In January of 2018, the North American Bitcoin Conference was held in Miami, Florida. At the conference, which was organized by Moe Levin, a well-known investor, there were 84 male speakers … and only three female ones.
In his defense, Mr. Levin stated, “It just coincidentally happened that there were more men than women speakers. It’s not intentional not to include them. It’s just we don’t have time to include them,” according to the New York Times.
And to make matters worse: the official party for the conference was held at a strip club in downtown Miami.
As of May 2018, almost 95 percent of the Bitcoin community was men, leaving just 5 percent of participation to women.
There has been over $1.5 billion invested in blockchain startups so far, but the wealth in crypto is concentrated. It’s estimated that 40 percent of all of bitcoin is owned by just 1,000 people. And when the majority of community members are men, you can guess where the money will go as crypto continues to take off.
Women passionate about crypto have expressed their concerns for the future of the industry, but have also made it their mission to fix the sexist community before it gets worse. We’ve laid out eight of the most prominent women paving the way for other females in this male-dominated industry.
Connie Gallippi is the founder and creator of BitGive — a philanthropic organization within the Bitcoin community. Gallippi’s goal was to give the people within the community a simple way to donate their currency to charitable causes. BitGive has since worked with Save the Children, Medic Mobile, and more to bring Bitcoin to their donation options.
And Gallippi launched another platform called GiveTrack, which tracks exactly how companies or individuals spend their cryptocurrency and how much of their spendings go toward charity.
Tricia Martinez is the Founder and CEO of both Wala and the Dala Token. Wala is a financial services app and partner to Dala, which is an open-source multi-chain cryptocurrency. Wala is the first app that allows users to use Dala Token for transactions and transfers to other users.
And because Martinez focuses on those considered underserved in the world, Wala has zero fees, which allows for more participation to those who would be deterred by additional costs.
Joyce Kim is the Executive Director of Stellar Lumens, as well as the managing partner at Spark Change Capital. Kim’s focus lies on combating inequality when it comes to banking and finances. Kim is an advisor for others on cryptocurrency, and she has given presentations on the subject for government organizations, the United Nations, and more. Kim also works as a lawyer for immigrants as well as domestic abuse survivors.
Arianna Simpson has been an investor in cryptocurrency since the beginning. She has almost 40 investments as well as a personal website sharing her investments and her own tips and knowledge. She’s been featured in Fast Company, the Wall Street Journal, the New York Times, Business Insider, and more. She was also named as one of the Top 40 Women of Bitcoin by crypto site Coin Filter.
Perianne Boring founded the Digital Chamber of Commerce (a company in which the leadership team is 50 percent female!) The Digital Chamber of Commerce works to advocate for blockchain when it comes to innovation, investment, and policy. In 2016, Boring was named one of the 10 most influential people in blockchain by Coin Desk, as well as the top woman in bitcoin in 2015.
Jinglan Wang is the executive director of the Blockchain Educational Network, where she works with students to create or grow their blockchain clubs around the world. She also works to create and promote a campus-wide blockchain culture, where multiple clubs exist and compete against each other and bond over their love for cryptocurrency. With Wang’s initiative, the organization saw 1,200 members on 270 university campuses in 50 different countries in 2017! Wang is also the Blockchain Product Manager at NASDAQ.
Meltem Demirors began her career in cryptocurrency at Digital Currency Group, which she also helped to launch. She most recently served as the Vice President of Development. The group invests solely in cryptocurrency and blockchain. Demirors is now the Chief Strategy Officer of CoinShares, where she works to build asset management products. She is also the managing director of the company’s United States operations.
Demirors has focused greatly on diversity and inclusion in the crypto world. And she has worked to bring cryptocurrency to the charity her mother runs to fund educations for underprivileged women in Turkey.
Jennifer Greyson is the former CEO of Powered by Neureal, and the current founder and CEO of AI Blockchain. AI Blockchain uses artificial intelligence to create predictive technology combined with blockchain in order to help companies stay ahead of their competition. Greyson has also been an advocate for women in cryptocurrency. She is on the board of advisors at Kerala Blockchain Academy, and she is an AI/blockchain advisor for Boltt Sports Technologies.
Crypto Chicks is a blockchain and AI group for women. The group has a blockchain blog, posts educational videos for members, hosts social events as well as educational seminars.
Women in Blockchain is a global group filled with female students, researchers, developers, etc. all interested in blockchain. The group hosts global networking events, conferences, hackathons and more.
The group was started after women met in Brooklyn to express their frustrations with a male-dominated industry. The Collective works to expand the diversity and inclusion of blockchain technology.
According to Forbes contributor Katie Elizabeth, there are signs that the crypto industry is on the brink of its own female revolution.
Women are forming their own women-only blockchain and bitcoin groups at faster rates than before. And in the first six months of 2018, the percentage of women considering investing in cryptocurrency rose from 6 percent to 13!
“While the numbers are small right now, I believe that is about to change,” Katie Elizabeth wrote.
“In the world of startups, more than a few female cryptocurrency investors are seeing blockchain technology as a solution to the fundraising challenges that many women face. Proof of this — in one of the largest ICOs, Tezos, raised $232 million — and was in part led by a woman.”
Women continue to fight the sexist battle against the Blockchain Bros, and while the past may look dark, these women believe their future in blockchain is bright. They continue to form support groups and develop their own community within the crypto world, all while encouraging other women of the world to get involved before it’s too late.
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