We often read articles about forecasts and prophecies of many maestros if crypto. It only takes one tweet or media statement for news services to buzz with new news and forecasts from “digital gurus”. And who are these “digital gurus”? What have they done to influence the mood of investors and entire crypto communities? These and other questions are answered in a series dedicated to cryptic personalities.
In today’s edition we will introduce you to Charles Lee, the creator of Litecoin. What prompted him to create an alternative to Bitcoin crypto community? Why did Bitcoin become his inspiration? I invite you to read it.
Early life and career
Our hero was born in Côte d’Ivoire in 1975. Charlie was first educated in his home country, and when he was 13 years old he moved to the United States with his whole family.
Since he was a child, he showed particular interest in computer science and technology, so after moving to the USA he continued his education, first at Lawrenceville High School and then at the famous MIT (Massachusetts Institute of Technology). With a bachelor’s degree, he was not the first one in his family to defend his diploma at this university. His father can also boast of such an achievement. Charlie wanted to develop further, and in 1999 he graduated with a master’s degree in computer science from the same university.
His professional career
After graduation, the educated man began his professional career with passion and has something to boast about. For the next ten years he was strongly associated with technologies, he worked for several technology companies, including Google. Before he started working for the company behind the well-known search engine, he worked as a software engineer for Kana Communications and then for Guidewire Software in a similar position.
In September 2007 Charlie became a Google employee, where he worked on such projects as: Play Games, YouTube Mobile and Chrome OS. It was while working for Google, in 2011, that Charlie first came across a mention of Bitcoin in an article about the already closed Silk Road. It can be said that this was a turning point in Charles’ career, as he had a technological sense as well as an economic sense and wanted to get involved in gold investments. It was then that he turned his eyes to Bitcoin and the blockchain technology at its core, bearing in mind the flaws in the Federal Reserve system.
The beginnings in crypto world
Many of us would probably like to know about Bitcoin in 2011, and probably most of us now think about it in categories: “If I bought those Bitcoins, I’d have so much money now.” It’s this way of thinking that shows us the difference between average bitcoin buyers and people who want to develop technology, pushing the world forward.
The hero of today’s considerations began his adventure with Bitcoin with the first attempts to extract it. During this time he made contact with Bitcoin programmer (Bitcoin Core) – Mike Hearn, who was also a software engineer at Google. After exchanging correspondence, he bought 1 BTC from him, which started his interest in blockchain for good.
With ten years of experience as a programming specialist in his baggage, Charlie undertook to create his own crypto, which was not uncommon at the time, as many programmers wanted to repeat the success of the mysterious Satoshi Nakamoto.
First steps in the role of a developer
“Not easy,” as people used to say. Not always everything goes our way and it can be assumed that in the early stages of Mr. Lee’s career, in the blockchain industry, not everything went his way either. Fairbrix, because that was the name of our hero’s first failure, turned out to be a complete failure. It was created as an essential clone of another Tenebrix project, it was not accepted in the community. The problem was a number of errors in the code, and the Multicoin software couldn’t cope with the 51% vulnerability.
“Be defeated often so you can succeed faster.” – said Tom Kelley, author of bestselling books on innovation and creative approach to business. Charlie Lee describes Tom Kelley’s approach perfectly, because a month after the Fairbrix was released, Litecoin was released to the world.
It wasn’t a revolutionary product, but it’s hard to talk about a revolution in the industry that hasn’t come into being for good yet. Mr. Lee used the Scrypt algorithm in Litecoin (BTC uses SHA256), which shortened the average block generation time from 10 to 2.5 minutes. The work of Charles and Bitcoin also differs in the amount of coins in circulation, which will be four times greater – 84 000 000.
From the very beginning, Charlie Lee stated that his design is not in competition with Bitcoin. As the name suggests, Litecoin is intended to be a lighter version of Bitcoin, which is used for small everyday transactions as a supplement to it.
Continuation of professional career
Returning to the topic of the career of the founder of Litecoin, it should be mentioned that he released “digital silver” two years before he left Google (and he left the company in 2013). The next stage of his career is Mr. Lee’s participation in Coinbase, which we all know, where he was one of the first employees. For four years he held the position of technical manager and then engineering director before he decided to leave to devote all his time to his own child, Litecoin.
2017 was the year when Charlie quit everything else and returned to Litecoin as Managing Director of the Litecoin Foundation. During this time, the protocol was modernized by adopting Segregated Witness, more commonly known as SegWit. Today, Charles continues to lead the foundation and supervises all activities related to the development of Litecoin.
Charlie got rid of all Litecoins
In December 2017, Charlee Lee told the world that he got rid of all his Litecoins. There are rumours on the internet that it was about 500,000 coins, and the market reacted to this news with a large sale. However, this was not a lasting trend (although it is hard to say in any way, given the period at the peak of the last bubble), so the community stayed with the project. Charlie explained that the amount of coins he owned was a burden on the development of the project.
The creator of Litecoin is still very active in the crypto community. In July 2018, he announced that Litecoin Foundation has acquired nearly 10% of shares in the German bank WEG Bank. The driving force behind the purchase of these shares was the foundation’s technological cooperation with TokenPay. The aim of this cooperation is to help the bank to provide its customers with cryptographic payment solutions.
The same year was the time when Charlie Lee established cooperation with HTC Exodus, a smartphone using blockchain. The Taiwanese company announced that its product will have Lightning Network support, which Charles was delighted with, and I think we can be too.
Since last year the Litecoin team has been working on adding a protocol to make LTC transactions private. According to Charles Lee, scalability is a problem for all projects and it will be a kind of arms race in the coming years.
Not only the ubiquitous rumours, but also the “digital gurus” themselves say that the blockchain industry needs to be kept a close eye on. It’s a great technology, with many great people behind it, who are worth following and taking their opinions into account.
I hope you’ve learned something new about this personality 🙂 From my side that’s all. Soon the next edition of “Personalities of the Crypt World” will be available.