Bobby Lee is an author, entrepreneur, and bitcoin proponent. Bobby Lee is the founder of BTCC, China’s first and longest-running cryptocurrency exchange. A pioneer in crypto and bitcoin, and after selling BTCC in 2018, Bobby Lee went on to found Ballet, a company that makes easy-to-use physical cryptocurrency wallets headquartered in Las Vegas, Nevada, USA.
Bobby Lee is the author of The Promise of Bitcoin. In the book, Lee offers a primer on the best strategies for investing in this digital currency, the value of which will only continue to grow. He discusses the pros and cons, and covers the complicated yet more profitable method of acquiring bitcoin, mining. He offers predictions for the future, including price, trajectory, use, and participation in the larger economy―as well as developments in regulation, technology, business, and society.
Bobby Lee was born in the Ivory Coast, Africa, and received his bachelor’s and master’s degrees in computer science from Stanford University in 1998. During that time, we became a member of the Mayfield Fellows Program and earned an EMBA degree from CEIBS in China.
Mr. Lee started his career in Silicon Valley as a software engineer at Yahoo!, and led the development of the earliest online communities. After the Yahoo! Experience, Mr. Lee moved to China where he performed different roles in executive positions. For example, he was the CTO of SMG BesTV New Media, the largest IPTV operator in China with the most subscribers globally. He moved to Shanghai in 2007 and started off at EMC’s China Center of Excellence, as Director of Software Engineering, with responsibilities for Cloud Computing and Cloud Storage. He then went on to become the Vice President of Technology for Walmart’s e-commerce business in China.
Lee became interested in bitcoin through his brother Charlie Lee, the creator of litecoin. In June 2011 Bobby Lee founded China’s very first crypto exchange, BTCC. Two years later, in November 2013, BTCC became the largest bitcoin exchange in the world, with a market share of about 31.7 percent, surpassing Tokyo-based Mt. Gox. The company was subsequently acquired in early 2018 by an investment firm in Hong Kong.
A year later, in 2019, Bobby Lee founded his second startup Ballet, along with other industry veterans. Ballet is a crypto company that aims to drive global adoption of Bitcoin and cryptocurrency. Ballet provides simple and secure cryptocurrency storage solutions for the global mainstream market.
The Promise of Bitcoin: The Future of Money and How It Can Work for You
Bobby Lee is also the author of The Promise of Bitcoin: The Future of Money and How It Can Work for You (McGraw-Hill, May 18, 2021). In the book, he makes a compelling argument for how Bitcoin will transform the global economy, as well as debunks common myths and dispels fears that surround Bitcoin — arguing that this system is superior to traditional monetary systems.
Written for both Bitcoin enthusiasts and first-time users, ‘The Promise of Bitcoin’ offers best strategies for investing in Bitcoin, discusses the pros and cons, and covers the complicated yet more profitable method of Bitcoin mining. Additionally, Bobby gives predictions for the future, including price trajectory, use, and participation in the larger economy—as well as developments in regulation, technology, business, and society.
Mr. Lee talked about the current state of bitcoin in a recent interview, mentioning that: “I believe that global mainstream adoption of cryptocurrency requires an easy, safe and reliable way for people to store and manage their own crypto. The existing software and hardware wallet solutions on the market are too complicated for most people to use, and often result in frustration, user errors, and sometimes even loss of funds. This is a significant barrier to entry that discourages people from investing in cryptocurrency.”
About his new book
“The book [The Promise of Bitcoin] is about Bitcoin, as a future of money, and also the investment of a lifetime. The audience of the book are newcomers, people who don’t own any crypto yet”.
It debunks myths and dispels fears that surround Bitcoin, “arguing that this rational, logical system is superior to traditional monetary systems. It also cites signs of Bitcoin’s widening acceptance: a growing community of users worldwide and multiple initiatives for investing in and holding bitcoin among major financial services organizations and institutional investors who control trillions in assets”.
About his early years and Bitcoin beginnings
I was born in Africa, Ivory Coast, to Chinese parents. Then went to an American school and eventually moved to the US for high school. For college, I ended up doing Computer Science at Standford. It was an exciting time, I logged into the Internet for the first time in 1992; then worked for Yahoo, a back then-giant and pioneering corporation. Yahoo was at the peak of the Internet boom then. At one point, I decided to have a break and moved to China. My first interaction with crypto was spring 2011. My brother Charlie introduced me to Bitcoin. I built my own PC and started mining Bitcoin in the summer of 2011. I promised to myself if I was ever to launch a start-up, it would be in Bitcoin.
About his start-up
In China, I started working for BTCChina – that was the birth of it. It was the first company to get venture fundraising for crypto in China. People at the time were dismissive. BTCChina went to become the biggest exchange in the world at one point (trading volumes-wise).
My start-up, like I mentioned before, had to have something to do with crypto. Therefore, I decided to leave BTCChina and set up Ballet – a wallet start-up, which launched in 2019. Our company produces hardware wallets that support multiple cryptocurrencies and tokens, and are designed to be accessible to industry newcomers.
We want to give our customers the safety of cold storage. This is a big change. Our wallet is available on Amazon around the world. With this wallet, you do not even need a mobile phone to own crypto.
About Bitcoin investments
No matter when you look at Bitcoin, you can say: it’s too expensive, it crashes a lot. This is why many people missed the chance to buy it.
From the very beginning, I understood the technical capabilities of Bitcoin (being decentralised), and also that it couldn’t be shut down. So for that reason, I became a big Bitcoin fan. I believe that Bitcoin is still undervalued. And it is successful because of the failures of our monetary system.