Litecoin creator sells all his holdings due to conflict of interest – December 20

Bitcoin price continues a slow and steady decline while the rivals (Bitcoin Cash, Litecoin, Monero) register all-time highs. At the time, of writing the cryptocurrency is trading at $16,490, posting a market cap of $276 billion.

Due to the abrupt listing of Bitcoin Cash on Coinbase and GDAX on their trading platforms last night, further incited volatility in an already bullish market. To make matters worse, the rollout was messy.

Within minutes, the Bitcoin Cash price ballooned to $9,500 on GDAX, and the exchange halted trading just minutes after it opened. As of now, GDAX’s BCH order books remain closed, but Coinbase is processing BCH orders normally.

It is not the first time we’re seeing Bitcoin and Bitcoin Cash prices going in inversely proportional, and this time Bitcoin Cash came at an Bitcoin’s expense. After beginning the day at $18,245, the Bitcoin price dipped as low as $16,353 before reversing course back to $17,000.

Ethereum, on the other hand, plotted a rocky trajectory during intraday trading and at one point fell as low as $758. However, the Ethereum price managed to end the day just slightly below its previous-day level. The present value of ETH is $801, which translates into a $77 billion market cap.

Overall, altcoin market is continuing the bull run with few coins outperforming others. The dominance of Bitcoin on the entire crypto market is down to 45%. Altcoin market cap surpassed $340 billion and is not looking to slow down.

Top Stories from the Crypto World

1. Charlie Lee sells all this Litecoins

In a reddit post, Litecoin creator Charlie Lee explained he no longer wants to fend off allegations his remarks about Litecoin’s price are being done for his personal enrichment, and that he saw the sale as the best way to ensure transparency over his actions.

He wrote, “Some people even think I short LTC! So in a sense, it is a conflict of interest for me to hold LTC and tweet about it because I have so much influence.”

While he claimed to “always refrained” from buying and selling litecoin close to “major tweets,” his actions could be perceived as aimed to boost his own personal wealth “above the success of litecoin and crypto-currency in general,” Lee explained.

Recently, Litecoin price surged to an all-time high of $380 as Lee proposed an ambitious technical roadmap, including adopting the scaling solution Segregated Witness originally planned for Bitcoin.

2. Coinbase probes insider trading allegations with BCH launch

Yesterday, Coinbase, the world’s largest exchange, and wallet platform, were accused by many members of the Bitcoin community for insider trading. The reason was sudden announcing the release of Bitcoin Cash for trading without any prior notice.

Amongst the many critics was George Kikvadze, the vice chairman at Bitfury, who described the sudden surge in the price of Bitcoin Cash moments prior to the integration of BCH by Coinbase as a “very shady move.”

He said, “Coinbase and GDAX: VERY SHADY MOVE. Market anticipates Bitcoin Cash release January 1, 2018. Bitcoin Cash pumped massively on inside knowledge (no other name for this) prior to [the listing of Bitcoin Cash by GDAX]. GDAX abruptly lists Bitcoin Cash 2 weeks before January 1st. Something very wrong just happened.”

Brian Armstrong, the CEO of Coinbase and GDAX, responded to all the allegations saying:

“Today we announced support for Bitcoin Cash (BCH). It appears the price of Bitcoin Cash on other exchanges increased in the hours before our announcement. While digital currency prices fluctuate quite a lot and we have no indication of any wrongdoing at this time, I wanted to share a few thoughts with our customers.”

He added that for many years, Coinbase has had a policy in place that prevents employees, their families, and friends from trading cryptocurrencies on material nonpublic information. If an employee or a close individual to the employee initiate insider trading based on the exchange’s confidential information, it would be considered illegal.

“Given the price increase in the hours leading up the announcement, we will be conducting an investigation into this matter. If we find evidence of any employee or contractor violating our policies — directly or indirectly — I will not hesitate to terminate the employee immediately and take appropriate legal action.” Armstrong concluded.

3. Hedge funds poured $2 billion into cryptos in 2017, says Morgan Stanley

Apparently, the figure was released in a note entitled “Bitcoin Decoded” sent by Morgan Stanley to its clients this week. The investment bank further detailed that more than 100 crypto-related hedge funds have sprung up over the past six years, however, 84 of the funds launched in 2017.

The data comes from Morgan Stanley’s own research and Autonomous NEXT. The note helps bring into focus the surging interest from institutional investors at a time when bitcoin futures products have also been launched in CME Group and CBOE.