The idea of cryptocurrency going mainstream may be closer than we think. Bobby Lee, former CEO and co-founder of China’s first cryptocurrency exchange, BTCC, announced his latest venture, Ballet, at Coindesk’s Invest: Asia conference.
During an exclusive interview with GritDaily, Lee described Ballet as, “a simple and easy hardware wallet solution created for anyone in the world to use. It is the first non-electronic wallet that offers multi-currency support.”
Ballet, which resembles a stainless steel credit card, is designed to help enable users to treat cryptocurrency like cash. So far the idea has been well received, as the company has secured seed financing led by Ribbit Capital, a prominent Silicon Valley venture capital firm that has invested in Coinbase, Revolut, Robinhood, Xapo, and many other early-stage fintech companies.
“Ballet is a physical crypto wallet with multi-currency support. The aim is to revolutionize the cryptocurrency industry by introducing a cryptocurrency storage device – a hardware wallet—designed with a strict focus on simplicity and elegance,” Lee told me.
Moreover, Lee mentioned that part of the intention behind Ballet was to help bring more women into the cryptocurrency ecosystem.
“I think the crypto industry has been too focused on men. Ballet is meant to be a wallet solution for the whole world to use,” Lee explained.
MASS ADOPTION MADE EASY?
While Ballet’s sleek and elegant design is meant to appeal to the masses, Ballet also aims to drive global adoption of cryptocurrency by making it easy to invest in and hold cryptocurrencies.
Ballet’s first product series is called REAL. REAL wallets give users full and permanent control of their cryptocurrency private keys, allowing them access to their funds regardless of changes in wallet technology. The wallets also allow users to store and manage their cryptocurrency safely while on the go.
“We’ve made Bitcoin into a physical object, something that people can now see, touch and even smell, as the wallets have a nice scent to them. Yet design aside, the most important part about this product is that users can control their own private keys.”
Ballet wallets are made using a secure multinational manufacturing process, in which two separate private key components are generated in a two-step process on two different continents – Asia and America. This security feature, known as “two-factor key generation,” ensures that no Ballet employee can ever gain access to both pieces of the private keys necessary for decrypting and accessing funds stored on Ballet wallets. The company also does not retain any of the private key data, providing users with true security for their cryptocurrency assets.
“In order to ensure complete privacy and security, we purposely engaged in the bit-38 standard, which allows for a 2-factor generation of a private key with an encryption passphrase. This is a multifactor unit, where users need both the encrypted, private key and the decryption wallet passphrase. These two components are created and made in 2 locations – one in las vegas, USA and the other in Shanghai, China. The two data seats are created on offline computers and afterwards we delete the data. This is how we keep the data secure and ensure that no Ballet employees will ever have access to that information,” Lee said.
In addition to this high-level of security, REAL wallets can be used immediately, without any setup or complicated account registrations. The wallet currently supports multiple cryptocurrencies such as bitcoin, ethereum, litecoin, XRP, and many others. And while REAL wallets are entirely physical, Ballet products are accompanied by a free smartphone application that allows users to view and manage their assets. The wallet supports many popular cryptocurrencies, which are all stored on the same physical wallet using the same private key data.
Yet while this may sound like a dream come true for cryptocurrency holders, the real test will be to see how REAL wallets perform moving forward. According to Lee, Ballet just launched the public beta program and those interested can now apply on the company’s website to test out the product.
When asked why Lee decided to launch Ballet now, he noted that he is trying to catch the next bull wave.
“We are trying to catch the next bull wave. Back in July, we set a deadline to launch by September, during a conference where I could come and give a keynote speech to talk about the wallet. Ballet has been many months in the making. However, what’s important is not the launch, but getting our product out there for users. We just launched the public beta program and we plan to ship globally next month.”