Reflections on Four Years of Ballet
September 12, 2023, marked the fourth anniversary of Ballet’s public launch . Since we started this journey in 2019, the global crypto landscape has changed dramatically and in unexpected ways, but the fundamental premise underlying Ballet’s business strategy remains unchanged. We believed since the beginning that the global mainstream adoption of Bitcoin and cryptocurrency was inevitable, and our confidence in that belief is stronger than ever.
Reinventing Cold Storage
Ballet was founded with the mission to make self-custodial crypto ownership easy and safe for everyone. Ballet founder and CEO Bobby Lee was previously the CEO of BTCC (formerly BTC China), and in that role Bobby got the inspiration to start Ballet. He observed through thousands of interactions with BTCC users that the existing self-custodial crypto storage products on the market were too complicated for ordinary people without technical expertise. We believe that self-custody is an essential aspect of crypto asset security and control; everyone should be able to take advantage of it, regardless of their experience and ability level.
In order to meet the unmet need for an easy, safe, reliable cold storage solution for everyone, Bobby invented the REAL Series Cold Storage Card (formerly named “REAL Series Wallet” but renamed for greater clarity). It was the first non-electronic cryptocurrency storage solution designed for mainstream users. Ballet’s patented two-factor private key security architecture is built on the BIP38 open-source standard, providing the ideal balance of convenience and safety.
Building an Ecosystem
The Ballet user experience is entirely unique. Your private keys are always offline and in non-electronic form until the moment you want to send. You can use the Ballet Crypto App to manage and monitor the assets on your Cold Storage Card while it is physically secure in the cold storage location of your choice.
The Ballet Crypto App is a digital interface for all physical Ballet products, providing a seamless experience and a wide range of functionality. Initially, the app had the essential functions of any software wallet: send, receive, import private key, watch-only addresses, multi-currency support, real-time value. Since then, we have added many new features, including: the ability to Buy and Swap crypto assets in-app through our liquidity partners; a two-device, air-gapped signing option for maximum security; WalletConnect DeFi platform integration; NFT gallery including Bitcoin Ordinals support. Together, the functions and services provided in the Ballet Crypto App make up a comprehensive ecosystem to serve our users’ essential crypto needs.
In addition to Cold Storage Cards, we developed Ballet Crypto Gift Cards based on the same design. Crypto Gift Cards are customizable and have countless potential applications; you can gift cryptocurrency, issue tokens, or mint NFTs directly onto a Ballet Crypto Gift Card. With Cold Storage Cards and Crypto Gift Cards, Ballet has established itself as the industry leader in physical cryptocurrency storage products.
In 2022, Ballet raised $13 million of venture capital in a Series A round. The round was led by Lightspeed China Partners and Draper Dragon, along with investment from Ribbit Capital, ACTAI Ventures, Digital Currency Group, and Sky9 Capital. This capital investment is a strong vote of confidence in Ballet’s vision and ability to execute the plan.
Richard Wang of Draper Dragon concisely explained his investment rationale: “Ballet’s innovative cold storage wallet is an ingenious solution to the hard problem of crypto security for mainstream users. Most hardware wallets are overly complicated, but the simple, elegant user experience of a Ballet wallet finally makes crypto accessible to everyone.”
Recognizing the Ballet Community
The story of Ballet’s first four years is not complete without mentioning the impact of our most loyal and supportive users. It gives us great satisfaction to know that there is a growing community of Bitcoin and crypto asset investors who appreciate our innovative approach to cold storage and spread the word about it. We have had the pleasure of hearing countless stories about how a Ballet product was successfully used by an experienced Bitcoin holder to “orange pill” a friend or family member who previously thought it was too complicated or abstract. These testimonials continue to motivate and inspire us.
As we look back over these four years, we’re truly excited for what’s next. The crypto world is changing fast, and we aim to keep making it simpler and more accessible for everyone. Thanks to Ballet’s commitment to user-friendly solutions and the ongoing support from our community, we’re in a strong position to keep innovating. Our next steps are about growth, understanding user needs, and delivering practical solutions. With everyone’s continued support, we’re eager to make the most of the opportunities ahead. Here’s to the journey ahead and the many milestones we’ll achieve together.