The cryptocurrency and blockchain industry have long been criticized for gender disparity. According to research from December 2017, under 8% of cryptocurrency users are women and across the board female engagement is low. The recent North American Bitcoin Conference further served to highlight some of these issues, with just three female speakers compared to eighty-five men. The conference was also criticized for holding the event’s after party at a strip club. This resulted in a statement from organizer Moe Levin admitting that he was now considering the consequences of the conferences previous decisions. He said, ‘if I was a business woman dropped into the centre of all this, how would I feel? Our conference programme is not as diverse or inclusive as it should be and the criticism surrounding this is entirely warranted. We can, and will, do better’.
Yet despite events like this, there are a many accomplished business women blazing the way forward for women in cryptocurrency. These include Blythe Masters, Joyce Kim, Linda Pawczuk and Perianne Boring.
Blythe Masters was an executive at JPMorgan Chase, but is now the CEO of Digital Asset Holdings and describes Blockchain as ‘incredibly constructive, not just disruptive’ to the finance sector. She also heads up Hyperledger, helping developers utilise blockchain in business.
Joyce Kim is VC at SparkChain Capital and Executive Director of Stellar, ‘a platform that connects banks, payments systems and people’. She has acted as an advisor on cryptocurrency and delivered presentations for organisations including the UN.
At Deloitte Consulting LLP, Linda Pawczuk is the leader of the Deloitte US Financial Services Industry Blockchain Group and worked in the blockchain sector of insurance for a number of years.
Perianne Boring is the founder and President of the Chamber of Digital Commerce, ‘the world’s largest trade association representing the blockchain technology industry.’ She contributes to Forbes in a column entitled, ‘The Beauty of Blockchain’.
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