In a great shift for the cryptocurrency sector, which has long been nearly completely male oriented, female leaders within the industry are now fighting to shake this boyish image at the world’s largest blockchain conference. There was even a slogan at Consensus 2018, which read ‘Satoshi is female’.
Of course, Satoshi is referring to mysterious figure who was responsible for creating Bitcoin, who although they have never been identified has been hailed as the founding father of cryptocurrency, or digital form of money, and blockchain, a public and uneditable system for recording transactions.
Crowds gathered to listen to the leading technology figures, and it was a matter of agreement, that blockchain should not just represent the white male tech stereotypical figure. Nyla Rodgers, who is the creator of the Satoshi Is Female group, said;
“We think cryptocurrencies should be built with a different system and values in mind…Silicon Valley is completely run by men. Women only receive 2% of venture capital funding so their ideas never rise to the top. We’ve been living with a very one-sided view of the world.”
A recent study has shown that there was an increase in the number of women within the industry, but that the participation of racial minorities was now worsening. Rogers continued;
“Blockchain has only been around for 18 months so we, as women, can help define what the culture looks like at the beginning…The urgency is there for women and minorities to create a system that actually values them.”
Cindy Chin, who held a seminar titled Women on The Block on the first day, agreed, saying;
“We think there’s an opportunity to change what has really been an all-male space…We want to be part of the conversation, we want to drive the leadership, to be part of the deal-flow and we want to be invested in…we want the money!”
Some women have successfully broken through this barrier and are gaining recognition. Take Perianne Boring, who is founder and chairwoman of the Digital Chamber of Commerce for example. Sheri Kaiserman, publisher of the first Wall Street analysis of Bitcoin value, said;
“Blockchain is an opportunity for women to participate…Women have a lot of opportunities in this space to really pave the way and take ownership of a lot of new projects. Because it is so new we, as women, can really make a lot of headway and progress in changing the future.”
It should be noted, that it is not just the women who feel this way, Matthew Roszak, who is the founder of Bloq said;
“The complexion of blockchain, its decentralised nature, the fact that it is so multi-disciplinary, attracts not only women but a more diverse group of people…That’s not just an aspiration but a reality.”
Whilst this is a fantastic movement for women and the blockchain sector, it is safe to say that there are still a number of hurdles to get over. Whilst there are still some men within the industry who simply do not believe that women have a place in it, thankfully these are the minority. Rosario Pabst, a representative of ZenCash, said that she has high hopes for the industry as a whole, and that it would, over time throw off this reputation. She said;
“Right now you have to hold onto your pants, it’s still unstable. But if you have bright ideas and hard-working you’re going to succeed.”
Before adding, wittingly that Satoshi could in fact be female.