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From Walmart To Bitcoin: The CEO Behind the Chinese Exchange Sending BTC to New Highs

shared from Bitcoin Insider |

(Forbes) Bitcoin continues marching to new highs this month, despite the rather ominous news this week that one of the major wallet services, Inputs.io, was robbed of over 4,000 BTC, or $1 million worth of U.S. coin. ConvergEx Group market analyst Nick Colas says that one of the main reasons is the surge in interest in Bitcoin from China.

“The biggest Bitcoin exchange is now in China, displacing Japanese, American and European sources of demand,” wrote Colas in a note to clients published by Business Insider. “That enterprise is called BTC China, and its CEO Bobby Lee hails from Yahoo and Walmart China. Oh, and he graduated from Stanford with a degree in computer science. In short, an apparently pretty clever fellow.”

On Friday morning in Shanghai, a flattered Lee, 38, spoke to me by phone on his way into the office, with the sound of traffic noise sometimes drowning him out. Lee describes himself as a global citizen. Chinese-American, he was born in Africa; his entrepreneurial parents ran a flip-flop factory in the Ivory Coast. He went to New Jersey for boarding school, then Stanford for college. An engineer by training, he worked on social networking before it exploded (at Yahoo! Groups), then moved to China seven years ago to work on the cloud (at EMC) and then digital entertainment (at BesTV, a Chinese company) before being poached by Walmart China to be its vice president of technology as it launched an e-commerce operation there. When Walmart decided instead to invest in an existing e-commerce site rather than building its own, Lee decided in September 2012 that he wanted to start his own business rather than work for another big company.

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