Winners of Web3: Charlie Lee

By Pratiksha Bhapkar
4 Min Read

Charlie Lee, a computer scientist, is well known in the crypto community as the creator of Litecoin. Under his leadership, Litecoin has become one of the most popular cryptocurrencies in the world. He has been an advocate for the adoption of cryptocurrency on a global scale. His involvement has driven many innovations in the space industry, and his work has inspired other project leaders.

Early Life

He was born to Chinese immigrant parents and spent his early childhood in Ivory Coast, a West African country. He and his family moved to the United States when Lee was thirteen years old, and he graduated from high school in 1995.

Following his father’s footsteps, he pursued a bachelor’s degree in computer science at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. But his educational pursuit was not over; hence, he also completed his master’s degree in computer science in 2000.

While Working at Google

Lee worked at many top-notch companies like Guidewire Software and Cana Communications. However, it was Google where he spent a decade. He wrote code for YouTube Mobile and Chrome OS.

During his time at Google, he stumbled upon an article on Bitcoin. From there, his interest in cryptocurrency and blockchain technology began. In his spare time at Google, he wrote codes for blockchain technology based on Bitcoin.

With his growing interest in cryptocurrency, he also began mining and started experimenting with creating his own digital token, in which he later achieved success.

In September 2011, he launched Fair Books, which was a clone of Tenor Bricks based on a hashing algorithm. However, this venture failed.

The Litecoin Foundation

A few weeks after the Fair Books’ failure, he created Litecoin. After mining around 150 coins, he released them on Bitcointalk in October 2011. Lee has stated that his intent behind creating Litecoin was not to compete against Bitcoin but to have a coin that can be used for smaller transactions.

In July 2013, he left Google to join Coinbase, a cryptocurrency exchange company based at San Francisco, where he served as an Engineering Director. During this period, he also worked part-time on Litecoin. However, later he quit Coinbase in 2017 and started working full-time at The Litecoin Foundation as the managing director.

In December 2017, he announced selling almost all his Litecoin holding to avoid a perceived conflict of interest on Reddit. He sold or donated all coins except a few minted in physical form. He kept them as collectibles.

He stated that his involvement prevents Litecoin from becoming completely decentralized. Lee is deeply involved with the growth and development of Litecoin and the Litecoin Foundation.


Charlie Lee’s contribution to the field has made him one of the most influential people in the cryptocurrency world. His work and words have both been praised and scrutinized by critics and community people. However, his involvement has made Litecoin one of the top cryptocurrencies, and he continues to be a driving force behind the success of the Litecoin Foundation.