Blockchain Technology Is Built To Be The Great Equalizer. But Will It Fall Prey To The Same Gender Bias Of The Larger Tech Industry?
According to Women in Blockchain Global, the statistics aren’t looking good. Up to $1.5 billion invested in blockchain startups, 2500+ patent applications filed to USPTO, and less than 100 women active in the space, it says on their LinkedIn page. Numbers elsewhere seems to tell a similar story.
- Based on findings from an international Quartz survey of 378 venture-backed crypto and blockchain companies founded between January 2012 and January 2018, roughly 8.5 percent had a woman on the founding team, compared to 17.7 percent in the broader tech industry.
- In Oct. 2017, a survey conducted by Reddit user loveYouEth, found that 96 percent of Ether users are men, and MyEtherWallet reported that 84 percent of their wallet holders were male.
- According to Coin.dance, as of May 2018, 94.73 percent of Bitcoin community engagement and active participation comes from men and 5.27 percent from women.
Is the Utopian technology bound to follow the same track record of the wider tech space? Will we only hear about the “blockchain bros”?
Not if these women can stop it!
Here are some initiatives that are trying to push women to the forefront;
SHE Blockchainers Asia is a collaborative and collective community that empowers woman in the blockchain industry. We invite all women in the industry to scale up our knowledge and experience by information sharing, work collaboration, and inspiration. Members will benefit from building the right solution, making the right investment decision, and finding the right partners or employers through synergizing each other positively. Our female ambassadors and male Mambassadors work together to encourage more active female participation in the industry.
Women in Blockchain Global is a new and developing global support system for women in blockchain. We consist of students, researchers, developers, individuals seeking a career change, and professional women. Our organization is accepting of all educational and professional backgrounds. Everyone is welcomed. Women in Blockchain is an organization that provides educational resources, hosts events and tech talks, and highlights the accomplishments of women and gender non-conforming folks in the blockchain technology industry. We are a group of technologists, academics, business professionals, designers, coders, and writers sharing our knowledge of bleeding edge technology. Our goal is to provide the space and resources for our members to connect, learn, and grow.
Here’s a list of women that are going to change the future of Blockchain;
Galia Benartzi, Co-Founder and Business Development, Bancor
Bancor Protocol is a standard for the creation of Smart Tokens, cryptocurrencies with built-in convertibility directly through their smart contracts. Bancor utilizes an innovative token “Connector” method to enable formulaic price calculation and continuous liquidity for all compliant tokens, without needing to match two parties in an exchange. Smart Tokens™ interconnect to form token liquidity networks, allowing user-generated cryptocurrencies to thrive.
Amber Baldet, Co-Founder and CEO, clovyr.io
Former head of J.P. Morgan’s blockchain arm Amber Baldet announced her her venture earlier this year. Baldet was listed on Fortune’s 40 Under 40 list of the most influential young people in business and is CoinDesk’s 10 Most Influential in Blockchain. In her job, she led JPMorgan’s Blockchain Center of Excellence and helped the bank set its strategy.The former bank executive started a new blockchain company called Clovyr. Clovyr brings the flexibility and ease of use of modern application development to the blockchain domain, for the first time offering a unified way to create, deploy, manage, and extend applications whether they are destined for the public Ethereum network or a private consortium ledger.
More than just a development framework, Clovyr is an ecosystem of applications and services—almost all open source—that empowers teams of all sizes to experiment and iterate more quickly, bring products to market that will run in a cloud or in an on-premises production environment, and enable new features as needs change, reducing potential rework and driving down the cost of innovation.
Randi Zuckerberg, Founder & CEO, Zuckerberg Media
Randi Zuckerberg is an entrepreneur, investor, bestselling author, and founder and CEO of Zuckerberg Media. Passionate about the intersection of tech and media, Randi was an early employee at Facebook where she was the creator of Facebook Live, and currently hosts a weekly tech business show called Dot Complicated on SiriusXM. She is the best-selling author of Dot Complicated, Dot.
She is focused on the goal of creating content for children, particularly girls, that will spark and develop an interest in STEM fields, something she sees girls being turned away from around eight or nine years old. Her experiences in Silicon Valley — mainly her longtime role heading up marketing at Facebook, the platform her brother founded in 2004, drove her toward this focus on getting more girls on a path to tech careers. While Zuckerberg hasn’t started her own Blockchain company (there were rumors of it doing the rounds), she does have a rather strong opinion on it. In her blog here, she argues the pros and cons of the technology.
Iliana Oris Valiente, founder of the ColliderX blockchain R&D hub
Iliana is a Personable finance professional (CPA, CA) turned intra / entrepreneur specializing in emerging tech. Launched in May 2017, ColliderX is the world’s first open-source, crowdsourced, and crowdfunded blockchain research and development hub. This is how they describe what they do: We pull in technical researchers from around the world to explore the fascinating industry problems. We are enabling open academic research to steward the development and commercialization of blockchain technology.
Although we are passionate about the power of blockchain technology, we don’t want to be restricted to just that; we explore blockchain at the convergence of other technologies. To us, “Blockchain [+]” means blockchain at the intersection of machine learning and A.I, with augmented reality, and Internet of Things as other areas of interest.
Our research projects are supported by our backers. In return for our backers’ support, they get to vote on the direction of research and receive many other great perks.
Rhian Lewis, Founder, London Women in Bitcoin
Rhian Lewis is a software engineer who is the co-developer of altcoin portfolio tracker CountMyCrypto. She is also the co-host of London Bitcoin Women, which she founded with a friend in 2014. She has a BSc in Economics from UCL and is a former digital journalist at @thetimes.co.uk. She is a regular conference speaker and educator on blockchain technology, cryptocurrency and cryptoassets, and writes about blockchain technology at medium.com/@rhian_is. She also runs training courses aimed at test engineers on blockchain projects.