Charlie Lee is undoubtedly a great computer scientist, but he is best known for being the creator of Litecoin, a software variation of Bitcoin.
Lee was born on April 13, 1975 in Ivory Coast, West Africa. At the age of 13 he moved to the United States with his family. During his time in New Jersey he graduated from Lawrenceville High School in 1995.
He went on to earn his bachelor’s and master’s degrees in computer science and finally graduated from MIT in 2000.
Charlie has been interested in computers since he was a teenager. He managed to work for large companies in the sector such as Kana Communications occupying the position of Software Engineer until 2007. In the same year he got a position at Google working on projects such as YouTube Mobile, writing code for Chrome OS or Google Guidewire.
By 2011 Charlie was already familiar with Bitcoin and was quite interested in the cryptocurrency. After studying it he focused his attention on developing a form of investment that relies more on the Blockchain and less on traditional financial methods.
His idea was created from the functioning of Bitcoin and several experiments with its technology. His first tests were based on Bitcoin mining, however, this work helped him to develop his own digital currency.
Lee contacted Mike Hearn, developer of the core client software for Bitcoin who was his inspiration for developing Litecoin.
In early October 2011 Charlie Lee launched his new cryptocurrency, Litecoin. For the development of this cryptocurrency, Lee relied on a project known as Fairbrix using large portions of the source code.
Although Fairbix’s cryptocurrency was a failure due to errors in its mining leading to a 51% attack, Lee adopted its Proof of Work (PoW) protocol to launch Litecoin to the world.
LTC (Litecoin) was adopted as the silver of cryptocurrencies by the platform users. Charlie left his job at Google in 2013 to focus on Litecoin, as he was previously only able to spend his free time writing cryptocurrency technology.
Litecoin was created from Bitcoin technology and code with some changes that Charlie improved in the cryptocurrency. Among those changes are improvements to the Hash protocol, the maximum total supply value of the cryptocurrency and the transaction time of blocks, among other adjustments.
From 2013, when Charlie stopped working for Google, he started working at Coinbase until 2017, because despite being one of the most well-known companies in the world of cryptocurrencies, Lee needed more time to focus on his project.
Some time after Lee left Coinbase, rumors began that he would be stepping down from Litecoin’s management. Shortly thereafter, the developer himself confirmed those rumors, claiming that he is looking to decentralize Litecoin’s development.
In 2017 Lee announced on the social network Reddit that he had sold and/or donated almost all of his Litecoin holdings and retained only a few physical pieces in the form of the cryptocurrency.
Since May 2018 Charlie Lee has not given any further information about Litecoin plans although the project is still active.