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Why Litecoin’s Charlie Lee Hates to Be Compared to Elon Musk

In brief Litecoin is seeing highs it's not experienced since its founder Charlie Lee cashed out in 2017. Lee said people still don't understand his motivation, which was focusing on increased adoption as opposed to the price of LTC. He outlined plans for Litecoin's new privacy upgrade, and his views on crypto regulation—which he believes is inevitable.

When Litecoin (LTC) broke through the $200 barrier last weekend, for the first time since March 2018, it sparked jubilation among LTC holders—as you might expect. But one man, who sold all his Litecoin in December 2017, was just as overjoyed.

For three long years, Charlie Lee, Litecoin’s 34-year-old founder, has faced vocal criticism from some in the cryptocurrency's community for cashing out near the peak. It's been a regular background noise in his life, as LTC (alongside other cryptocurrencies) endured a lengthy crypto winter. 

Now that the world’s eighth-biggest cryptocurrency is finally reliving its former glories (though it has yet to surpass its all-time high of around $360), Decrypt sat down with Lee to talk about the project’s upcoming privacy upgrade; his buying and selling strategies, and Litecoin’s prospects in the coming months.

Barks from the bridge

Lee is one of the most famous figures in the cryptocurrency industry. Seated against a dramatic background, he appeared to be on the bridge of Darth Vader's ship from Star Wars. Only his Labradoodle’s occasional barks belied the fact that he was actually speaking with Decrypt on a Zoom call from his home in San Francisco.

He comes across as friendly but serious; an eager but patient teacher—practiced in explaining Litecoin’s advantages, including its zero downtime and security features, and excited about the upcoming MimbleWimble Extension Blocks (MWEB) upgrade, which will give the cryptocurrency privacy advantages.

Charlie Lee launched Litecoin in 2011. Image: Charlie Lee

Lee was born in the Ivory Coast and e...

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