As part of the Digital Currency Council’s Continuing Education partnership with Inside Bitcoins, the DCC’s VP, Sarah Martin, had the opportunity to interview the thought leaders that will be speaking at the Inside Bitcoins Conference in Hong Kong on May 14-15, 2015. Today, we share an interview with Bobby Lee, the CEO and Founder of BTC China.
Sarah: Tell us about how and why you got involved in Bitcoin and digital currencies.
Bobby: I first got involved with Bitcoins in 2011, when my brother told me about it, and how excited he was about this new digital cryptocurrency. I started mining that summer, using a home-made rig of PC graphics cards. So for the rest of that year, Bitcoin was just a small hobby.
Sarah: What led you to found BTC China? How has BTC China grown to become the leading Bitcoin financial platform worldwide?
Bobby: At the time when I first started mining bitcoin, I was working for Walmart doing eCommerce for China, so I didn’t think much about actually doing anything in Bitcoin career-wise. Later, after I left Walmart in late 2012, I decided that this might be a good time to revisit Bitcoin, and see what I can make of it. That then lead to co-founding BTC China.
Sarah: Tell us a little more about operating a Bitcoin exchange in China. What are some of the issues you have faced – or envision confronting in the near future?
Bobby: Operating a Bitcoin exchange in China is both challenging and exciting. It’s a brand new field of Financial Technologies, which is just started to come under regulation. Licensing and enforcement is still not comprehensive and even. The customer base is also fickle at times, swinging wildly to try and take advantage of the smallest edge. This is a country of investors and speculators, and as some would say, it’s in the DNA. As a whole, we will continue to face the adoption of more formal regulation in China around Bitcoin and crypto currencies.
Sarah: What are you most excited about in digital currencies and blockchain technology right now?
Bobby: I’m most excited about the fact that this is all so new! We have been in this for 6 years now, but it is really barely scratching the surface of this fundamentally revolutionary technology. Bitcoin and blockchain technologies will change mankind and society as a whole.
Sarah: What do you see as the greatest challenge facing the industry?
Bobby: For good and bad, Bitcoin industry has to deal with the fact that Bitcoin has a price that is market driven. On good days, when the price is high, global interest picks up. But in this case, for the past year, prices have been down, and there’s a perception globally that the good days are over, and Bitcoin is out. This is far from the case in reality, but it has been challenging to face this general perception.
Sarah: What’s on the horizon for you? What can we look forward to seeing next from BTC China?
Bobby: BTCChina is a pioneer in the Bitcoin space, having started as the first exchange in China, and one of the earliest in the region. We believe in a future where everyone will use Bitcoin. Our mission is to provide the world with the most trustworthy and convenient digital currency services. As we have expanded our services in the past year into wallets, merchant payment services, and mining pool, we will continue to innovate and bring more digital currency services to our users in China and beyond.