As Bitcoin grew, it became increasingly expensive to turn a profit mining coins, cutting small and medium-time miners out of the picture. This led to the beginnings of centralization, since only those with a large wad of cash able to buy the equipment and pay the electric bill could continue mining. Identifying the problem and seeking a solution, in 2011 Google engineer Charlie Lee created a system that uses a more memory-intensive mining algorithm rather than a processing power system to increase accessibility.
The result is a system that is capable of handling higher transaction volume than Bitcoin with near-zero cost to users and faster confirmation times, even with increasing confirmation requirements for bigger ticket items. An additional and interesting benefit is that while Bitcoin’s creator (or creators) remain anonymous and have since disappeared, Lee remains an active member of the crypto community, able to advocate for future innovations and guide the technological process.