Litecoin’s Charlie Lee Reignites Instamine Controversy Eight Years After LTC’s Launch
Litecoin founder Charlie Lee took to Twitter to provide a counterargument and explanation for LTC’s instamine, a cryptocurrency that was launched eight years ago.
As litecoin approaches its next halving, during which time the block reward will be reduced by 50%, the near-decade old controversy surrounding the currency’s genesis has been resurfaced.
Detractors of LTC have been critical of Lee and his handling of the ‘instamine phase’ in the early days of the coin’s launch.
Instamining refers to a process in cryptocurrency where coins are initially distributed in an uneven or unfair manner. Typically, it involves the release of coins in a disproportionate amount to a handful of miners and investors. In the case of Litecoin, it has been determined that the currency underwent a similar phase in the days after launch.
According to Lee,
“[It’s] well known that Litecoin was fast mined in the first few days as the amount of people and hashrate was more than I thought there would be.”
Despite the instamine occurring eight years ago, Lee renewed the controversy after publishing, then deleting a tweet that seemed to take aim at rival cryptocurrency Dash.
In the tweet that has been since been scrubbed, Lee attempted to explain the instamine phase, in addition to pointing out how Dash may have committed a more egregious offense.
“It’s hard to estimate how much a hashrate jumped on it initially. But it was still fair with Litecoin as everyone had a fair chance to mine. What was unfair with Dash was that it was launched to friends only for the first few days. And then total supply reduced after the fact.
Charlie Lee’s deleted tweet
Some community members are speculating that Lee withdrew the tweet after drawing attention to litecoin’s own contentious mining behavior. As outlined in a Reddit post addressing the issue, Litecoin clearly underwent an accelerated mining phase that produced 500,000 LTC in 24 hours.
Graph showing instamine phase in the early days of Litecoin.
Charlie Lee Responds
Lee defended his actions in a separate Reddit post, saying,
“If I knew what the hashrate would be at launch, I could have set the initial difficulty higher. But it was better to err on the low side to protect against 51% attacks around launch time, and that’s what I did.”
The community backlash against Lee’s original tweet and subsequent deletion has been intense.
500,000 Litecoin instamined on day one. Irrefutable and forever tainting your blockchain. Tried to hide it and when Dash inherited the bug YOU PROGRAMMED you had the audacity to pretend Dash did it on purpose after you COVERED IT UP FOR YEARS. Embarrassing and ridiculous.
— Macrochip (@Macr0chip) July 24, 2019
However, the majority of the sentiment appears to derive from Lee deflecting his situation towards Dash.
As the coin founder explained, litecoin’s launch in 2011 constituted the early days of crypto and he was still largely feeling out the process for getting his currency up and running. Few could have imagined at the time it would hold a market cap of over $5 billion by the end of the decade.
What are your thoughts on this? Let us know in the comments.
‘I Think XRP Is a Scam’ Says Ben Askren Former UFC Star And Bitcoin Advocate
As regulatory concerns over XRP — the world’s third-biggest crypto asset — have intensified, some celebrities are stepping in to voice more FUD about the coin. Ben Askren, former UFC fighter and known Bitcoin (BTC) bull, has driven more scepticism toward XRP with a short tweet on Jan. 28: “I think XRP is a scam.”
Askren’s latest cryptocurrency verdict builds on a background of previous endorsements of other cryptocurrencies. The famous former Olympic wrestler is not only bullish on Bitcoin, but also supports Charlie Lee-founded Litecoin (LTC), the seventh biggest cryptocurrency by market cap as of press time. In January 2019, Askren was purportedly sponsored by the Litecoin Foundation as the mixed martial arts fighter for UFC 235 event. Subsequently, the UFC fighter appeared on his Instagram wearing a Litecoin-branded t-shirt. The celebrity has also promoted Bitcoin on his Twitter in October 2019:
“Just bought more BTC using @eToro was really easy, now all of you twitter geniuses can tell me Crypto is a scam while my assets go up!”
As Askren has been known as a shill for BTC and LTC for a while, a user on Twitter asked him a question: “The fact @Benaskren is staying quiet on XRP tells me its going to take it a long time if ever to moon.” Askren’s verdict didn’t take long, and a part of the crypto community on Twitter expressed some negative stance toward XRP, while the tweet has amassed over 2,000 likes as of press time.
