The AMA with Ballet is the 10th in a series of several AMAs held in the Blockchain Nigeria User group’s Telegram group, which is known to be the most active Blockchain group in Africa and consists of quality members from the 36 states in Nigeria and neighbouring countries.
The Blockchain Nigeria User Group (BNUG), a sub-set of Organization of Blockchain Technology User (OBTU), a duly registered incorporated Trustee with Nigeria’s CAC, has been the voice of Blockchain and Cryptocurrency Technology in Nigeria since 2016. They intend to speak for an industry that aims to touch the daily lives of Nigerians in every corner of the country — by providing business, jobs, career opportunities, and by investing in the communities they serve.
BNUG is a not-for-profit, industry-funded association representing one of the fastest-growing industries on the planet.
Ballet is the World’s FIRST Non-electronic Physical Multicurrency Wallet, 100% Offline Cold Storage.
The AMA begins with a welcome address by BNUGs Community manager, Adebayo, followed by an introduction of Bobby lee then questions and answers. Enjoy!
Good evening everyone, you are welcome to our 10th AMA session with Ballet Crypto, and we are privileged to have the CEO of the company in our midst to share with us the journey thus far in the blockchain space globally. I would give a brief bio of who he is and what he represents in the space.
Bobby Lee is the Founder and CEO of Ballet, maker of simple and elegant physical cryptocurrency cold storage solutions designed for ordinary people. He began mining Bitcoin in 2011 and was the co-founder and CEO of BTCC, the first Bitcoin exchange in China. Lee sold the exchange in 2018 with an impeccable track record of zero security failures. Lee was an original board member of the Bitcoin Foundation and was recently ranked 20th in CoinTelegraph’s 2020 list of most influential people in the crypto and blockchain industry.
We welcome @bobbylee to this group. Please celebrate him with a clap of hands.
Hi everyone! I’m excited to be here
I will try to answer as many of your questions as I can in our limited time here. I plan to post extended answers to some of the questions on our blog this week.
Also, I would like to invite you to watch my interview from a few days ago to learn more about my background, the company, and our products: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Pz7ceiJU_4Q
Chuta: Kindly tell us about Ballet. Make it as easy as possible that even a 12-year-old can understand.
Bobby Lee: I created Ballet to take a new approach to provide secure physical (hardware) wallets to casual, new users of Bitcoin and cryptocurrency. The concept is to make it super easy for normal people (those without computer science degrees) to hold and manage their private keys. We are trying to make it all truly simple for the average user. The best part about Ballet wallets is that there is no setup at all for new users. It’s ready to go. The video interview I posted above gives a full overview of the basics.
Sidonpee: Security of fund is my most concern of every wallet, How secure is the user’s fund in the wallet against crypto hackers?
Bobby Lee: The funds you put into the Ballet wallets are secure. I’ve put my name onto this brand, and I’m implicitly endorsing it. We put in a lot of time to engineer a truly safe solution. What’s unique is that it uses 2-factor private keys, where the private key components are made separately, in 2 different countries. In fact, because we’ve never electronically mixed the 2 components, we’ve never actually “created” the private keys for each wallet, and therefore don’t even have it (and won’t store it or back it up either).
Sidonpee: In the case where the wallet is subjected to theft or physical damage, how will I be able to regain access to my funds?
Bobby Lee: The Ballet REAL Series wallet is a bearer asset; whoever has physical possession of it controls the funds on it. So if it is stolen, lost, or destroyed, there is no way to regain access to the funds. So you really need to keep the physical Ballet wallet safe!
Bit47: How is your stainless steel Real wallet different from a paper wallet? and what is it’s advantage over a paper wallet?
Bobby Lee: Ballet wallets are indeed very similar to paper wallets. The main difference is that (1) it’s made of high-quality stainless steel, so it’s more durable. (2) there’s tamper-evident protection, (3) we support multiple cryptocurrencies, (4) we have a strong software ecosystem that supports Ballet wallets, (5) we make it for you, so you don’t have to go through the cumbersome process.
