Are you one of those who think that the world of cryptocurrencies and blockchain, the technology behind the digital currency, is dominated only by men? You are partly right, given that the field of blockchain and cryptos appears to be driven largely by men who have come forward to advocate the adoption of privacy enhancing cryptography. However, female involvement is increasing. A Meetup group in New York City called, Women in Bitcoin, has more than 1,700 members and is working to increase awareness about blockchain and its adoption.
An estimated 40% of Bitcoins are held by a mere 1,000 people, with some surveys showing that 71% is owned by men and one digital wallet even revealing that less than 6% of its customers were women. Things are, however, all set to change with several women entrepreneurs coming together to start “The Collective Future,” to bring together women interested in creating crypto-focused startups.
Women Contributors to the Growth of Blockchain
A closer look at various leading projects in the blockchain and cryptocurrency industry reveals the presence and important role played by women. Their role is not restricted to any specific segment, with women having not only invested in blockchain technology firms but reporting about them or involved in some of the biggest ICOs and digital currency payment platforms. Here are some of the women leaders in the blockchain arena:
- Jalak Jobanputra:She is Founding Partner of Future\Perfect Ventures, an early stage venture capital fund in NYC, focused on next generation technology, such as blockchain and machine learning. Jalak was investing in Bitcoin startups as early as 2013, when very few people believed in the potential of blockchain. The investment was driven by her passionate belief in its sweeping social impact, in particular its potential to improve the lives of billions locked out of the global financial system.
- Rhian Lewis: She has been making waves in the London blockchain community. Founder of the London Chapter of the Women in Bitcoin, Lewis is not only a regular speaker about blockchain and cryptocurrency but also the co-developer of the altcoin portfolio tracker, Count My Crypto.
- Elizabeth Stark: She is the co-founder of Lightning Labs, a startup developing protocols for speeding up crypto transactions. Elizabeth is also a Fellow at Coin Center, the leading digital currency policy organisation.
- Elizabeth Rossiello: She quit her traditional finance career in 2013 to set up a Bitcoin-based cross border payments start-up, BitPesa, in Nairobi.
- Tiffany Madison: She is one of the founding partners of DecentraNet, a full-service blockchain advisor that is working to help entrepreneurs and crypto enthusiasts make the right investments. Tiffany believes that as cryptocurrency investment platforms, including wallets and exchanges, continue to become less cumbersome and more user-friendly, many women who do not consider themselves financially but not technically savvy, are apt to become interested.
- Rachel Wolfson: Another way in which women are contributing to the growth and increasing adoption of Bitcoin is writing about them. A perfect example is that of Rachel Wolfson, staff writer for Bitcoin Magazine and regular contributor to Forbes. Rachel writes about crypto and blockchain, supporting women in crypto along the way.
- Meltern Demirors: She is a top Director at the Digital Currency Group which specializes in creating and deploying blockchain tech protocols, besides managing cryptocurrency investment portfolios.
There are several more women who are contributing to the growth and adoption of cryptos. Also, as the blockchain industry transitions from its newborn phase to infancy, new opportunities are opening up, with the contribution of women all set to change over the next 5-10 years.