Early Bitcoin Entrepreneur Returns With a Crypto Hardware Wallet for the Masses

Far more than a yr after he offered one particular of China’s longest-jogging bitcoin exchanges, Bobby Lee, co-founder and former CEO of BTCC, is back again.

Declared Thursday at CoinDesk’s Commit: Asia occasion in Singapore, Lee’s new undertaking, Ballet, is rolling out a components wallet supporting numerous cryptocurrencies.

To differentiate its merchandise and spur adoption outside crypto circles, Ballet will make community addresses and private keys for consumers in progress.

Lee believes this design will make it easier for individuals who have no exposure to crypto to get palms-on expertise with the asset without having owning to go by way of the set-up process most components wallets demand.

“We required to develop a wallet that is uncomplicated and sophisticated. And that is what we’ve carried out,” Lee explained on stage Thursday.


The wallet, also dubbed Ballet, is a piece of metallic the sizing of a credit history card that prints a QR code associated with the cryptocurrency wallet deal with set up by Lee’s company.

On each individual wallet, beneath the QR code, there is a string of printed encryption code. At the bottom of the card, there is another string of encryption code that is coated, which a person must scratch off in order to see.

Only the mixture of the two by way of Ballet’s iOS and Android app, also released Thursday, will make it possible for the person to see the private important, which will be the exact important to obtain all cryptos on different blockchains that Ballet supports.

“I’ve been operating on this difficult due to the fact January of this yr,” Lee explained for the duration of his presentation. “We’ve absent by way of 6 iterations of this components wallet design.”

Now, the firm’s merchandise supports indigenous cryptocurrencies on the bitcoin, litecoin, XRP, and ethereum networks as perfectly as tokens that have been issued on unique blockchains these as all ERC-20 tokens.

Mockups of the Ballet wallet introduced at Commit: Asia. (Graphic by means of Zack Seward for CoinDesk)

Reduced selling price

To more the aim of fostering mass adoption, Lee explained the pre-order selling price of Ballet will be $29, much less than what current components wallets with a lot more state-of-the-art cold storage security steps charge. The firm now eyes Oct for cargo after taking in pre-orders.

In a fireplace chat at Thursday’s occasion, Lee explained the undertaking began in late December and has lifted an undisclosed sum of money in a seed spherical backed by Ribbit Cash, a undertaking money company that has invested in crypto trade Coinbase. Lee explained Ballet has 20 staffers all over the world with a international headquarters in Las Vegas.

The firm does the pre-setup for each individual wallet getting offered to make blockchain addresses and the associated private keys, but Lee explained the company deletes the facts after generation.

“We created the keys for you in two spots thousands of miles aside,” he explained. “[After that] we manufacture ourselves out of the process.”

Lee is primarily acknowledged in the crypto sector for jogging BTCC, one particular of the earliest crypto exchanges in China. He joined BTCC in 2013 as a co-founder and CEO, two many years after the trade was released by Yang Linke, and aided the company safe a $5 million Sequence A funding spherical backed by VC giant Lightspeed.

In January 2018, BTCC was offered to an unnamed blockchain investment fund centered in Hong Kong, just months after China’s central lender issued a ban on preliminary coin choices (ICOs) as perfectly as fiat-to-crypto buying and selling.

Bobby Lee picture by means of Zack Seward for CoinDesk