Bit47: How did you solve the problem of losing a ‘’change’’ that usually occurs with using a paper wallet as we all know that ‘’change’’ goes to a different address and if you fail to specify an address to receive your ‘’change’’ while sending funds you stand the risk of losing all the change?
Bobby Lee: Using our Ballet Crypto mobile app, all change transactions are automatically redeposited to your same physical wallet, so there’s no risk of“losing your change”
Crypto Devil: How many coins are acceptable here in this wallet??
Bobby Lee: Over 50 different kinds of crypto. We support most of the major cryptos, and also all ERC-20 tokens.
Idara: What is actually meant by Non-electrical wallet? What about the security of Ballet wallet?
Bobby Lee: For the goal of making an extremely reliable wallet that can be used for years and years without any maintenance, we purposely designed Ballet to be non-electronic. Our wallet has no computer chips to get hacked, no firmware to updates, no batteries or power issues, and no RFID/NFC antennas to break. 100% non-electronic, and vision-based, so humans can 100% recover the private key even years into the future.
Shines Simon: What does it take to become a ballet distributor?
Bobby Lee: Sign up to be a reseller of Ballet wallets! I think these would sell really well in Nigeria and the rest of Africa. I know that Africa can potentially be a huge market for this type of non-electronic physical wallets. Reseller program: https://www.balletcrypto.com/en/reseller/
MG_15 Galvez: How to determine if the card has not been tampered when I received it? @bobbylee
Bobby Lee: Two things to look out for:
The tamper-evident “Ballet sticker” that shows the QR code of the main currency deposit address. This sticker should have a gold-embossed “B” seal on the upper right, and if you scratch the QR code, it should have the Ballet smell. Try smelling it! Also, there’s UV-light invisible ink printed on it. This sticker is tamper evident and will expose a hexagonal pattern once peeled off.
The scratch-off for the wallet passphrase. Make sure it’s intact and not scratched out to reveal the contents under it.
AFFUL: Why would people chose physical wallet over an online wallet
Bobby Lee: For most people, it’s easier to safeguard something physical than to properly remember a password and safeguard an online account.
S.A.M Cryptotrader: How any user can Trust on Ballet Company for storing bitcoins in Ballet? How do we know that Ballet doesn’t store any data including Private keys or Passphrase into its servers while Creating wallets? please explain!
Bobby Lee: With any wallet company, you have to trust the vendor and maker, regardless of hardware or software wallet. There never is a product from a company where you can use the product and NOT have to trust the company. So as for Ballet, it’s the same deal. Our business model is that we’re choosing to do the complicated part (private key generation) and make cryptocurrency wallets truly easy for the general market, for global mass adoption. If you choose to trust me on this mission, then you can use our products. Our business model explicitly is NOT to scam our users by stealing your private keys. This is no different than many other crypto companies; where if they aren’t trustworthy, they too can steal your coins.
Chuta: Does Ballet Wallet have any regulatory challenges at the moment?
Bobby Lee: No. Since we don’t manage user funds and don’t hold user assets, we are not under current cryptocurrency regulation in most countries.
Idara: Is there any additional security provided in the wallet? Which makes wallet more secure?
Bobby Lee: Our wallets are already very secure, because (1) the private key has never been generated until you do it yourself for the first time (see previous answers) and (2) your funds are in 100% offline cold storage, as the (non-materialized) private keys are not on an online device. It’s all in your own hands, on the Ballet physical wallet.
Kunlefighter: As the maker of a simple and elegant physical cryptocurrency cold storage solutions designed for ordinary people. Now may I know some of the features of Ballet that will make it the users choice?
Bobby Lee: Key features are:
Easy — super easy to use and get started, as there’s no setup process at all. All other wallets require you to either set up an account, where you have to go through email/SMS verification, choose a password (hard to remember), and other hurdles and/or backup a long list of recovery seeds words (where to store that safely?) Our wallets are preconfigured and ready to use.
Safe — Your funds are 100% in cold storage, as the actual Private Key has not even been generated yet. We only pre-generate the BIP38 passphrase and BIP38 encrypted private key, which you need to decode later to get the actual private key.
