‘This is how it’s going to be for the next five years. So get used to it.’


Bobby Lee, CEO and co-founder of BTCC, is pictured in Shanghai in 2013. Getty Images.


A prominent figure in cryptocurrencies has a prediction for how governments worldwide will crack down on bitcoin: They’ll follow the existing pattern.

The “global pattern to suppress bitcoin” consists of regulating crypto exchanges, banning initial coin offerings and requiring proof of funds, said Bobby Lee, CEO and co-founder of BTCC, which was a big Chinese bitcoin exchange until it shuttered in that country last year as Beijing banned domestic exchanges.
The pattern also has been to require stricter “know your customer” processes, while limiting transfers and levying taxes, he said. (Proof of funds refers to documentation that one has the means for transactions.)

“This is the pattern,” said Lee in a keynote speech Tuesday at the Blockchain Week 2018 conference in London, as he shared the slide pictured below.

“This is how it’s been for the last five years. This is how it’s going to be for the next five years. So get used to it. As long as you’re going from crypto to fiat [currency], from fiat to crypto, you will always encounter these.”

The photo shows one of the slides that Lee shared Tuesday.

Lee — the brother of Litecoin creator Charlie Lee — also sounded bullish about bitcoin, as he predicted a rally in prices and said the virtual currency is “designed and engineered” to survive. He said the Chinese government’s views on bitcoin BTCUSD, -2.78% aren’t that unique.

“It turns out what China regulators think about bitcoin is a proxy for what global regulators think about bitcoin,” he said. “It’s just that the global regulators don’t actually act so fast,” but “China’s regulators are acting pretty fast.”