While nearly everyone has been glued to the Bitcoin price charts as it draws closer to the $20,000 mark after the launch of CBOE futures last Sunday, litecoin, which is considered to be the silver to bitcoin’s gold has not been left behind. The budding cryptocurrency just recently surpassed the $100 mark and with its current momentum, the price should continue rising despite warnings by its creator, Charlie Lee.
The warning that he wrote on twitter apparently came as a response to the near 300 percent rise of litecoin’s price in a little over 48 hours. It read: “Sorry to the spoil the party, but I need to reign in the excitement a bit… Buying LTC is extremely risky. I expect us to have a multi-year bear market like the one we just had where LTC dropped 90% in value ($48 to $4). So if you can’t handle LTC dropping to $20, don’t buy!”
Litecoin is now the fifth-largest cryptocurrency with over $15 billion worth of market capitalization having rallied nearly 8,000 percent this year. While this should come as no surprise especially considering the price trends of other decentralized digital currencies, more so bitcoin, Charlie Lee is really surprised by its growth this year. In a phone interview with CNBC’s Squawk Box, Lee pointed out that the frantic growth in the prices of various cryptocurrencies was an impeding factor to the wider adoption as well as mainstream acceptance since most cryptocurrency users are using them as speculative assets instead of the real-world transactions they were intended for. Due to this, he believes that it will be five more years before people finally start to use bitcoin and litecoin as a currency to make real-world transactions.
“Bitcoin is very volatile, and litecoin is even more volatile that bitcoin,” he said. “I just want to warn people that they should invest responsibly. Don’t spend all of your life savings to buy a cryptocurrency in case it drops 80 percent.”
With cryptocurrencies gaining more popularity by the day, the buzz has attracted a lot of scrutiny and a fair share of criticism from policymakers with a considerable number of them having huge doubts about the overall appeal of decentralized digital currencies as mediums of exchange and stores of value. In fact, some others have openly dismissed the need for investing in bitcoin and have warned investors not to do so either. Unlike many cryptocurrency purists who have expressed their concern over government interference, Lee has been quite welcoming to the prospects of more regulation for cryptocurrencies – and this might compel the doubtful lot to change their minds and be a little optimistic about cryptocurrency.
“I think increased regulation will help to reduce the volatility of the coin. A lot of the recent gains have had a lot to do with countries like (South) Korea and Japan really getting into the cryptocurrency space,” Lee pointed out.
“Ever since China banned the bitcoin exchanges, (South) Korea has really taken up the mantle. There is a lot of frenzy in (South) Korea right now and I think that’s driving up the price.”