Reliable — we make it 100% non-electronic, so there’s no risk of electronic component failure, nor is there a need for maintenance like firmware upgrades, and also no future compatibility issues, even 10 or 20+ years later.
Kunlefighter: What competitive advantages does Ballet has over its competitors?
Bobby Lee: Our products are simpler, easier to use, and more reliable. And Ballet physical wallets are also less expensive! All of this makes it super well-suited for true mass adoption by the non-crypto crowd. Try it and see for yourself. Most of our new users are very impressed at the functionality that Ballet provides, for something that’s so simple and easy to use. Try it yourself and see for yourself.
S.A.M Crypto Trader: Currently, there are many hardware wallets like Trezor, Ledger, so, How Ballet Cryptocurrency wallet is More safe & secure than any crypto Hardware wallets? What makes you more secure?
Bobby Lee: We don’t claim to be MORE secure than the other wallet makers. All I know is that nothing in this world is truly 100% secure. It’s all about trade-offs of security vs convenience. We think we have achieved an amazing balance, where our products are VERY secure, and yet MUCH EASIER to use than any of the competitor products. With Ballet physical wallets, users won’t have to risk their cryptocurrency on human memory (which is fallible), and on electronic chip security, which has proven time and time again to be hackable. With the complexities of electronic wallets, many of those customers have made user-errors which caused the loss of funds. There are real cases of real people losing large amounts of real cryptocurrency, all due to mistakes made from the complexities of the so-called “more secure” solutions. Ballet avoids all of that.
Javier: How many people use ballets now? Is the speed and transaction fee of ballets?
Bobby Lee: We don’t disclose our sales or revenue numbers, but I can proudly tell you that as of early last month, we saw over USD 10 million in crypto assets stored safely on our products. In other words, users globally have entrusted over $10 million in their crypto assets in Ballet physical wallets. And today, the number is even higher.
Thank you for your honesty and sincerity Mr @bobbyclee embedded in your answers.
AFFUL: Which marketing strategy do you plan to use to get this to the masses
Bobby Lee: We need to build the brand and bring awareness to our new approach to cryptocurrency wallets. In the beginning, no one believed that we could launch a physical wallet company where we created the private key components. I knew we could do it as I have a strong record of doing it before. (I was CoinMaker at BTCC Mint for 3 years, where I made over 22,000 coins/bars/chips of physical bitcoin, totalling over 8,700 BTC in value.) Over time, people around the world have started to trust Ballet more and more, and I’m happy to see this progress. In terms of sales channels, we sell globally from our company store (https://store.balletcrypto.com/) and we also sell through Amazon in many markets. For other regions in the world, we sell through our Reseller program, where interested parties can sign up and become an authorized reseller. And also, we have a great Ballet Ambassador program where normal people can sign up and become our brand ambassador, to help promote cryptocurrency to new people, and introduce them to use Ballet physical wallets.
IEO Alert: Is KYC is mandatory for services like Deposit, withdrawal, trading in Ballet?
Can we use your #Ballet wallet and hybrid exchange without KYC?
Bobby Lee: For depositing and sending crypto from Ballet, there is absolutely no KYC. You own the wallet, you control the private keys, so it’s not a custodial wallet and therefore there’s no KYC at all. However, we have partnered with Changelly and ChangeNow to launch a new “exchange” service, to allow our customers to easily change from one crypto to another. For that service, our partners may require KYC for certain transactions.
Sidonpee: What are the requirements to become a Ballet’s ambassador?
Bobby Lee: Please see our Ballet Ambassador webpage for more details:
Javier: What does ballets Wallet plan to develop into the best decentralized mobile wallet?
Bobby Lee: Ballet physical wallets are indeed already decentralized, as we’re using the BIP38 standard, so our wallets are 100% open standard and non-proprietary. This was very important to me, to create a physical wallet where anyone can retrieve the private keys and the stored currency on it without relying on the original manufacturer. I’m very proud that Ballet has done exactly that.
Roger Sandoval: What is meant by Ballet’s Bitcoin Block Wallet? As it looks Different so, tell us What’s difference between other wallets & Bitcoin Block wallet?
