Back in December, Charlie Lee announced on Reddit that he had offloaded his Litecoin (LTC) holdings, citing a potential conflict of interest between his continued behind-the-scenes and public activity in the space and the future of LTC from a price perspective.
Here’s what 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… or this reason, in the past days, 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. For the first time in 6+ years, I no longer own a single LTC that’s not stored in a physical Litecoin.”
The market response was somewhat mixed to the development. Some suggested that his selling out of his position was a signal of a lack of faith in Litcoin’s long-term ability to stand up to some of the emerging coins. Others thought the opposite, suggesting his move was a sensible one and one that would allow Litecoin to develop organically, without the claims that manipulation is rife, as we’ve seen with many other (much talked about) coins over the last few months.
This author falls into the latter camp – Lee’s involvement in Litecoin’s growth was a conflict of interest in the purest sense of the phrase, so he had two choices: continue to push for the coin’s growth and sell his stake or back away from Litecoin and hold his stake.
The former, this author believes, is much better for the Litecoin community long term.
Anyway, that’s not the point of this discussion.
Around the same time that Lee sold his LTC stake, Coinbase announced the appointment of a Facebook executive to its board of directors. The executive is David Marcus, vice president of messaging products at Facebook, and his remit is to bring years of experience in building large-scale mobile products.
This spurred a rumor:
Is the conflict of interest that Lee refers to rooted in Facebook’s intentions to take on LTC as an integrated cryptocoin within its platform and if so, did Facebook request that Lee sells his stake so as to remove this CoI ahead of said integration?
Zerohedge put forward this suggestion here.
Since this all happened, Litecoin has had a pretty rough few weeks. Right now, the coin trades for $170 a piece, down nearly 70% on December highs.
The rumors remain in place, however, and, not only are the above factors playing into the suggestion that Facebook is interested in crypto, we actually got word from Zuckerberg himself in his 2018 Facebook mission statement, suggesting that the company will be looking into cryptocurrency and its potential integration with the Facebook ecosystem going forward.
So, is Facebook looking to integrate Litecoin with its platform, and specifically, its mobile messenger platform, near term?
Of course, it’s still all rumors at this point and no one can say for sure. With that said, we’ve seen a conflict of interest sellout from Lee, a Facebook exec (a messenger exec, no less) joining Coinbase (which lists LTC as one of a very select few cryptocurrencies) and Zuckerberg announcing he’s interested in crypto as a key focal point of the social network CEO’s annual address.
And all of this within the space of a few weeks.
We think that there’s more than enough justification for a speculative punt on this development playing out in line with the rumors, given the upside potential for Litecoin if Facebook makes the announcement the LTC community is looking for.