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5 Notable Women in the Blockchain and Crypto Industry!

One could be forgiven for assuming the blockchain tech and crypto industry is a male-dominated field. There has always seemed to be an obvious domination of the technology space in general by Asian and Caucasian males. Women hardly ever get a look-in. This assumption covers all organizational levels within the industry, from the boardroom all the way up to the tech developers huddled behind multiple monitors and processing units. A look at some of the major conferences, seminars, and sundry gathering of minds in the blockchain space will reveal a startling scarcity of womenfolk.

However, to say that there are no women who are making tangible contributions within the blockchain space would be a false assertion. There are a number of notable women who are actively involved in leading projects that are dominating the blockchain and cryptocurrency industry. These women aren’t just restricted to any specific sub-niche of the industry as they are scattered across many of the functional segments. Some of the biggest ICOs, digital currency payment platforms, and even blockchain tech development firms have been founded by women. Apart from being part of the evolution and development of the industry, many of them play active roles in improving the adoption of cryptocurrency in mainstream commerce. Here is a brief look at some of the notable women in the blockchain and crypto industry.

1. Elizabeth Stark (Lightning Labs)

Education and Early Career

Elizabeth Stark is a graduate of the prestigious Harvard Law School. She is also the founder of the Harvard Free Culture Group and an affiliate member of the Harvard Berkman Center for Internet and Society. She spent a considerable portion of her professional career as a professor at both Stanford and Yale. During her time at Yale, she established a program to help students come up with projects that would improve the existing Internet technology.

Exploits in the Blockchain and Crypto Space

Together with Olaoluwa Osuntokun, Elizabeth is the co-founder of Lightning; a start-up that is developing protocols to significantly increase the speed of crypto transactions. She serves as the CEO of the company. The company’s focus is primarily on the Bitcoin network but contributors are welcome to develop protocol layers for other blockchains.

Apart from her involvement with Lightning, Elizabeth has been quite active in the blockchain space in general. She has contributed greatly to the Bitcoin community as is also a fellow at Coin Center.

2. Meltem Demirors (DCG)

Education and Early Career

Meltem Demirors is an alum of the William Marsh Rice University where she graduated with a degree in Mathematical Economics. She went further after her first degree to get an MBA from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT).

Exploits in the Blockchain and Crypto Space

These days, Meltem Demirors is a top Director at the Digital Currency Group (DCG). The company specializes in creating and deploying blockchain tech protocols. The company also manages cryptocurrency investment portfolios. Many of her colleagues at the New York-based DCG describe Meltem in glowing words. On the team page of the company website, she is described as being the connection that forms the bridge between the core operating areas of the DCG.

In addition to her role as Director of Development at DCG, Meltem has also been an active voice against the trend of centralized cryptocurrency mining pools, especially in the Bitcoin network. As a believer in the equitable distribution of wealth within the crypto space, she uses her position at DCG to develop investment strategies that help spread the wealth of the crypto industry.

3. Galia Benartzi (Bancor)

Education and Early Career

Galia Benartzi graduated from the Johns Hopkins University in 2005. After college, she became heavily involved in software start-ups including Mytopia, Founders Fund, and Particle Code Inc. She was the co-founder and CEO of Particle Code until it was sold to Appcelerator in the year 2011.

Exploits in the Blockchain and Crypto Space

Galia has been something of a tech genius and also a consummate professional in the field of Business and Economics. She is the co-founder of Bancor as well as acting as the Head of Business Development for the crypto firm. The Bancor ICO is one of the highest grossing ICOs of all time. The campaign raised $153 Million in funding and has since gone into advanced development stages.

Bancor is focused on the cryptocurrency exchange market and is building a platform that significantly simplifies the process of cryptocurrency trading. The platform will also allow users to create their own tokens which can then be monetized and traded for other established tokens like BTC, ETH, and LTC just to name a few.

4. Rhian Lewis (London Women in Bitcoin)

Education and Early Career

Rhian Lewis studied at the University College London. She graduated with Second Class Honors (Upper Division) in Economics. She is a consummate professional in the Engineering and Technology fields with a working career that spans across many different organizations. She has worked at firms like DigitasLBi, AKQA, and Beamly. She is currently a Director at Salvia Media Services where is a tech consultant for both SDET and Blockchain.

Exploits in the Blockchain and Crypto Space

Rhian has been actively involved in improving women participating in blockchain and cryptocurrency. She started the London chapter of the Women in Bitcoin organization along with a group of friends. The organization has grown to include 100 members, many of whom are CEOs and COOs of tech companies. Rhian continues to be an advocate for women participation in the Blockchain space regularly attending and speaking at conferences, meetings, workshops, and seminars.

5. Elizabeth McCauley (Bitcoin Foundation)

Education and Early Career

Elizabeth Ploshay McCauley graduated from Wheaton College in the year 2011. She holds a degree in Political Science. Her early career was spent in Washington where she served as both Intern and Staff Assistant to United States Congressmen.

Exploits in the Blockchain and Crypto Space

During her time serving members of Congress, she contributed to the adoption of Bitcoin in the United States. Such was her enthusiasm that she has come to be known as the “Bitcoin Evangelist.” She utilized her considerable expertise in grassroots activism to bolster the adoption of Bitcoin within the United States.

She is currently a member of the Board of Directors at the Bitcoin Foundation. She is an adviser at both the BitGive Foundation and Coin Congress. Her previous roles include a stint with BitPay Inc. where she worked as an accounts manager.

This is by no means an exhaustive accounting of all the leading female figures in the blockchain space. There are also individuals like Kathleen Breitman (co-founder of Tezos), Maxine Ryan (co-founder and COO of Bitspark), Tavonia Evans (CEO of $Guap), and Elizabeth Rossiello (co-founder and CEO of BitPesa). These women are setting high standards in many areas of the blockchain space and are contributing immensely to the growth and development of the industry.

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