What is Bitcoin Block Wallet?
Bobby Lee: The Bitcoin Block is a special collectable. We don’t consider it as much of a wallet, and rather as an investment. It’s an 80cm x 80cm brick of pure titanium, holding a full Bitcoin block reward. It’s to symbolize an actual Block from the Bitcoin Blockchain, containing the full block reward from it. Our mining pool partner mines the block reward directly to the address on the Block; no intermediate transaction hops, no transaction history. Before the halving, these blocks contained over 13.5+ BTC. And next month, we will announce the post-halving Bitcoin Blocks with over 6.25+ BTC. It’s very expensive, so it’s for the crypto rich people.
S.A.M Crypto Trader: There are many different types of Wallets are available like Real Bitcoin, Real Ethereum, etc ! So, Is that wallets can store only specific cryptocurrency or supports Multi currencies?
Can we store Multiple coins in Real Bitcoin or Real Litecoin wallet or only Bitcoin & Litecoin?
As you mentioned that Ballet wallet supports multiple cryptocurrencies! So, Can we store multiple cryptocurrencies in any type of Ballet wallet or is there any special wallet for multi coins?
Bobby Lee: Essentially, all Ballet REAL Series wallets support multiple currencies. Many of you have seen photos of the REAL Bitcoin or REAL Litecoin wallets. Even though they say Bitcoin or Litecoin on it, the reality is that they all have full multicurrency support. The reason we make custom ones is that the “primary coin” is different, where you can just use the native QR code on the“Ballet sticker”. This way, you can deposit that coin to the wallet without even using our Ballet Crypto mobile app.
Ejike James: Phishing attacks are still a significant and big trap for crypto users. Recently a few days ago hacker created fake Ledger Extention on google chrome and stolen 15000$+ Zec coin from the one user could you explain to me which types of security ballet crypto provide to prevent a user from a phishing attack?
Bobby Lee: This is a hard problem to solve. In theory, hackers could try a similar attack and create a fake version of Ballet Crypto software, and trick our customers into inputting their private keys. If that happened, those funds would also be stolen. So in the end, users worldwide have to understand the strong trust that’s needed when running software: Always get your software from a trusted source. There’s no way around this. If you’re running untrusted software, then it could potentially be malware loaded with exploits.
Agaba Olalekan: In the bad situation of the Covid-19 epidemic, every industry was heavily affected.
Does it affect the growth of Ballet Team and its ??
What are your plans to turn challenges into opportunities for #BALLET development?
Bobby Lee: The Covid-19 pandemic has indeed been a problem for companies worldwide. As a company that sells real physical products, we are affected just the same. During February, our Shanghai R&D office was greatly affected by the pandemic lockdown in China, and it affected our manufacturing supply chain in China as well. However, all recovered within 1–2 months. Now, our operations in Las Vegas are also affected by the lockdown in the USA, and we hope that gets resolved soon. In terms of opportunities, we hope that this global lockdown gives people a chance to learn more about Bitcoin and cryptocurrency. And when the crypto bull market comes back, I’m sure Ballet will be very busy again, as I predict our physical wallets will be in high demand.
Shines Simon: What are the transaction fees, are transaction fees based on a percentage or fix rate?
Bobby Lee: Our Ballet Crypto mobile app calculates transaction fees based on the recent fees in recent blocks. Our app allows our users to override the amounts and choose one they like. Ballet does not take any fee. Please give our app a try; it’s been highly rated. Our mobile app team has worked very hard to make a crypto wallet app that is super easy to use. Our advantage is that our app does NOT require any signup or registration at all. The moment you open the app, you can use it to scan Ballet physical wallets, and see the balance, etc. In fact, our app also provides great support for paper wallets or for people who own other physical bitcoins, like those from Casascius, Denarium, and BTCC Mint.
IEO Alert: Is there any Security Protocol or Technological advancement incorporated into Ballet Wallet in regards to being considered as a Crypto Wallet with top-notch security?
