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Roundtable Interview: Bestselling Author Bobby Lee on Digital Currency Sovereignty

The author of The Promise of Bitcoin reflects on the ultimate purpose of money.

Among the things slowing down the mainstream adoption of crypto usage and mining are concerns over complexity, energy use, security, and direct control of assets. During Bitcoin 2022 in Miami, Roundtable hosted a conversation with cryptocurrency entrepreneurs Bobby Lee, founder and CEO of Ballet, and John Stefanopolous, founder of FutureBit, to assess these problems and explain how their companies are working to accelerate and increase participation. In this segment, Lee and Stefanopolous discuss how Bitcoin represents ultimate sovereignty over one's money and labor. 

What is Bitcoin good for? The answer is more complex than many people realize, argues Bobby Lee, entrepreneur and author of the Wall Street Journal bestseller, The Promise of Bitcoin

"People very much like to use Bitcoin to buy things, you know, in El Salvador now that they've legalized it as legal tender, people are using it to pay for coffee, to buy McDonald's burgers and pay for everything they want and stores are compelled to compelled to accept it," said Lee. "However, I think one of the big use cases of Bitcoin that's under appreciated is when Bitcoin is just sitting in my wallet as a long-term investment. I've had Bitcoin working for me for the last ten, 11 years where it's just sitting my wallet and growing in value. I think the public think that the way to use Bitcoin is to spend it meaning that if you're not spending in it, you're not using it while I wholeheartedly disagree. I think [that is] one very valid use case of Bitcoin."

In order for wider appreciation of Bitcoin's promise, Stefanopoulos noted that more people "need to understand the mechanics of how Bitcoin is run." But the FutureBit CEO shares the same ultimate goal as Lee. "The main thing that I'm focused on personally is making sure people are self-sovereign and understand the power of Bitcoin, the financial freedom that it brings to you."

"It's about having your own assets without relying on the third party custodian, without relying on the third party due to its value," said Lee, who hit a philosophical note at the center of his bestselling book. 

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"What is the purpose of money? [It is] a representation of my hard work and labor. The money you earn should belong to you. And when the governments of the world can arbitrarily take that away from you through inflation and excessive printing, then to me, it's a former slavery. I want the people of the world to have sovereignty over their money—which is [sovereignty] over themselves, in essence."

Watch the full discussion below:

Roundtable Guests:

John Stefanopoulos, Founder, FutureBit

Bobby Lee, Founder and CEO, Ballet