In the world of cryptocurrency, there’s bitcoin, and then there’s everyone else. That’s literally true: Any coin other than the $176 billion goliath is called an altcoin, or alternative coin.
No cryptocurrency is more willing to be a bitcoin alternative than litecoin, which former Google employee Charlie Lee created in 2011 to be an easier-to-use, more accessible version of bitcoin. If bitcoin is gold, then litecoin is silver.
If this were your typical cryptocurrency explainer, this is where we would start talking about the blockchain and market caps and hard forks and who even knows what. But nah, we’re not going to do that. We want to tell you about Charlie Lee’s tweets.
You see, there’s another difference between bitcoin and Litecoin. Nobody actually knows who created bitcoin. Satoshi Nakamoto wrote the original paper explaining bitcoin, but that’s a pseudonym. Bitcoin is truly decentralized, with no all-important figure.
With Litecoin, though, Lee is its self-described father, and like any dad on the internet, he’s fond of embarrassing his creation with goofy memes. Like any good nerd, he makes Futurama references, like when he was announcing new exchanges that accept Litecoin.
Or take this tweet from last November, in which Lee attempted to explain the relationship between bitcoin and Litecoin by picking a reference that’s just as impenetrable to the unfamiliar: Dragon Ball Z.
As Lee explains it, bitcoin is Goku, the all-powerful protagonist, while Litecoin is Vegeta, less powerful but still hugely important rival turned ally. And Lee is prepared to get deep with the comparison. One reply suggested that Goku inspires Vegeta to achieve his full potential, to which Lee responded, “Correct. And together they are better than the sum of their parts.”
But it’s not all just fun with memes — sometimes Lee wields his nerdy references against his foes. Most of the time, he’s cheeky about it, like when he dropped this Matrix shout-out as a coin named Neo was surging.
Or when he was asked to give his opinion about the cryptocurrency Tron, and he offered a review of the sci-fi series instead… though maybe you can glean a little subtext from his thoughts on Tron: Legacy.
Lee really only has one actual enemy, and that’s bitcoin cash, a spin-off of the original bitcoin. He really doesn’t care for Roger Ver, an investor and one of the main backers of bitcoin cash. When a scammer kept replying to Lee’s tweets with a Litecoin-based fraud, he suggested, “Why don’t you do some good with your skills? Create fake Roger Ver and bitcoin accounts and always reply to their posts with “I changed my mind, bitcoin cash is a scam!”
And let’s return to that incredible Dragon Ball Z metaphor. When asked what bitcoin cash is, Lee replied, “Mr. Satan seems like the perfect analogy. It’s nothing compared to the real thing, but a lot of people really are fooled and believe him to be world’s strongest.”
Based on our consultations with Dragon Ball Z experts, we can confidently say that was a sick burn.
So thank you, Charlie Lee, for doing your bit to ensure no matter how cool cryptocurrency gets, it’s always going to be nerdy.