Bobby Lee: Ballet is the world’s first non-electronic, two-factor, multicurrency wallet. Our two-factor key generation process based on the open-source BIP38 protocol provides excellent security, and BIP38 has never been implemented in a cryptocurrency wallet like this before. Now, for the first time, you can get a physical wallet that’s a true bearer asset, which can store multiple kinds of cryptocurrency, and it’s super easy to use and does not require any setup whatsoever. That’s 100% innovation right there.
Agaba Olalekan: What benefit does the user get from using ballet? Is there any specific feature which is amazing in ballet?
Agaba Olalekan: If a person doesn’t know about this wallet…
Is it easy for a normal newbie to understand?
Ejike James: How easy it is to use the wallet? What are the minimum requirements of hardware/software of Computer/Laptop to use it effectively? And in what devices we can connect the wallet?
Bobby Lee: In summary, I’d like to tell you about Ballet this way: I’ve been in crypto for quite a long time, since early 2011. So in the last 9 years, I’ve seen all kinds of wallet and custody solutions. Many are great, especially for a geek like me with a strong background in computer science. However, for the “normal” person out there, the current solutions are all inadequate, not because they’re not secure, but rather because they’re way too complicated and too hard for the average person to learn to use safely. There’s this concept called “achievable security”. It essentially means that if a user is not technically proficient and knowledgeable about cryptographic security, then they cannot truly achieve 100% of the security offered by an advanced cryptocurrency wallet. Instead, they’re prone to make mistakes and achieve only a fraction of the intended security level. Worse, they can make mistakes and cause loss of coins. At Ballet, we choose to lower the barrier to entry while still allowing our users to manage their Private Keys, but we do the hard part, which is the complex process of generating entropy and creating the private key. Remember, not your keys, not your coin! We believe that 100%, which is why we give our customers 100% exclusive control of their wallet private keys. We’ve made cryptocurrency wallets simple. Ballet is the crypto wallet for the rest of us; a simple and elegant solution.
If I didn’t have a chance to answer your question, please ask @balletcrypto on Twitter and/or join our Telegram group: https://t.me/BalletCrypto
You can also add me on Twitter: @bobbyclee
And since all of you have been so nice and patient with me, I’ll share a preview of our next product:
On May 22, 2010, an early Bitcoin user from Florida named Laszlo Hanyecz agreed to pay a fellow BitcoinTalk forum member 10,000 BTC in exchange for two Papa John’s pizzas. Bitcoin historians have identified this as the first real-world economic transaction using Bitcoin. At the time, 10,000 BTC was only worth approximately $25, but today it would be worth tens of millions of dollars. It was the most expensive pizza, perhaps the most expensive meal, in history.
May 22 has come to be celebrated in the cryptocurrency community as “Bitcoin Pizza Day.” To commemorate the 10th anniversary of Laszlo’s 10,000 BTC pizza purchase, we have created a special edition of our popular REAL Series wallet, called REAL Pizza. The inspiration for this special edition comes from our desire to live in a world where enjoying Bitcoin is as common as eating pizza, and all Ballet wallets are designed to help make that world a reality.
The REAL Pizza wallet has a pizza logo and a native Segwit bech32 address but is otherwise functionally the same as the standard REAL Series wallets. Please note that we have purposely removed all references to Bitcoin and cryptocurrency from this physical wallet so that it cannot be identified as a cold storage device or related to cryptocurrency in any way. In essence, the REAL Pizza serves as a “stealth” wallet, where casual observers will not be able to easily recognize it as related to Bitcoin or cryptocurrency. It will not draw unwanted attention from curious eyes. Just like Laszlo’s original purchase of two pizzas, the REAL Pizza is always sold in sets of two wallets.
Hope you all will like the upcoming REAL Pizza “stealth wallet” from Ballet!
Thanks, everyone one for holding forth with us. It was electrifying. Short of words. We sincerely appreciate the Ballet Crypto team led by Bobby Lee
Join our Telegram group, and learn about Blockchain, cryptocurrencies and the amazing opportunities they present.
Stay tuned for more AMAs.
Don’t forget to clap 💖