It’s common for longtime cryptocurrency investors to advise newcomers to invest heavily in bitcoin and — depending on their proclivity toward “Bitcoin maximalism — ethereum before investing in what many of them not-so-affectionately refer to as s–tcoins. What’s less common, though, is for an altcoin creator himself to give that same advice.
Yet that’s exactly what Litecoin creator Charlie Lee did on Monday when he counseled his Twitter followers to obtain at least 1 BTC before buying any other cryptocurrency, LTC included.
“There will be at most 21 million bitcoins in existence. There isn’t even enough BTC to go around for EVERY millionaire to own one. So before you buy any other coin (LTC included), try to own at least 1 BTC first,” he said. “Once you have 1 BTC, buy all the s–tcoins you want!
Litecoin, which Lee created in 2011 as a fork of Bitcoin, has always marketed itself as a payments network, the so-called “silver to bitcoin’s gold,” rather than a direct competitor to the flagship cryptocurrency.
Some Bitcoin maximalists have even acknowledged the value of Litecoin as a testbed for Bitcoin development, perhaps best evidenced by the former’s adoption of scaling solution Segregated Witness (SegWit) well in advance of its activation on the Bitcoin network.
Lee, as CCN reported, revealed in December that he had sold his entire LTC stake, a move he made shortly before the cryptocurrency market entered what has now become a seven-month freefall.
The former Coinbase engineer, who now works on Litecoin full-time, said that he sold his funds to remove what he believed was a “conflict of interest” in his promotion of the project.
“[W]henever I tweet about Litecoin price or even just good or bads news, I get accused of doing it for personal benefit,” he said. “So in a sense, it is conflict of interest for me to hold LTC and tweet about it because I have so much influence.”
That decision was incredibly controversial within the Litecoin community, and critics were quick to bring it up after Lee tweeted that investors should buy at least 1 BTC — currently valued at $6,739 — before diversifying into any other coins.
Lee, however, doubled down on his advice in response to critics.
“The point is, don’t think of it as missing out. Owning other coins is much riskier. Owning BTC is more of a sure bet. So before you speculate, invest in something solid first,” he said. “And no, I’m not calling LTC a s–tcoin.”