Charlie Lee, former director of engineering at Coinbase crypto exchange and the creator of Litecoin (LTC) has expressed his intention to make the altcoin a global decentralized cryptocurrency in an interview with TenX made Friday, April 27. He also claimed that that goal would require him to eventually “step away” from Litecoin as its leader.
In the interview, Lee suggested that Litecoin and Bitcoin (BTC) are “working close together,” claiming that the coins are mutually reinforcing each other and are used for different purposes. Lee stressed the decentralized nature of Bitcoin provided by its anonymous creator as its key feature, which is missed at 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.”
Answering the question of TenX crypto wallet co-founder Julian Hosp if Lee has ever considered moving away from his leading position, the Litecoin founder said that he actually “stepped away for a little bit two years ago” when he focused on the development of a better use of Bitcoin at Coinbase. Lee argued that a real decentralized coin should not have a leader who would control it.
“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.”
The statement apparently contradicts what Lee said in December 2017, when he promised not to “quit” and to fully devote himself to Litecoin after he sold all his Litecoin holdings at the peak of the crypto market:
“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.”
Later, Lee reiterated his statement in an interview with Cointelegraph on Feb. 2, claiming he sold all litecoins because of “conflicts of interest” and not because he “didn’t believe in the project.”
As Lee acknowledged, the move was “definitely the first step” away, which he believes was a necessary measure eventually. “I think eventually I had to step away,” Lee stated.
LTC founder also admitted that his decision to sell his litecoins “just [felt] like it [was] not the right,” citing short-term negative impacts. However, Lee still believes that he made “the right move, but in the long-term.”
“I think in the long run it was right. The short term while the price is down like below the all-time high, it just feels like it’s not the right decision, but I think that moving forward like five years down the road, when prices back up (unclear) then it would be feel like that would be right move.”
Founded by Lee in 2011, LTC hit its all time high of $375 on Dec. 19, 2017 and later dropped as low as $125 on Feb. 6, 2018, according to data from Coinmarketcap. Still one of the top 10 cryptocurrencies by market cap, Litecoin is currently trading at $151.