After Bitcoin became a big deal, it opened the floodgates for thousands of other cryptocurrencies, of which Litecoin happens to be one of them. With over 4000 cryptos currently in existence, it is remarkable that this cryptocurrency released by Charlie Lee in October 2011 has become one of the most popular with a market cap of over $20 billion as of May 2021. Given that, and the fact that 1 Litecoin is currently valued at over $313, it not difficult to see why many people across the globe have become curious about Charlie Lee’s net worth, his background, and what have you.
Charlie Lee is a Computer Scientist Born in Ivory Coast
The Litecoin founder was born in the West African country to parents who are originally from China. He was raised in Ivory Coast until the age of when his family relocated to the United States of America. In the U.S., he completed his high school education in 1995 at The Lawrenceville School, a coeducational private school in Mercer County, New Jersey.
Thereafter, Lee proceeded to the prestigious, private university in Cambridge, Massachusetts – Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT). He spent four years (1995 – 1999) at MIT to obtain his Bachelor of Science degree in Computer Science. He furthered his education at the institute and by 2000, he had acquired a Master of Engineering degree in Computer Science.
He Worked as a Software Engineer with Google and Other Popular Establishments
The same year Charlie Lee obtained his Masters of Engineering degree, he began his career with Kana Communications, a company whose activities revolve around computer software. As culled from his LinkedIn profile, he worked with Kana Communications for three years, from 2000 to 2003.
Sometime in June 2003, the Litecoin founder joined Guidewire Software as a senior software engineer. He worked with the American software company based in California for over four years before he was employed by Google. It was in September 2007 that he joined Google and he worked there for almost six years as a software engineer, contributing to the company’s development of Play Games, Chrome OS, YouTube Mobile, and what have you.
The MIT Alumnus Began Working on Litecoin While Working for Google
Considering it was on the 7th of October 2011 that Lee released Litecoin for the first time, it might be hard for some people to believe he also learned about Bitcoin that year, but the computer scientist has stated several times that it was the case. According to him, he had been striving to get involved in trading gold when he stumbled upon an article about Bitcoins. The piece resonated with his economic convictions about the central banking system of various governments, so he began to gather more knowledge about Bitcoin while studying the blockchain technology behind it.
Like other figures in the cryptocurrency community who popularized Bitcoin as a medium of exchange, Charlie began solving complex computational math problems to mine Bitcoins. With his educational background in Computer Science and the extensive knowledge he had acquired working as a software engineer over many years, it dawned on Lee that he could have his own crypto. He thus went to work and created a cryptocurrency he called Fairbix in September 2011. But then, the crypto faced several challenges, including massive displeasure over the fact that Lee and his team mined around 7 million of the coins before it was released.
With the failure of Fairbix, Charlie Lee returned to the drawing board. This time, he decided to create a cryptocurrency that improved on what he considered to be the shortcomings of Bitcoin and Litecoin was birthed. He released the crypto less than a month after the failure he experienced with Fairbix, mining only 150 coins.
Charlie Lee’s Net Worth Is Yet to Be Determined But It’s Believed He’s a Multi-Millionaire
Disregarding whatever wealth he has accumulated from cryptocurrency, Charlie Lee made good money from the time he worked as a software engineer. After he left Google in July 2013, he joined Coinbase as an Engineering Manager and two years later, he became the Director of Engineering for the company, a position he held for another two years. His paychecks from all of these positions are best known to him but they were the major source of his wealth until he got involved in cryptocurrency.
Before the computer scientist created Litecoin, he had invested in Bitcoin. Reports have it that he bought one Bitcoin from Mike Hearn, one of the developers of the Bitcoin blockchain. It has even been claimed in some quarters that he has more money in Bitcoin than he had in Litecoin.
As stated earlier, Charlie Lee mined only 150 coins of Litecoin before it was released. That, based on the current value of the crypto, amounts to over $46,000 today. Given that he founded Litecoin, it is believed that he must have acquired more of the currency over the years, but the amount of Litecoins he held was never known to the public. In December 2017, Lee disclosed that he sold all his Litecoin and donated the money to charity.
What is Litecoin and How is it Different from Bitcoin?
Litecoin is a cryptocurrency just like Bitcoin. In fact, it is said that the core Bitcoin source code was cloned to develop Litecoin. Like Bitcoin, Litecoin is a fully decentralized internet currency. What this means is that there is no administrative body controlling the Litecoin network or intermediaries. It is a peer-to-peer crypto network available to anyone and also allows people to control their finances themselves.
As far as we can tell, the only difference between Litecoin and Bitcoin, apart from their obvious difference in value, is the fact that the former can handle bigger transaction volume than the latter. It also has better storage efficiency and quicker transaction confirmation.
Is Litecoin Better Than Bitcoin?
Several factors are considered in determining the quality of a cryptocurrency but their value is what most people consider. Based on that, it is clear that Bitcoin is the better crypto. One Bitcoin is worth over $44,000 at the moment whereas Litecoin is only $313.
In terms of other factors, Litecoin is just as good as Bitcoin. Its only advantage over Bitcoin is the fact that it has a faster block generation rate that enables a quicker transaction confirmation time. Like Bitcoin, Litecoin has an increasing number of merchants who accept it as a medium of exchange and is often counted among the top ten best cryptocurrencies.
How Many Litecoins are Left?
As scheduled, the Litecoin network will produce a total of 84 million Litecoins. This is four times bigger than Bitcoin’s currency units. Out of the 84 million Litecoins available, almost 67 million (66,752,415) are already in circulation as of May 2021. This means there are over 17 million LTC left to be mined.