The crypto space is still in its early stages of development but many prominent names have emerged over the years. Charlie Lee is definitely one of them. In a few decades when the history of blockchain technology and cryptocurrencies is being written, he will certainly have a starring role in it.
Charlie Lee was born in the country of Cote d’Ivoire in West Africa (Ivory Coast). His father was one of the first people of Chinese descent to settle in Africa in the early 1960s, during the African wave of independence. His father was an MIT graduate.
When Charlie was 13 years old, his family moved to the United States. He followed in his father’s footsteps by attending the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, where he studied Computer Science. After completing his Bachelor of Computer Science, he chose to continue his studies. He applied for a Master’s degree at MIT and eventually graduated in 1999 with a Master’s degree in Computer Science.
3. Career before coming to blockchain technology
Before venturing into the blockchain and crypto space, Charlie spent nearly a decade working for top tech companies. Some of the tech giants he has worked with include Microsoft, Guidewire and Google.
Charlie Lee joined Google in 2007. He worked as a software engineer and participated in a number of activities within the company. During his 6 years at Google, he worked on projects like YouTube Mobile, Google Play Games platform, Chrome OS. While participating in the thfi project he came across Bitcoin and became interested in cryptocurrencies. Charlie left Google in 2013, 2 years after launching Litecoin.
Lee admits his journey into the world of crypto began in April 2011 when he read an article about Silk Road. At the time, he was trading gold while still working at Google. He was intrigued by the technology behind Bitcoin and quickly joined the community.
Lee admits he has always had a passion for economics despite working in the field of computer science. This makes his entry into the crypto world very understandable.
Step into cryptocurrency
After reading the article about Silk Road, Charlie became interested in Bitcoin. Like most of the early adopters of Bitcoin, he started out by mining Bitcoin. He then contacted Mike Hearn, one of the developers of Bitcoin Core. He bought 1 BTC from Hearn because his interest in the field has become much more specific. Soon after, he created his own cryptocurrency.
In September 2011, Fairbix was launched. It was Charlie’s first time participating in a crypto project. This is also his first time using Scrypt’s Proof-of-Work hashing algorithm. Fairbix is essentially a copy of Tenebrix – a coin created in 2011.
Fairbix failed in the market as the project was bogged down by a number of flaws. The fact is that the developers of the coin pre-mined 7 million coins for themselves. What makes many people estranged from the project. There was a software bug with the Multicoin app that made it vulnerable to a 51% attack in the first place.
Despite the failure of his first attempt to develop cryptocurrency, Charlie did not give up. Having learned valuable lessons from the failure of Fairbix, he began working on new ways for another coin. In October 2011, he announced the launch of Litecoin.
Litecoin is basically a copy of the Bitcoin core code but with a few tweaks and modifications. The basis for many of these adjustments is to ensure the fairness of the Litecoin cryptocurrency. Lee changed the hashing algorithm, the transaction speed lock, as well as the GUI. Lee also increased the maximum supply from 21 million to 84 million.
Lee has always talked about fairness and transparency. It was a common and recurring theme in many of his responses to the community. By using a Scrypt-based hashing algorithm for Proof-of-Work mining, Litecoin mining is a lot fairer than Bitcoin mining. Changing block transaction times also makes Litecoin lighter and faster than Bitcoin. The average block transaction time in Litecoin is 2.5 minutes faster than the average for bitcoin (10 minutes).
Since its release, Litecoin has grown steadily. Lee has always likened Litecoin to silver and Bitcoin to gold. He has stated many times that his creation is not a competitor to Bitcoin, but a complementary currency to Bitcoin. Any test should be used for Litecoin before applying to Bitcoin, because he believes that, Bitcoin is a King, should not and no one should test it.
Since its inception, Litecoin is the only coin with Bitcoin in the Top 10 largest cryptocurrencies in the market, the rest, all have failed.
After leaving Google in 2013, he joined Coinbase. During his time at Coinbase, he was the Chief Technical Officer. Coinbase has grown to become one of the most popular cryptocurrency trading platforms in the world. During his time at Coinbase, he continued to work part-time for Litecoin. In June 2017, Charlie Lee left Coinbase to work full-time on Litecoin.
In May 2017, a major upgrade was made on the Litecoin protocol and the Litecoin price started to recover again. This upgrade is the adoption of the SegWit protocol.
As the CEO of the Litecoin Foundation, Charlie oversees all development plans for all potential technical advancements for the Litecoin protocol brought about by the adoption of the SegWit protocol. The Litecoin Foundation is a non-profit organization. Its mission is to bring the advancement of Litecoin as a tool for creating value in society. The organization is registered in Singapore.