If you’re not one of the lucky tech titans that mastered the art of cryptocurrency early on, you probably have a lot of questions. What is Bitcoin? Is this even legal? Can I make money from this? And most importantly, why is cryptocurrency is such a boys club?
Created by an anonymous person in 2009 who operates under the alias “Satoshi Nakamoto,” Bitcoin is the largest and most popular cryptocurrency (aka electronic cash) on the market. So, what is Cryptocurrency? To break it down, the Federal Reserve System is responsible for printing money in the States, which is the traditional model of central banking (also known as fiat money). Fiat money is controlled and backed by the government, whose central value is based upon supply and demand. Unlike fiat money, Bitcoin is completely decentralized, which means no one controls it or owns it. There are no banks or companies that regulate Bitcoin trading; it is purely a peer-to-peer electronic cash system that relies solely on blockchain technology, which is essentially the act of accepting and verifying transactions.
Currently 97% of the Bitcoin community is composed of males. According to Forbes, women only shared a shocking $5 billion of the $85 billion that Bitcoin investors accumulated in 2017. Although the world of crypto may be oozing with hyper-masculinity at times, anyone can access information to increase their wealth of knowledge. There are more and more women in the world than ever before who have taken a leadership role within the tech community to inspire other women to educate themselves about crypto.
Cryptocurrency isn’t just a boy’s club, and these leading ladies are making moves in the industry to prove it.
Titled the “Bitcoin Bombshell,” Shanah Walton is a crypto investor who believes that there are more opportunities for women to develop an interest in cryptocurrency than ever before. Shanah’s goal is to promote gender diversity throughout the world of tech and inspire more women to not leave the cryptocurrency conversation to their male counterparts. She believes that a history of intimidation is the main reason as to why many women avoid topics relating to crypto, however with her weekly meet-ups in New York for women in cryptocurrency, she hopes to increase interest and inspire women to get involved in the game. Her biggest piece of advice? Do tons of research before you jump in.
Former lead at JPMorgan Chase, Amber Baldet believes that the industry lacks public recognition for women who are on the forefront of crypto. After eight years, the bank executive left her job to start a blockchain company called Clovyr, which will offer a similar service to an app store, but for decentralized applications, which is essentially how blockchain works. In an interview via Glamour, Baldet stresses about how important it is to have someone at the table that takes all demographics into consideration while developing user experience.
“Women, I’ve found, are quick to postulate scenarios that unfortunately often hit close to home, like how GPS location sharing or an emailed receipt might disclose sensitive activity to an abusive partner,” she says. “Later those same privacy features might make someone love your app because you kept them from accidentally ruining a surprise party. Diversity in development isn’t about a numbers game. It’s about filling in each other’s blind spots to build a safer, more useful product for everybody.”
Further information about Clovry is under wraps for now, but with the potential that Baldet sees of crypto being used for social good, she’ll be making Clovry a game changer in the industry.
Meltem Demirors is a cryptocurrency investor, advisor, and advocate who has worked with some of the largest companies in the world on financial risk management and capital efficiency. She’s a crypto genius who is driven to use her powers for good rather than evil. Demirors believes that the world of crypto is slowly becoming dominated by greed, but she’s pushing to take a stand against those with rapacious motives by shining a light on diversity and inclusion within this realm. Demirors was the VP of development at Digital Currency Group, a venture capital company that supports bitcoin and blockchain companies through their network and access to capital. She now works as a Chief Strategy Officer at CoinShares, and runs a blog called Leaders Series, where she interviews female leaders in cryptocurrency and shines a light upon their successes. The apple doesn’t fall far from the tree, as Demirors’ mother went from experiencing extreme poverty while living in Turkey, to now running a charity that funds the education of underprivileged women. Both herself and her mother are currently working together to integrate cryptocurrency into the charity.
By: Liana Mallia