Charlie Lee, the creator of the cryptocurrency Litecoin (LTC), claims to have sold all of his digital reserves to silence naysayers who accuse him of having a conflict of interest.
"I have sold and donated all my LTC. Litecoin has been very good for me financially, so I am well off enough that I no longer need to tie my financial success to litecoin's success," Lee, a former Google software engineer, wrote in a Reddit post published Wednesday (20 December).
At the time of writing, litecoin – envisioned as an alternative to bitcoin – remained the fifth largest cryptocurrency in terms of market capitalisation, according to CoinMarketCap statistics.
Lee, who launched the project back in 2011 after leaving a job at the popular cryptocurrency exchange Coinbase, said that he had been criticised for commenting on the price and growth of his own financial product.
Often, word of mouth is enough to shift the worth of digital money. Lee has 381K Twitter followers.
He wrote: "I try to stay away from price related tweets, but it's hard because price is such an important aspect of Litecoin growth. And whenever I tweet about Litecoin price or even just good or bad news, I get accused of doing it for personal benefit. Some people even think I short LTC!
"So in a sense, it is conflict of interest for me to hold LTC and tweet about it because I have so much influence. I have always refrained from buying/selling LTC before or after my major tweets, but this is something only I know. There will always be a doubt on whether any of my actions were to further my own personal wealth above the success of Litecoin and crypto-currency in general."
He said that for the first time in over six years he doesn't own a single digital litecoin, but pledged to the userbase that his involvement with the company would not be coming to an end.
"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 added: "I now believe this is the best way for me to continue to oversee Litecoin's growth. Please don't ask me how many coins I sold or at what price. I can tell you that the amount of coins was a small percentage of GDAX's daily volume and it did not crash the market."
He is not the first fintech luminary to sell his entire stash of coins in recent weeks.
Earlier this month, the co-founder of Bitcoin.com – Emil Oldenburg – revealed he had abandoned the old bitcoin network, slamming it as 'virtually unusable", partly due to transaction fees.
Despite worries from some financial experts that the price of bitcoin is on the verge of disaster, its overall value skyrocketed throughout 2017 – rising at one point to more than $18,000 per coin. At the time of writing, the price of a single litecoin was £248 ($333), per CoinMarketCap.