The crypto community has been infamous for being a predominantly male-dominated space. Slowly but surely, this is changing; as more women grow interested in this rapidly growing market. Based on this article I read on Decrypt, an app named Terra was being used mostly by women. 74% to be exact.
Though in the article they presented a seemingly patronizing and divisive rhetoric about women being better traders than men, the findings were still promising. They mentioned 3 out of the 10 top traders were women. In a world where women have as many opportunities, if not more than men in terms of seeking success, the issue is not exclusion, but interest.
Reminiscing to my first crypto networking event in '16, there were definitely women presenting and in the audience. It is not a matter of if but when more women dive into the crypto market.
There are women who took the leap of faith early and have built incredible crypto projects that are currently holding billions in market cap. Today, let's talk about the female pioneers in crypto that we don't talk about enough:
1. Flori Marquez, Co-Founder of BlockFi
Before Bitcoin existed, traditional savings accounts never yielded life-changing interest rates. Today's rates are a joke, with the highest APY on fiat savings accounts at a measly 0.60% APY. On top of this in some accounts, you cannot withdraw your funds until a given period.
Now with Bitcoin, you can earn 6.5% APY on your wealth and withdraw your crypto in at most a single business day. This is thanks to companies like BlockFi, founded by Zac Prince and Flori Marquez. Ms. Marquez is a pre-law graduate from the prestigious Cornell University, who also minored in economics.
Before creating BlockFi, Flori Marquez managed the building, scaling, and optimization of a $125 million portfolio for Bond Street, a startup focused on transforming small business lending through technology, data, and design. Since then, Bond Street had been acquired by Goldman Sachs in September 2017, the same month Marquez moved up and became the owner and head portfolio manager of Bond Street Servicing.
Flori Marquez was also an integral piece in her previous position at Oak Hill Advisors, a $30 billion fixed income asset manager. Currently, as co-founder of BlockFi, she has managed all operations of the company.
Now, she heads the groundbreaking move of being the first company to offer a Bitcoin back credit card, partnered with VISA.
Check out this interview of Flori Marquez with Lark Davis below:
2. Dr. Jemma Green, Founder of Power Ledger (POWR)
Personally, I think Power Ledger will be one of the most important crypto projects in our growing society; so I'm very grateful for Dr. Jemma Green and the Power Ledger team.
Awarded the 2018 EY Entrepreneur Of The Year, Dr. Green co-founded the peer-to-peer energy trading platform, that allows people around the planet to trade their excess electricity on a decentralized platform.
A University of Cambridge graduate in Sustainable Leadership, Dr. Green started her career in 2004 at RBS and then began to shift her focus onto corporate social responsibility, spending eight years at J.P. Morgan, with five years in Global Environmental & Social Risk Management since dedicated her life to revolutionizing the public energy sector, having been Deputy Mayor of the Australian city of Perth, on the advisory boards of many energy initiatives, and now the co-founder. of Power Ledger.
When Power Ledger launched in 2016, its ICO raised $34 million, which was a record in Australia at the time. That same year it was awarded Richard Branson's Extreme Tech Challenge.
Since 2017, Dr. Jemma Green has been a contributing writer on Forbes, primarily discussing the cryptocurrency, blockchain, and energy sectors. You can check out her work here.
3. Kathleen Breitman, CEO of Tezos (XTZ)
Kathleen Breitman created Tezos with her husband, Arthur in 2014, officially launching the cryptocurrency in 2017. Before then she and her husband founded R3, a software enterprise firm and blockchain consortium focused on distributed data technology, with Barclays, ING, Citibank, and TD Bank amongst its members.
A 2012 graduate of Cornell University, Breitman later became a consultant for Accenture, then working for Ray Dalio's Bridgewater Associates hedge fund.
Today, she is heading the Tezos Foundation with Arthur Breitman. Tezos is a self amending cryptocurrency
This allows anyone who holds the XTZ currency to vote on possible changes to its rules, which would then update the software based on the consensus decision. For this to work, users stake, or in Tezos' case "bake" their XTZ holdings into special smart contracts. Users can either become bakers or delegate their XTZ to other bakers to win newly minted tokens from their protocol.
The goal of this technology with Tezos is to eliminate the likelihood of forking within the blockchain. This spawned into a new term being used called 'blockchain governance,' which many other altcoins aimed to create for their own blockchains. Now, within the community, the terms off-chain governance and on-chain governance is used widely to categorize altcoins.
Tezos can also be staked, allowing supporters of its Proof of Stake blockchain network to earn passive income. Kathleen Breitman has also expressed an interest in video games, believing they will be the key to wider adoption of Tezos and blockchain technology in general. Mrs. Breitman also signed committed to the Founders Pledge, promising she would donate a portion of her proceeds from the Tezos ICO, which raised $232 million.
Today, Tezos is currently the 19th most popular cryptocurrency with over $1.7 billion in market cap and $100 million in volume.
4. Pritha Paul, Chief Strategic at YFDAI
Pritha Paul is the Chief Strategic Engineer at YFDAI, a decentralized finance (DeFi) platform focused on creating a permissionless ecosystem that allows for staking, farming, lending, and borrowing, insurance, and its own exchange called SafeSwap. YFDAI is dedicated to ending the infamous exit scams and rug pulls that have been rampant in the crypto world, especially since the growing popularity of the DeFi wave.
According to their website, Ms. Paul, who also goes by Olivia, saw the negative precedent being set early on in the industry and decided to do something about it. Olivia and her team are all volunteering to deliver a trusted and secure DeFi ecosystem. All of the tokens allocated to them are locked for a period of time.
Ms. Paul is a software engineer and as a fan of blockchain and cryptocurrencies, she felt the need to become a bigger part of the ecosystem.
YFDAI has since exploded in value, going from its launch price of $360 to now trading for over $3,100 with a circulating supply of 4,100 coins and a max supply of 21,000.
5. Amiti Uttarwar, Bitcoin Core Developer
Amiti Uttarwar made history this year when it was revealed she was the first female developer on the Bitcoin Core team. Bitcoin Core is BTC's primary software.
A graduate of Canegie Mellon University, Ms. Uttarwar, majored in Information Systems, and later took positions as a full stack developer at two startups, before immersing herself into the blockchain and crypto world during the 2017 Bitcoin Bull Run. Her interest into Bitcoin became an obsession, as she found herself completely micromanaging her life and watching troves of technical videos on Youtube.
From then Amiti Uttarwar began working for Coinbase, having in one instance helping with the daunting task of moving $1 billion from an old cold wallet to a new one.
While working at Coinbase she was becoming stressed and was later approached by Bitcoin Core educator and developer John Newberry. After being accepted into a coveted residency at Chaincode Lab's Bitcoin residency, Uttarwar decided to quit Coinbase in September 2019 to focus more on working on Bitcoin in a more "open source environment."
Since then she has been a freelancer, but has received $150,000 in funding from BitMEX and OKCoin to continue work on transaction relay privacy and automated testing procedures for code development. For her work she's actually taking a large paycut, but gaining it all back in freedom to do what she's passionate about.
We've just spotlighted five female pioneers who are contributing to the crypto space greatly, many of them leading projects poised to change the world for the better. Soon, there will more pioneers pushing crypto to new heights.
Who are some female pioneers that I didn't mention? Name them int he comments below!
Are you a woman or know a woman whose interested in Bitcoin, but doesn't know where to start? I have a solution. It's my latest book The Bitcoin Kit. In this book, I show how easy it is to buy, sell, trade, store, and earn Bitcoin, along with other vital education that'll make anyone a smart and capable Bitcoin HODLer.