Founder of Litecoin, Charlie Lee, tweeted Friday that he will no longer be working for Coinbase. He is leaving his position as the director of engineering at Coinbase to solely focus on the development of Litecoin, following the cryptocurrency’s recent momentum as a result of the activation of Bitcoin Core development team’s transaction malleability fix Segregated Witness (Segwit).
During his career at Coinbase, Lee led the Coinbase development team to innovate and improve the efficiency, flexibility and functionality of the wallet platform and digital currency exchange. The efforts of Lee and his team at Coinbase allowed Coinbase to secure 7.7 million customers, which officially made Coinbase the second largest bitcoin wallet platform behind Blockchain.
Over the past few years, Coinbase has processed over $6 billion worth of digital currency trades across 32 countries it supports. Most recently, Coinbase became the first company within the cryptocurrency market to reach a billion dollar valuation.
Various sources revealed that bitcoin exchange and wallet platform Coinbase is set to raise around $100 million at a $1 billion valuation to address its rapidly growing user base and platform. In May, Coinbase CEO Brian Armstrong revealed that Coinbase added 40,000 users in a single day as demand rose amid economic uncertainty and financial instability.
Throughout the immense growth period of Coinbase from becoming a Heroku app-based wallet platform to a billion dollar startup, Lee was at the helm of development as one of the few competent technical experts within the cryptocurrency market.
In late April, Lee began to convince major Litecoin miners based in China to signal for Segwit. He explained that on top of being a valid scaling solution, Segwit is an excellent transaction malleability fix which establishes an infrastructure for two-layer solutions like Lightning and TumbleBit.
The activation of Segwit led by Lee marked a major milestone for both Litecoin and bitcoin, as it demonstrated the possibility of activating Segwit to Litecoin and Bitcoin communities.
Lee successfully brought the Litecoin community to consensus in regard to scaling, which hasn’t been done in bitcoin yet. Following the activation of Segwit led by Lee, Blockstream infrastructure tech engineer Rusty Russell announced that the first Lightning payment on Litecoin from Zurich to San Francisco was settled.
Litecoin’s activation of Segwit and settlement of a Lightning payment and channel demonstrated the possibility of a wider range of applications that can be deployed on top of Bitcoin. It also reassured the community that with Segwit, two-layer solutions and other viable scaling solutions, bitcoin can in fact scale proportionally and efficiently.
Lee’s shift to Litecoin was well accepted by Litecoin and bitcoin communities. With Lee’s resignation from Coinbase and his dedication to work on Litecoin full time, the cryptocurrency and its blockchain network could see major progress in terms of scaling and innovation in the near future.