Meet Jason Lee: Vice President of the NEM Foundation
Can you tell us a bit about your background?
I have a background in Law with a Masters of International Business in Australia as well as having completed a strategic management course from the University of Cambridge Judge Business School. Life started out in banking with the Standard Chartered Bank through their international program which gave me business exposure across the regions and different departments in the bank.
My biggest learning journey was with the CEO’s office which taught me about stakeholder management & strategy, wealth management and the importance of understanding personal finance and the investor mindset. Subsequently, the entrepreneurial spirit took over which led me to be in the founding team of a FinTech startup, PolicyStreet, and to manage a smart city accelerator program with the Malaysian Government (LuxTag, a NEM partner company was a participant of the accelerator). Together with others, we also founded the FinTech Association of Malaysia which is now the peak industry body representing Financial Technology in the country.
In 2016, I moved to Australia after spending most of my time in South East Asia and it was in the land down under where I developed a passion for blockchain technology. I then left behind most of the operations from my past roles to start working full-time at the NEM Foundation in 2017. I helped with business development and fostering partnerships and after the elections in 2018, I came onboard as the Secretary and have recently become Vice President. The work I do is focused on governance, operations and supporting the team to do what they do best! Because of the work with NEM Foundation and my past achievements, I was listed as a Forbes 30 Under 30 Asia 2018 list-maker and I am grateful to be part of this historic journey with the launch of Catapult.
How did you get involved in blockchain/ crypto?
I knew about blockchain technology since 2015/2016 when I was in banking in Malaysia but did not get serious until I moved to Australia. I started to explore emerging technologies that would disrupt the finance industry and that is when blockchain came into the picture. I believe that the transformational power of blockchain combined with a family of technologies can reshape how humanity functions.
Why do you like NEM?
I like that you can work on multiple use cases on NEM through our protocol and my favourite feature is the seamless multi-signature function. To provide more background, NEM is a blockchain protocol. Like the internet protocol, NEM is the base layer where there could be multiple use cases using the NEM blockchain protocol. Think of the NEM blockchain as a super highway with many vehicles using the infrastructure, XEM is one of the prominent ones but there are many other vehicles that are relevant in utilizing the blockchain protocol. The multi-signature function has helped me as an Executive Committee member to execute transactions seamlessly through the NEM wallet mobile app.
What have you been working on lately at NEM?
I have been working on the governance structure of NEM Foundation and also internal operations for the team in the regions.
I am looking forward to working on the product and commercialisation strategy as we prepare for the launch of Catapult.
Which part of Catapult are you most excited about?
Just as I like the multi-signature feature for its practicality, I am looking forward to using the multi-level multi-signature feature which will literally take security, accountability and governance to the ‘next level’. Of course, there are many other features that will help drive the adoption of the NEM blockchain forward but the multi-level multi-signature feature is what I am looking forward to as I can immediately utilize it.
What does a typical day look like for you?
A typical day for me starts with a morning workout at the gym followed by an early start to clear my emails, telegram messages and setting the objectives for the day. Most of my work now revolves around people management, building operational frameworks and working on internal documents like reporting, proposals and reviews.
Most of the NEM Foundation team works remotely so I’m in calls quite early in the morning or late at night so it varies and you never know what to expect which is exciting.
Favourite Movie: Avengers: End Game — because it interweaves so many different plots and characters into one movie, brilliant!
A bucket list goal: Work on a humanity-changing idea that uses emerging technology
Favourite app: Telegram, it allows me to communicate from anywhere! Besides that, I’ve been using the app Focus Keeper (which helps me to time my productivity) and the 5 Minute Journal, a daily morning and evening gratitude journal to make sure I am staying on the right path.