Charlie Lee is the creator of Litecoin, one of the earliest Bitcoin-derivative cryptocurrencies which still leads in price and market capitalization. Lee was born to Chinese immigrant parents in the Ivory Coast. He moved with his family to the United States when he was 13, where he went onto study Computer Science (Bachelors and Masters) at the prestigious MIT (Massachusetts Institute of Technology). After graduating, he worked in the tech industry as a software engineer. While at a stint in Google, he came across Bitcoin.
He initially began venturing into cryptocurrency as a miner before getting in touch with developer of Bitcoin’s client software, Mike Hearn. This relationship led to Lee creating Fairbix, his first attempt at cryptocurrency in 2011. But this venture proved to be a failure, due to the pre-mining 7 billion Fairbix coins and the cryptocurrency being pivoted under a Multicoin client making it vulnerable to software bugs. But Lee withstood this failure.
Lee released Litecoin (LTC) a few months after Fairbix failed to pull through. With a cloned Bitcoin source code and several changes, LTC became the cryptocurrency most commonly used for lightweight transactions like online retail shopping.