Who is Charlie Lee and Why Should I Know about him?

Who is Charlie Lee and Why Should I Know about him?

By Benson Toti - min read
Updated 21 March 2023

He enjoys a huge following on Twitter and he doesn’t shy away from commenting on anything cryptocurrency. His Twitter feed is a collection of his feelings about various events in the industry since he first got to know about bitcoin in 2011.


A single tweet is sometimes enough to trigger a massive sell-off and for which he sometimes receives a lot of backlash. Meet Charlie Lee, the outspoken founder of Litecoin, currently the seventh largest cryptocurrency with a market capitalisation of $4.8 billion.

The computer science graduate is now one of the most influential figures in the industry with thousands of fans hanging on to his every word. Before 2013, Charlie Lee has worked in a number of leading tech companies including Google.

Discovered bitcoin 2011

Then in 2011, the tech enthusiast who also has a keen interest in economics discovered bitcoin on Silk Road. He has always been sceptical about the financial industry and so cryptocurrencies like bitcoin seemed like a perfect solution.

Charlie Lee soon hooked up with other developers and within a short time, he started mining and thereafter created Litecoin. He doesn’t pretend that the crypto is any different from the pioneer cryptocurrency. In fact, according to him, it only serves to complement bitcoin, particularly for small everyday transactions online. Bitcoin, on the other hand, can be used for larger international transfers.

His goal when he created LTC was, therefore, to allow for faster transactions, a  fraction of what it takes on the bitcoin network. In fact Litecoin’s code is the same as that of bitcoin except for these minor modifications.

But for Charlie Lee Litecoin was not his first cryptocurrency project. Lee was the man behind FairBrix which according to Medium was modelled around Bitcoin and TeneBrix. The project ultimately failed because of the controversy around premined coins and bugs. A 51% attack ultimately brought it down but not without critical lessons that would enable Lee to eventually create Litecoin as a Proof-of-Work protocol.

He would later move on to work a Coinbase as the director of engineering where he stayed until 2017. For Charlie Lee Coinbase is where he experienced the true potential of the industry.

He left the exchange in 2017 to focus on improving Litecoin and now serves as the Managing Director at Litecoin Foundation.

His take on major events

Lee has always been vocal about major events and issues around cryptocurrencies. He is well known for his unrelenting support for SegWit, a campaign which eventually succeeded. He would then go on to oppose the Segwit2, a campaign which also succeeded. He would even add NO2X to his social media accounts to drive the message home.

Controversial sale of litecoin

In 2017, Charlie Lee sold all his Litecoins, dividing the community about his exact motivations. According to him, the move was just meant to show that he was interested in Litecoin’s advancement rather than accumulating wealth.

There is also talk that he is planning to completely leave Litecoin to allow it become fully decentralised.

Like other cryptocurrencies, Litecoin has taken a beating for much of this year. However, Lee believes that Litecoin futures will come to its rescue.

He might be subject to a number of controversies like the sale of all his litecoin holdings, or the listing of Litecoin at Coinbase, a company he worked for but Charlie Lee remains a hugely popular and influential figure in the cryptocurrency industry.