Charlie Lee

Charlie Lee

Formal First Name
Charles (Charlie)

Charlie Lee is a famous personality within the cryptocurrency and blockchain technology space. He is most known for being the creator of Litecoin, one of the earliest Bitcoin derivative cryptocurrency. Although Litecoin was modeled after Bitcoin, Lee has worked to present the cryptocurrency as an alternative to Bitcoin, rather than as a competitor. In 2017, Lee sold his entire stake in Litecoin and now serves as Managing Director of the Litecoin Foundation, which seeks to advance Litecoin and develop blockchain technologies for the social good.

Professional Experience

Academic History

  • Lee was born in the West African nation of Ivory Coast.
  • He moved with his family to the United States when he was 13.
  • Even from the earliest stages of his professional career, he showed a keen interest in computer technology.
  • He was one of the first people that were hired to work at Coinbase.
  • Prior to his discovery of Bitcoin, he had been actively trying to get involved with the gold trade.
  • His personal background and economic beliefs led him to approach the Federal Reserve System with skepticism.
  • In his search for a way of investing that was less reliant upon standard financial means, he became highly interested in bitcoin and the new blockchain technology that supported it.
  • He has appeared as a guest on Real Vision.


  • While working at Google in 2011, Lee learned about bitcoin while reading an article on Silk Road.
  • His first cryptocurrency project was called Fairbix.
    • He developed this coin in September 2011, modeled after both bitcoin and Tenebrix, a currency that had been released earlier in the year.
    • There have been a pre-mining issue and software bugs that left the Fairbrix susceptible to a 51% attack,
    • While Fairbrix was not a success, it was not a completely useless endeavor; Lee would adopt the proof-of-work protocol from Fairbix for his later work with litecoin.
  • Litecoin was modeled after the core bitcoin code, with several adjustments that Lee felt would improve upon bitcoin.
    • These included the hashing protocol itself, the transaction time for blocks and the total maximum supply cap value, among others.
    • Despite sharing some similarities with Bitcoin, Charlie has almost always maintained that Litecoin is not a Bitcoin competitor. 
    • He affirms that Litecoin is more of a complementary cryptocurrency to Bitcoin.
    • He believes that Litecoin is more useful for smaller transactions like online shopping, while bitcoin could be more useful for major international transactions.