Litecoin, a cousin to the better-known bitcoin, is expected to “fork” this weekend — that is, give holders what is essentially a split. The move, announced by “Litecoin Cash,” a company that is not affiliated with the founder of the currency, Charlie Lee, is creating a controversy for investors.
Lee took to Twitter to call the fork a “scam” meant to confuse litecoin owners. The 10-for-one upgrade may sound appealing – but Lee warns that his team is not involved.
Litecoin’s value is climbing with the cryptocurrency up 32.17% in the past 24 hours and pushing above a $11 billion market cap, according to CoinDesk. The spike comes as the major cryptocurrencies recover from a sell-off that saw the top cryptocurrency, bitcoin, halving its value in mere months.
In recent weeks, global regulators have become more engaged in the complicated world of cryptocurrencies signaling tighter regulation may lie ahead. Christopher Giancarlo, chairman of the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC), and Jay Clayton, chairman of the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) testified before Congress earlier this month about the potential need a fresh set of regulatory rules.
Bitcoin peaked at nearly $20,000 in December, falling below $7,000 in February. It has since regrouped a bit, and is up 8% Wednesday, moving above $9,200, according to CoinDesk.