Two Blockchain Pioneers on Navigating Bitcoin’s Recovery

Litecoin Creator Charlie Lee is a blockchain pioneer who has been around the crypto block enough times to see several bear markets. He joined CNBC to discuss the bitcoin price, which has lost more than two-thirds of its value since its year-end 2017 peak. For Lee, it’s only a matter of time before the bitcoin price returns to the same lofty levels of nearly $20,000, but how much time is anybody’s guess.

“It’s hard to predict prices… Sometimes it comes back within six months/a year; sometimes it takes three or four years,” he said on the business network.

The Worst Is Over

Lee isn’t the only one that feels this way. Erik Voorhees, the CEO of cryptocurrency exchange ShapeShift, similarly suggested to CNBC that the market turnaround may not happen overnight, however “the rate of collapse has slowed considerably.”

Voorhees, too, has seen his share of bitcoin downtrends, pointing to the bubble of 2013 after which time bitcoin remained range bound for a couple of years. It sounds as though the worst is over, as he believes “we’re done with the majority of the collapse.”

The bitcoin price could still fall as much as 30%, however, but “anything in the $5,000 to $8,000 range for bitcoin is pretty reasonable and in a couple of years will look like a great spot,” Voorhees said.

Like bitcoin, Litecoin has had a bumpy ride, as evidenced by a 75% decline in LTC year-to-date. Adding insult to injury, Litecoin with a market cap of $3.5 billion lost its No. 6 spot among the leading cryptocurrencies to Stellar (XLM), whose market cap hovers at more than $4 billion.

“This year, there has been so much adoption in bitcoin and Litecoin but the prices have dropped 60-70%. It’s all about speculation these days. But in the future, the price will reflect the success of cryptocurrencies,” Lee said.

Last year, the Litecoin creator liquidated his Litecoin portfolio to avoid any “conflict of interest” and in the nature of decentralization. The timing could have been better, as the Litecoin price sold-off shortly thereafter. He won’t repurchase his Litecoin in the foreseeable future or possibly ever. But by the same token, investors might like to see the founder of the cryptocurrency they’ve invested their savings in have a personal vested interest in the performance of the coin.

As for investors, Lee recommends “buying on the way down to dollar cost average your buy-in” but don’t mortgage your home for coins only to watch your portfolio shrink 80%.

Meanwhile, in the current market environment, as in past downturns, Lee observed that “it’s a good time for people to … have their heads down and actually work and get stuff done.”

The Litecoin Foundation is hosting a Litecoin Summit Sept. 14-15 in San Francisco, themes for which include cryptocurrency adoption and the scalability of bitcoin and Litecoin with a focus on technology such as the Lightning Network.

Featured image courtesy of Shutterstock.

Gerelyn has been covering ICOs and the cryptocurrency market since mid-2017. She's also reported on fintech more broadly in addition to asset management, having previously specialized in institutional investing. She owns some BTC and ETH.