Known for both the incredible heights they can reach and their potential instability, cryptocurrencies often make the headlines. It is therefore easy to forget that they were only a project idea before being a worldwide success. Let’s take a closer look at the Litecoin currency (LTC), which started to be talked about as soon as it was clear that its ambition would be to become “An improved Bitcoin”.
What is Litecoin?
Litecoin was created in 2011 by the developer and former employee of Google Charlie Lee. This electronic currency is often considered to be the one deserving of the silver medal just behind the unbeatable Bitcoin. This reputation comes in large part from the fact that Litecoin mainly uses the same code base as Bitcoin, while remaining a separate chain.
Among the advantages of this cryptocurrency, the speed of transactions higher than that of Bitcoin is to be placed at the top of the list. Creating Litecoin blocks (transactions) takes just over two and a half minutes. This speed of mining is very advantageous, because mining corresponds to the creation of new blocks (transactions) in order to extend the blockchain (set of all the blocks) and therefore strengthen the architecture of the mined cryptocurrency. His Scrypt (Litecoin algorithm) is also considered safer than the Proof of Work protocol SHA-256 used by Bitcoin miners. To better understand the challenges of mining, discover our article dedicated to it.
Described as the “Internet age currency “, Litecoin was created with a very specific objective: that of becoming a global Internet currency in peer-to-peer (peer-to-peer) mode allowing instant daily purchases and with a transaction cost close to zero.
To learn all about Litecoin, see our dedicated page.
The name of the creator of Litecoin is Charlie Lee, a person who above all developed a passion for Bitcoin.
Charlie Lee’s parents lived in Ivory Coast – where he was born – for many years before moving to the United States when he was only thirteen. After leaving high school in 1995, Lee began studying at MIT where he obtained a bachelor’s degree and then a master’s degree in computer science in 2000.
He began his professional career at Kana Communications where he works for 3 years, then goes to Guidewire Software for 4 years before joining Google in 2007. Lee has always worked as a software engineer, and also helped develop YouTube Mobile and Chrome OS while at the browser giant. It is besides these projects that he begins to work on the concept of Litecoin.
Indeed, it was in 2011 through an article in Silk Road that Lee learned of the existence of Bitcoin, reports Medium in his developer biography. But even before discovering this new approach to the economy, Lee had never trusted the United States’ Federal Reserve system, which he did not want to depend on for investment. This is why he quickly understands the potential that Bitcoin offers: that of no longer depending on standard financial means. Bitcoin and blockchain technology become a passion for him and shape his ambition.
A developer with the soul of a miner
From then on, Lee carried out his own experiments by mining Bitcoin and thus joined the group of the first enthusiasts of cryptocurrency. This interest leads him to get in touch with Mike Hearn, which will take on great importance in Lee’s life. Hearn is a developer working on the blockchain client software that Charlie Lee is developing through mining. It is by talking with the developer of the precursor of cryptocurrencies that he begins to have the ambition to create his own cryptocurrency.
So, in September 2011, Lee developed his first cryptocurrency project which he baptized Fairbix. He develops it on the example of Bitcoin and especially of Tenebrix, a currency launched a few months earlier.
Some complications related to the pre-mining (creation of tokens before opening to the public) and software bugs prevent the success of Fairbix. But the machine is running and Lee is using what he has learned to grow Litecoin using the same Proof of Work protocol he had developed with Fairbix.
The rise of Litecoin
Litecoin is developing somewhat in the shadow of Bitcoin, but it remains on course until it really makes itself known in late 2013. This sudden craze is based on many factors. The first revolution that Litecoin offers is to be able to mine on a simple computer without having to resort to expensive and complex equipment (the ASICs, mining war machines, the latest version of which you can check out here). In addition, more tokens (tokens) are generated by the mining of Litecoin compared to other cryptocurrencies. Finally, the flexibility of the Litecoin team, who adapted the code and played the game of experiments to constantly improve the results, is much appreciated.
Litecoin occupies early 2020 the 7e Make way for the marketcap (crypto exchange) and, after reaching records in 2017 and 2018, the success of cryptocurrency is variable. The loyal community dedicated to it, however, continues to defend its reputation and support its development. After a brief hiatus during which Charlie Lee worked for Coinbase, the developer himself is back on the project.
Charlie Lee has created a cryptocurrency which, while not always rock-solid, remains one of the most respected and recognized. However, the vision of the creator of Litecoin remains very important in the world of cryptocurrencies. If you want to know more about this person and their way of thinking, consult this article concerning their opinion Decentralized Finance.