In the wake of the recent $32 million Bithumb hack, Litecoin founder and all-round nice guy Charlie Lee was interviewed on CNBC’s Fast Money program on Wednesday. Lee stressed that calm – both from the industry and investors – was imperative, and put the hack down to the exchange’s security “teething problems.”
The gregarious, outgoing and always likeable Charlie Lee, the founder of Litecoin, was the man CNBC’s Fast Money program chose to call upon on Wednesday, following the news of the latest high-profile crypto hack, this time a $30 million-plus theft that hit South Korean exchange platform Bithumb.
Lee, born to Chinese parents in the Ivory Coast but a US citizen since his teens, founded Litecoin in 2011. Litecoin remains the second-oldest major cryptocurrency, behind only Bitcoin, and is also the fifth largest and most valuable digital currency in the world.
What Charlie Lee Told CNBC
Via a phone line, Lee told Fast Money’s Melissa Lee that while it’s normal for crypto investors to panic when an exchange gets hacked, such an act does not change the fundamentals of crypto assets:
“Whenever there’s an exchange hack, people get scared and the price drops. It happens all the time. The thing is it doesn’t really change the fundamentals of Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies.”
Lee drew a parallel with the Bithumb hack to a gold theft at a bank, pointing out that in theory, the robbery shouldn’t affect the price of gold, so likewise, the hacking of a crypto exchange shouldn’t have any impact on the fundamentals of crypto assets.
“If a bank gets broken into and gold get stolen, does that affect the price of gold? It shouldn’t. The same with Bitcoin; if the exchange doesn’t protect their coins well enough and it gets hacked, it doesn’t really change the fundamentals of the coin they were protecting.“
Lee pointed out that in the era of Bitcoin and Litecoin, where more and more people are putting more and more of their finances into cryptocurrency, the onus is very much on the exchanges to safeguard and protect their client’s assets to the absolute best of their abilities, using up-to-the-minute technology and the very latest anti-hacking security systems.
“We are kinda very early in the crypto timeframe, and right now, exchanges are learning to better protect their customers funds. I think we’re getting better and better and it, but we still have a lot to improve.”