- Litecoin saw astronomical gains through the end of 2017, reaching a high of $365 per token in December.
- Now the cryptocurrency is going for less than half of those highs, at just $147
Litecoin has plunged to the sixth-largest cryptocurrency by market cap after losing half of its market value in less than a month.
The cryptocurrency, created by former Coinbase engineer Charlie Lee in 2011 as a quicker alternative to the flagship bitcoin, was worth an all-time high of $365 as recently as December, according to Markets Insider data.
That price had plunged more than 59% to $147 by Wednesday morning.
During its astronomical rise, Lee was often accused of manipulating the price of Litecoin through his tweets and public appearances. Lee said in December — when Litecoin was double today’s price — that he had "sold and donated" all of his holdings.
"Whenever I tweet about Litecoin price or even just good or bad news, I get accused of doing it for personal benefit,” Lee said on Reddit. “Some people even think I short LTC! So in a sense, it is [sic] conflict of interest for me to hold LTC and tweet about it because I have so much influence."
Lee did not disclose how much of the cryptocurrency he sold or donated, but maintained it did not affect the price of the asset. Still, prices fell shortly after his announcement and continued to tumble.
To be sure, litecoin is still trading up 4,000% from its prices a year ago, and currently has a market cap of $10.1 billion. According to a new study from SEMRush, Litecoin (and Ripple)’s gains have come at the expense of Ethereum, which is also down 24% in the last 24 hours. Most cryptocurrencies took a hit Tuesday after reports China and South Korea are mulling tighter regulatory controls.