Askren’s statement about XRP comes amid an already worsened situation around the coin as XRP dropped over 40% from $0.364 in 2019 to $0.183 in December, marking a two-year low. The situation has been exacerbated by rising concerns over the unclear regulatory status of XRP’s issuing company, Ripple, which faces a class-action lawsuit alleging that it held an unregistered sale of securities. Despite all this, CEO Brad Garlinghouse has recently hinted at an initial public offering for Ripple, which undoubtedly has some implications for the fate of altcoin. At press time, XRP is trading at $0.238, up over 1% over the past 24 hours, following a major green trend on crypto markets.
Litecoin Foundation Warns Fake 100,000 LTC Giveaway Scam Spreading on YouTube
The project director of the Litecoin Foundation is warning the crypto-curious about an apparent scam on YouTube.
David Schwartz says a YouTube channel posing as the Foundation recently broadcast a video of the 2019 Litecoin Summit, pretending it was happening live.
The description of the video falsely states that the Litecoin Foundation is now giving away 100,000 LTC.
There is a fake Litecoin Foundation youtube channel scamming people out of their #LTC as we speak.
DO NOT believe the channel and what it is offering! This is NOT the official Foundation youtube channel.
— David Schwartz (aka – Dasch) (@DaddyCool1991) December 23, 2019
The video deploys a classic crypto scam, claiming that anyone who sends LTC to a certain address will receive a larger amount of LTC in return.
It’s the latest reminder that the vast majority of crypto giveaways are likely scams – especially those that ask people to send crypto to an address.
Similar schemes are trying to trick Ripple and XRP supporters, with many people in the community posting alerts via Twitter.
🚨🚨🚨NEW SCAM ALERT🚨🚨🚨
These tweets will lead you to a webpage or youtube, trick you to send them XRP, and convince you on getting back double or more XRP in return!!!#XRPCommunity! NEVER NEVER SEND YOUR XRP TO THESE SCAMMERS! THIS IS NOTHING BUT A SCAM! pic.twitter.com/S3bsXhcBmE
— 🐼PandaRippleXRP🐼 (@RipplePandaXRP) December 17, 2019
Coinbase Could Be Holding a Quarter of All Litecoin
The quest for decentralization in the cryptocurrency space is a noble but convoluted pursuit. So, when a suggestion arises that one of the world’s most prominent exchanges, Coinbase, is holding as much as 25% of all Litecoin, questions start to be asked.
Coinbase is regarded as one of the biggest, and most influential, cryptocurrency businesses in the world. It has made it to the Forbes Blockchain 50 list, and it has its infamous ‘Coinbase effect’ that sees coins pump when added to the exchange. But does this exchange pack enough power to influence a coin like Litecoin?
Can Coinbase Be That in Control?
It was suggested on Twitter by @TruthRaiderHQ that Coinbase holds 25% of all Litecoin and even a substantial 5% of Bitcoin.
Coinbase holds 25% of all litecoin and 5% of all bitcoin.
— ₿ TruthRaider (@TruthRaiderHQ) December 2, 2019
This was followed up by a stab at John Kim, who brands himself as an ‘LTC evangelist.’ The suggestion being that if one company does hold as much as 25% of one coin that promotes itself as decentralized, then the level of its decentralization deserves to be questioned.
If you listen to the fanboy john Kim, who parades around like a cheerleader from high school, you'd miss the fact that litecoin is centralized af.
25%-30% + of this shitcoin is owned by one company.
— ₿ TruthRaider (@TruthRaiderHQ) December 2, 2019
The scope of Coinbase’s prominence in the cryptocurrency space is tough to determine, as is its full record of coins held under custody. However, the similarities to the cryptocurrency exchange and a major bank are quite apparent.
Coinbase is a centralized exchange, a breed of exchanges that dominate the market, and are a necessary go-between for fiat and crypto. But also a type of exchange that operates, in many ways, like a traditional bank.
Does This Make Litecoin Centralized?
Coinbase has over $7 billion of BTC under custody, which equates to 966,230 Bitcoin. If this is the case, and the circulating supply is 18 million – or perhaps closer to 17 million because of lost coins – then it would appear that Coinbase does hold even more than 5% of Bitcoin.
If it is the case that 25% of all Litecoin is sitting under custody with Coinbase, that is a substantial chunk that is not as distributed as fans of the coin would like or even expect. Coinbase isn’t likely to do anything with that much sway in the Litecoin sector, but it does warrant questions of its distribution.
However, what does become concerning is that following its mining reward halving earlier this year, the hash rate for Litecoin has been falling, which does make it more susceptible to a 51-percent-attack. Its hash rate is now the same as it was a year ago.
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