors contended that Lee dumped his holdings at what he figured was likely near the market’s top, essentially capitalizing on hyped-up retail speculators that they say he helped whip into a frenzy.
For his part, Lee has repeatedly pushed back on that criticism. After The Bitcoin Standard author Saifedean Ammous panned Litecoin as a “copy/paste job” and a “pump and dump” ploy, Lee blasted Ammous and said Litecoin has been far from a parasite to Bitcoin.
Some people think Litecoin played a huge role. Some think it was a small thing that helped a bit. To say that Litecoin played no role and that testnet was enough means that you don't understand UASF and game theory. Hard to believe that for someone who wrote a book on Bitcoin.
— Charlie Lee [LTC⚡] (@SatoshiLite) May 19, 2018
In his new SFOX interview, Lee again spoke on his litecoin sell-off, saying the move wasn’t money-minded.
“These days, I’m not motivated by financial gains. I’m focused on spending all my time on Litecoin because it’s my baby: I created it, I want to see it succeed, and, if it does well, I get pride, fame, whatever. I’m spending all my time on it, and time is more valuable than money to me.”
Litecoin Not Mature Enough Yet for Lee to Leave?
In his SFOX comments, Lee said the time to step away from LTC would come when “Litecoin is used […] more as a real-world currency.”
With that said, the ongoing trend of hyperdigitization suggests that cryptocurrencies in will have increased adoption in the years ahead, at least generally speaking.
But with so many variables in play from so many different levels and directions, much remains inscrutable for, and within, the cryptoeconomy, and Litecoin’s future is no exception — particularly with there being so much contemporary competition among the genre of payments-centric cryptocurrencies.
Lee’s forward-facing comments indicate that he thinks litecoin has reasonable prospects for further mainstream adoption. If that happens, he’s said his departure will be necessary.
The first question that naturally arises here, then, is when can such mainstream adoption be reasonably expected? In extension, and as a corollary, when will Lee’s departure cement a “headless” status for LTC?
These are questions that seem only set to rise in prominence in the coming months as debates around the nature and purposes of decentralization are already raging in the cryptoverse.
Further yet, what if certain black swan variables come into play, and mainstream adoption never quite materializes for the asset — what questions would arise then? And how would Lee handle a “technical” exit from LTC under those circumstances?
It’s all up in the air, at least for now.
Bitsonline reached out to Lee for clarification on some of his SFOX answers, though he didn’t immediately respond to our request for comment. We will update this story immediately if he chooses to do so.
What’s your take? Do you think Charlie Lee shouldn’t feel the need to leave Litecoin, or should he have done so long ago? Let us know where you stand in the comments section below.
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