Charlie Lee is the creator of litecoin and the managing director for the Litecoin Foundation. Born in Ivory Coast, West Africa, Lee immigrated to the United States at age 13.
Lee announced litecoin on Bitcointalk, a bitcoin forum initially created by Satoshi Nakamoto in 2011 while working at Google. Litecoin is a fork of bitcoin, intended to serve as “silver to Bitcoin’s gold,” rather than to compete with it. Litecoin’s price increased dramatically by 395% in 2013.
Lee sought to make litecoin technically distinct from bitcoin in two different ways. First, he aimed to make it possible for the average consumer to mine the coin using consumer grade hardware, as opposed to the specialized mining hardware that bitcoin utilizes. Second, Lee sought to create a network that allowed for faster and cheaper transactions (approximately 2.5 minutes per transaction compared to the 10 minutes bitcoin offered). This faster time and cheaper transaction fee was intended to enable consumers to use litecoin for smaller and more day-today transactions.
After creating litecoin, Lee joined crypto exchange startup, Coinbase, as director of engineering. In 2015, during his time at Coinbase, Lee shifted his focus away from litecoin and development on the protocol stagnated.
In 2017, Lee left Coinbase in order to dedicate his time and attention to the Litecoin Foundation.