Spotlight on the Women in Blockchain of New York
The largest industry event of the year came to a close yesterday. And with massive announcements from huge businesses like Microsoft, Whole Foods, and eBay, it’s been jam-packed with surprises. The institutional support and capital now flowing into crypto are extremely bullish for the industry. The rising number of power females taking the stage and contributing is also cause for celebration. Here, we check out not only Lidia’s panel at the event but also some of the top women in blockchain right now.
The Women in Blockchain Gender Gap
We’d be lying if we didn’t recognize there’s still a dearth of women in blockchain. According to research by LongHash, even now, in 2019, women represent just 14.5 percent of all blockchain startup teams. When it comes to higher level positions, it gets even worse at just 7.1 percent.
Go to any blockchain conference and you’ll immediately notice the lack of female presence. However, just like the hash rate, improving infrastructure, and slow push to mass adoption, gradually, more women are appearing in the space. And more efforts are being made to encourage them to.
At this year’s Consensus, for example, together with Womin.io, they hosted a Womin’s Lounge. While the lounge was open to men as well, it provided a safe and productive space for women in the industry to discuss their journies, debate their ideas, and simply connect in a more relaxing environment.
Lidia’s Panel on Cryptomania and How it Affects Price
Moderated by CNBC contributor Era Qian, Lidia was discussing the issue of “cryptomania” and how it affects the price with her co-panelist Lindsay Joo of Galaxy Digital. Coming from different backgrounds in the space, both Lidia and Era naturally had slightly different views on the subject.
Lidia took the position that cryptomania is also how and when we turn all the applications in the space to the mainstream. Her co-panelist believes that the mania was mostly found during the intense wave of ICO marketing and unsustainable projects with no back-up plan.
“This was mania, complete craziness,” she said. “For me, it’s doing things that are completely crazy and have no real strategy or plan.”
Lidia agreed that there were a lot of projects that had ridiculous concepts, however, the sheer volume of ICOs in 2017 and 2018 raised over $1.5 billion. “That’s also related to the mania,” she said, “That massive amount of people getting into this in a very short space of time.”
However, she countered that despite the calming of the fundraising mania, there are still so many ways for projects to evolve with STOs, IEOs, and large companies coming in and launching their own applications. “This will be massive for adoption,” she said, “Beyond the mania, we’re stepping into the second wave which is really going mainstream.”
Other Women at the Top of Their Games
This year’s Consensus lineup included some of the coolest women in the space such as Amber Baldet. As the former blockchain lead at JPMorgan, she’s now the founder and CEO of Clovyr, a startup dedicated to creating tools to foster privacy on the blockchain. She also sits on the Zcash Foundation board.
Last year, Baldet was named one of the most influential women in blockchain by Coindesk and we’re happy to see her starting out with her own venture.
Another company that’s been making (another) splash lately is Dapper Labs, the markers of the new Ethereum smart wallet Dapper, and creators of the infamous CryptoKitties. Head of Product at Dapper Labs, Kim Cope gave a talk on stage at the event.
Cope is one of the founding members of the collectible crypto kittens that bottlenecked the Eithereum blockchain at the end of 2017. Not only does she lead a team of engineers, designers, marketers, and project managers, but one of the company’s goals is to bring the first billion people to the blockchain through simplifying the user experience and make it less intimidating.
Zilliqa’s VP of Business Development was also there along with Colleen Sullivan, the CEO of CMT Digital Holdings, and Coinbase’s Emilie Choi who oversees all business ventures (including 10 acquisitions and 50 venture investments) at the world’s most user-friendly (but expensive) exchange.
New York Blockchain week is still hosting events, but the main takeaways from Consensus are that we’re much closer to mainstream adoption that we thought. This time around, as cryptocurrency prices rise, and the “mania” begins, we have actual institutional backing, big business adoption, and better infrastructure, as well as more women at the top.