Bobby Lee: Chinese Always Saw Bitcoin as Investment, Not for Payments

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Bobby Lee — co-founder and former CEO of China’s first crypto exchange BTCC — says the Chinese have always thought of Bitcoin as an investment rather than a payment system. 

Lee made his remarks during an interview for Charlie Shrem’s Untold Stories podcast on Sept. 18.

Designed for non-geek users

Beyond sharing his reflections on the Chinese cryptocurrency landscape — covering interactions with regulators and observations about local investor tendencies — Lee used the airtime to discuss his latest crypto venture, a hardware wallet dubbed Ballet:

“Ballet is the culmination of my experience […] I led the [BTCC] exchange, I led the mining pool, we produced mobile wallets. Under the BTCC brand, we launched the production of physical bitcoins. As part of the Ballet project, we are developing an innovative solution that, we hope, will be the simplest and most convenient in the world — the most reliable hardware wallet.”

The impetus to create a simple and robust hardware storage solution, Lee said, was spurred by the consideration that average “non-geek” users such as himself are not terribly fluent in digital security. He noted:

“They don’t know how to correctly set a strong password […] they don’t know what two-factor authentication is, how to work with firmware, security updates, etc. They hardly understand how to log in, not to mention 2SA and SMS verification.”

Mass adoption of crypto, he thus argued, relies on simplifying the steps required for average users —  «from a nine-year-old child to a 99-year-old grandmother.»

The hardware wallet landscape

As reported earlier this month, Ballet is a credit card-sized device offering cold storage of Bitcoin (BTC) and fourteen altcoins, including Ether (ETH), XRP and Litecoin (LTC). Another eighteen are expected to be added in the future, according to the project’s website. 

The existing hardware wallet landscape is dominated by firms such as Trezor, Ledger and KeepKey

While a broad consensus exists that hardware storage offers more security than online hot wallets, vulnerability allegations have occasionally been raised regarding several popular consumer devices, sparking independent developers to devise third-party security measures for the products.