Charlie Lee & Litecoin (LTC) – A Brief Biography
- Charlie Lee created the silver to Bitcoin’s Gold which is Litecoin, in November 2011
- Litecoin (LTC) has since evolved from a relatively unknown altcoin to one which is now listed on the UK derivatives market
- Charlie Lee has been instrumental in developing and marketing Litecoin, being one of the most transparent and well-recognized coin creators on the cryptocurrency market
It is hard to imagine today. However, as recently as 2014, there were as few as 70 altcoins listed on the cryptocurrency market. With there being over 1578 at present, Litecoin (LTC) has, therefore, risen to prominence alongside some stiff competition. What is more, Litecoin is arguably, the only true form of cryptocurrency which is ready for mass market adoption.
Charlie Lee & the Origins of Litecoin
Charlie Lee, the creator of Litecoin, is one of the most prominent figures in cryptocurrency history.
Born on Africa’s Ivory Coast to Chinese immigrant parents, Lee and his family relocated to the United States when he was aged just 13. Lee subsequently benefited from access to several top educational institutions. Namely, MIT where Lee graduated from at the turn of the millennium with a Masters Degree in Computer Science.
From Google to the Blockchain
Quickly making a name for himself in software engineering, Charlie Lee began work with Google in 2007. Here, Lee was instrumental in helping develop leading Google products like Youtube Mobile and the still popular Chrome OS. In 2009, though, Lee became one of several software developers with a burning interest in the mysterious in origin cryptocurrency known as Bitcoin.
The Rise of Bitcoin & Hobbyist Altcoin Creators
Quickly noted by computer programmers and software engineers for its technological uniqueness, the 2009 release of Bitcoin, led to several hobbyists attempting to create their own forms of digital currency.
Joining the fast-growing altcoin community in 2011, Charlie Lee initially helped bring an altcoin called Fairbix to market. Sadly, Fairbix suffered from several security weaknesses and poor cryptocurrency market appeal. Rather than be deterred though, Lee simply refocused his efforts on the creation of a far superior coin called Litecoin.
2011 & The Birth of Litecoin
Released in September of 2011, it was clear from the start that Charlie Lee’s Litecoin was something special.
- As a clone of Bitcoin’s core protocol, Litecoin was effectively the first ever legitimate fork of Bitcoin itself
- Instead of merely copying the Bitcoin blockchain and attempting to cash in on the Bitcoin brand identity (like many altcoins have attempted to since), Charlie Lee worked to actively improve Litecoins’ codebase
- Despite Bitcoin scalability concerns still being a few years away, Lee anticipated these and modified Litecoin to use a Scrypt-based proof of work consensus algorithm. Specifically, one which is still largely resistant to ASIC mining and reduces network transaction times by 75%
- Charlie Lee quadrupled the Litecoin total supply to 84 million, meaning that Litecoin would have better liquidity than Bitcoin
Charlie Lee & Coinbase
By January 2014, leading magazines like Forbes were announcing that a $100 Litecoin investment made a year earlier, would have already netted investors over $30,000. By late 2013 it was, therefore, clear that Charlie Lee had outgrown Google.
Moving to apply his skills instead at Coinbase, Lee became the official Director of Engineering at the world’s largest cryptocurrency exchange. Arguably, though, Litecoin suffered as a result of Lee only being able to commit to part-time development of the currency.
Charlie Lee & His 2017 Vision for Litecoin
Inspired by the success of Litecoin between 2011 and 2016, early 2017 saw Charlie Lee release a new paper titled: “My Vision For SegWit And Lightning Networks On Litecoin And Bitcoin.”
In this paper, Lee stated a strong case for using Litecoin side chains and Atomic Swaps, to help Bitcoin itself scale to meet growing consumer demand. By June, Lee, as a result, resigned from Coinbase, proved the viability of Segwit by rolling out the update on the Litecoin network, and became Managing Director of the official Litecoin Foundation.
Litecoin, Charlie Lee & the Future of the Cryptocurrency Market
Praised for helping push wider mainstream adoption of cryptocurrency, Charlie Lee and the Litecoin Foundation, now spearhead campaigns to bring cryptocurrency directly to individuals and businesses.
The most recent #PayWithLitecoin Campaign, has already seen Litecoin start being accepted by major commercial enterprises such as TapJets. Meanwhile, thanks to Litecoin based scaling support for Bitcoin, some believe that Litecoin itself will eventually hold steady at a full fifth of Bitcoin’s own value.