15 Things you did not know about Charles Lee
Charles Lee is the man behind one of the biggest crypto exchange “Litecoin”. He is a celebrity within the cryptocurrency and blockchain technology community. He is an active voice in the crypto community and remains one of the most outspoken voices in the community. He is a computer scientist by profession. To know Charles Lee better here are 15 things you did not know about him.
- Early life
Charles Lee was born in the African nation of Ivory Coast. He moved with his family to United States at the age of 13. Lee graduated high school in 1995. He earned his bachelor’s and master’s degree in computer science in 2000 from Massachusetts Institute of Technology.
His brother, Bobby Lee is the founder of cryptocurrency exchange BTC China.
- Pre-Google Career
Lee had interest and aptitude for computer science. After graduating from MIT, he worked for a number of tech companies. He got a job at Kana Communications as a software engineer in the initial days of leaving MIT. He worked there for three years before getting an offer from Guidewire Software. He worked as the firm Senior Software Engineer for four years. He left Guidewire in July 2007.
- Google Career
Lee worked in Google for five years. At Google Lee wrote code for Chrome OS and worked on a number of projects like YouTube Mobile and Play Games. It was here that Lee while working as a software engineer in Google developed the idea of litecoin.
- Introduction to Bitcoin
Lee learned about bitcoin while reading an article on Silk Road while working at Google in 2011. This was a turning point in his life as prior to this he had been interested in finding ways to get involved in the trading of gold. He approached the Federal Reserve System with skepticism because of his economic beliefs and his personal background. Lee gained keen interest in bitcoin and the new blockchain technology that supported it as he was searching for a way of investing that was less reliant upon standard financial means.
- Lee on Bitcoin
Lee purchased his first Bitcoins at $30 but the price dropped to $2. This did not dishearten him; his interest in cryptocurrency grew more.
Lee believes that Bitcoin would become the world reserve currency and it would coexist with fiat currency. He expects that in the end, there would be a handful of coins to have value.
He said: “Bitcoin will be the major one and there will be a few other ones.”
- Experiment with mining
Lee started experimenting with mining. He got in touch with Mike Hearn, who was working on the core blockchain client software for bitcoin. He bought a single Bitcoin from Mike. His interest in bitcoin and conversations with Mike was an inspiration for Lee to try to develop his own digital currency which was modeled after bitcoin. Lee was not the online computer scientists and software engineer who was making an attempt to build the next bitcoin.
- First cryptocurrency project
Fairbix was Lee’s first cryptocurrency, developed in 2011 modeled after both bitcoin and Tenebrix. Due to a pre-mining issue and software bugs which left the coin susceptible to a 51% attack, Fairbix was not successful. The development team pre-mined around 7 million Fairbix coins prior to its release which caused rumblings within the project.
The endeavor came to be useful to Lee when he was working on Litecoin as he adopted the proof of work protocol from Fairbix.
Lee released Litecoin just weeks after the failed release of Fairbix. Litecoin was modeled after the core bitcoin code and was an improvement to bitcoin with several adjustments according to Lee.
Lee presented litecoin as an alternative to bitcoin rather than its competitor. Litecoin was proposed as silver to bitcoin’s gold and was designed to be easier to mine and to be used for small transactions like online shopping, whereas bitcoin could be used for major international transactions.
After mining only 150 coins Lee released litecoin to the public.
It is the world’s seventh largest cryptocurrency by market cap, with a total circulation amounting to more than $9 billion worth of tokens.
- Working for Coinbase
Lee started working at Coinbase in July 2013, after he left Google. He began working at Coinbase even before the cryptocurrency adopted the coin he had created. Since the release of litecoin, Lee has worked at Coinbase, the popular digital currency exchange. Lee was one of the first people that were hired to work at Coinbase.
He wanted to give more time to litecoin so he stepped down as Director of Engineering at Coinbase in June 2017.
- Selling of his litecoin
In a post on Reddit on December 2017, Lee explained that he had sold almost all of his Litecoin holdings to avoid the conflict of interest that arose with his influence and position as LTC founder. He was criticized for his tweets which were having affecting the price of the coin. He sold or donated hic coins with an exception of few which were minted in physical form that he kept as collectibles.
In 2018, Lee endorsed and bankrolled the LTC payment application LitePay. He admitted that their due diligence was not sufficient for figuring out if the company could deliver on its promise and the company could not deliver it was found out.
- Exit from litecoin
In the spring of 2018 there were rumors circulating that Lee was planning on leaving his own crypotocurrency. He felt that his involvement as a leader of the network prevented litecoin from becoming fully decentralized. He wanted the altcoin to be a global decentralized cryptocurrency.
He said, “As for the future, I think eventually I would have to step away. For a currency to really be a worldwide, decentralized currency, you can’t have a leader trying to control things. To make it more decentralized eventually I’ll step away.”
He now manages the Litecoin Foundation.
- Litecoin foundation
Litecoin foundation is a non-profit organization registered in Singapore, created by Charles Lee in 2011. It has members from around the globe whose aim is to advance Litecoin for the good of the society by developing and promoting blockchain technology.
The donations made to Litecoin foundation directly fund litecoin development and the initiatives which are made by the foundation to create awareness by educating public and increasing Litecoin’s worldwide influence.
Charles Lee is the Managing Director of the Litecoin Foundation where he oversees the development of the Litecoin cryptocurrency and works to encourage the cryptocurrency’s adoption full time.
- Auctioning Litecoin collectibles
Lee sold his Litecoin in 2017 and now again he is selling more Litecoin, but this time they are not the digital ones but what he describes as “unique collectibles.”
He is auctioning off “unique collectibles” which are more than a dozen physical coins with labels and signed by Lee himself.
- Top 20 in the list
Lee made it to number 2 in “The 20 Most Influential People in Crypto 2018” list.
The list released this year of “The 100 Most Influential People in Crypto 2019” Lee made it to number 17.
He has earned a name in the crypto world.