1. Who is Charlie Lee?
Charlie Lee is a computer scientist by profession and is best known in the cryptocurrency sector for his creation of Litecoin, a digital currency. He also works as the managing director of Litecoin Foundation. He has also worked for Coinbase, another cryptocurrency company until July in the year 2013.
Charlie Lee was born in Ivory Coast a part of the West African nation in the year 1979. Charlie Lee, at the age of 13, moved to the United States of America with his family. There he graduated from high school in the year 1995.
Charlie Lee has graduated from the prominent and topmost university in the world, the Massachusetts Institute of Technology with the bachelor’s degree for computer science in the year 2000. From the same university, he also graduated in the master’s degree for computer science engineering.
Even during his early days, Charlie Lee had a keen interest inaptitude for computer technology. He worked as top tech associate in the early 2000’s in most of the high tech companies which included the likes of Guidewire Software and Google. He started to develop the idea of Litecoin when he was working as a software engineer at Google.
It was Charlie Lee, who was primarily responsible for projects such as Youtube Mobile and Chrome Operating System when he was working at Google. It was in the year 2011; Lee came to know about the digital currency Bitcoin while he was still working at Google. He came to know about Bitcoin from an article on Silk Road.
During that time, Lee was looking for many numbers of ways to get involved in the trading of gold, and this article proved as a boon to him. The article about Bitcoin changed his life entirely and proved to be a turning point in his professional career.
His approach to the Federal Reserve System was always sceptical due to his backgrounds and economic beliefs. This belief was the prime reason why Charlie Lee became highly interested in Bitcoin and also on the latest blockchain technology which supported it. He always wanted to find a way which was less reliant on standard financial means and Bitcoin helped him in finding one.
2. What is Litecoin? And why was it created?
Litecoin is a peer to peer cryptocurrency and an open-source software project which got released under the MIT/X11 license. Its launch was under the idea of creation and transfer of coins being based upon an open-source cryptographic protocol. Litecoin was one of those digital currencies which was not under the management of any central authority.
It was released through an open-source client on the site GitHub by Charlie Lee on October 7th in the year 2011. Charlie Lee was a Google Employee and a former Engineering Director at Coinbase during the time he released Litecoin. The network of Litecoin went live a week after its release, i.e., on October 13th 2011.
It got described as a fork of the Bitcoin Core client with the differences primarily with a block generation time, which was decreased in Litecoin by a duration of 2.5 minutes.
The differences were also seen with an increase in the maximum number of coins, having a different hash algorithm. It got improved with an increase in the total maximum supply cap value and slightly modified Graphical User Interface.
Charlie Lee released Litecoin after his release of Fairbrix failed at the cryptocurrency market. The adjustments in Litecoin were primarily made so that it would be an improved digital currency compared to Bitcoin.
Though Litecoin got created after Bitcoin, Charlie Lee presented it as an alternative to Bitcoin rather than as a competitor to Bitcoin.
The main reason for his doing so was that he was under the belief that Litecoin can be more useful in smaller transactions such as online shopping or purchases whereas Bitcoin would be more of a use in significant operations internationally.
He worked at the popular digital currency exchange Coinbase since the release of Litecoin. He left his job at Coinbase on June 2017, with the idea of spending more time on Litecoin and polishing its work process.
3. What are some of the limitations of Bitcoin that Lee’s Litecoin has overcome?
Though Charlie Lee presented Litecoin as an alternative to Bitcoin, in some of the ways Litecoin has proved to better than Bitcoin. This reason was due to the improvisation done by Charlie Lee on Litecoin seeing the limitations faced by Bitcoin. Some of the reasons by which Litecoin is better counterpart than Bitcoin can be under discussion as follows:
3.1. The Litecoin Network has a better processing time for every block. It aims to undergo the block processing every 2.5 times, which is quicker than the block processing time of Bitcoin, which is of 10 minutes. This attribute proves that Litecoin has faster transaction confirmation compared to Bitcoin.
3.2. The proof of work algorithm used in the script of Litecoin is a sequential memory-hard function. This feature helps the Litecoin is having more amount of memory asymptotically rather than the algorithm housed by Bitcoin, which is not memory-hard.
3.3. The devices used for mining Litecoin such as the FPGA and ASIC devices are more efficient than the tools used for mining Bitcoin, which is the SHA-256. This feature in Litecoin is due to the presence of the script algorithm.
3.4. But there is a drawback in this feature, that is though these devices are more efficient at work they are more complicated to create. Along with this, they are also more expensive to produce and have to be dealt with carefully.
4. What are Charlie Lee’s future plans for Litecoin?
Though Litecoin has seen phenomenal success in the sector of cryptocurrencies, it was during the spring of 2018 rumours began to strike that Charlie Lee was leaving Litecoin. The stories were also briefing that he was planning to leave Litecoin to help this digital to evolve further in the leadership of others.
His prime reason to think so was that his involvement as the pioneer of this digital currency would lead to Litecoin become fully decentralized in the coming years of the future.
As of early reports stating as early as May 2018, Charlie Lee has not provided any future plans regarding his involvement with Litecoin nor starting of any other digital currencies. He has also not indicated that he willfully extricate himself from Litecoin, the digital currency he created.
He has stated that he will focus on developing Litecoin and keep on updating the community of digital currencies more evolved than before.
5. Can Litecoin make Bitcoin Obsolete?
Before concluding, let us analyze the following facts.
5.1. Though there are many other coins in the cryptocurrency market which have different functionality, there are not running a network as distributed and strong as Litecoin.
5.2. These coins do not have wide adoptions on exchanges, nor do they provide with many wallet choices or liquidity which Litecoin delivers efficiently.
5.3. Digital currencies should always get judged by practical factors and not by unproven facts or by word of mouth. Litecoin is safe, secure and battle-tested as Bitcoin but is also faster compared to Bitcoin.
5.4 Many investors have realized that Bitcoin is sub-optimal due to low speeds and high costs. Litecoin solves such problems efficiently and can be treated as the best option in the digital commerce industry for the future.
5.5. One of the noteworthy features of Litecoin is that it doesn’t entertain risks such as privacy coins and smart contract platform coins.
Litecoin also provides better money laundering options compared to Bitcoin or other digital currencies.
So, will Litecoin make Bitcoin obsolete in the future? Practically Yes. Not to forget Litecoin is a digital currency which is also a Bitcoin forked cryptocurrency.
So many people might be doubting that the lightning network will make the usage of Bitcoin more popular around the world. Yes, it will. But more the usage of Bitcoin happens, more will be the usage of Litecoin as it is as Bitcoin forked cryptocurrency.
6. Explain Lee’s experiments with other cryptocurrencies and Coinbase?
Like many other talented computer engineers and scientists who were also the early adopters of Bitcoin, even Charlie Lee started to experiment in the mining domain.
During his experiments, he came into contact with one of the developers by the name Mike Hearn. Mike Hearn, was a developer who had previously worked on the core blockchain client software for Bitcoin.
The conversations with Mike Hearn and his interest in Bitcoins infatuated Lee to try his hand into developing his digital currency in the cryptocurrency domain. He wanted to create his digital currency by modelling it in the same way as Bitcoin.
There were a massive amount of people during those days who were wanting to build the next Bitcoin. Compared to these, Lee was still an amateur as the concept of Bitcoin was still new to him. Even then, Lee took up his first cryptocurrency project and named it as Fairbrix. He developed this digital currency in September in the year 2011.
Fairbrix got modelled after both Tenebrix and Bitcoin. Tenebrix was a digital currency which had got released earlier the same year. Lee and his team members who developed Fairbrix had used large portions of the source code of Tenebrix.
This attribute was the reason Fairbrix failed as Tenebrix housed a Graphical User Interface which was not user-friendly. It was also due to a pre-mining issue and software enclosed by the digital currency, which had lots of bugs and left the digital currency very much fatal to attacks.
The digital currency was susceptible to 51% chances of attack and was not a completely useless endeavour. This development made Lee work on a new digital currency, which was when he formulated Litecoin by adopting the same proof of work protocol which he had used in Fairbrix.