Morne Olivier

Freelance Writer Specializing in Blockchain Technology

Women in Blockchain | Celebrate 2019

It’s December 2019, ‘Thanks Giving started the holiday festive season as we head towards Christmas. What a year 2019 has been.
As a student in the Blockchain World 2019 for me meant opening up and sharing my knowledge. This was the best thing I could ever have done, as it meant other like-minded individuals from around the world started sharing their information with me. Friends where made, networks were built and collaboration opportunities started to develop. In some ways telling these stories will one day be for me, a diary of events, the “How I got to grow and be involved in Blockchain Technologies through writing.”
The ‘Open Source ideal that the Blockchain community was driving had a much further reach than just ‘coding.
An avenue I stumbled on in my open network approach was “Women in Blockchain”. My initial reasoning was for my wife to maybe read some of my articles so that she would form a better understanding of what I was doing and for my boys to grow up in this new environment, new technology so that I could foster an interest and steer them in a growing industry where work and greater income possibilities where possible.
Women in companies that was and is driving Blockchain adoption found themselves on a much more equal footing than ever before or so I would like to believe. Surely by now heading into 2020, we would have a better understanding of “a good mix” a greater foresight on “getting the balance right” between male and female perspectives.
 Millennial’s & GenZ’s coming up the ranks from what I know, understand this concept better. With the women I got to know over the last year as role models, this new bread of youngsters certainly will find that they have a lot to look up to. Here to me Tech is the winner specifically Blockchain Technology where Tech Savvy, Tech Opportunity, and Tech Entrepreneurship don’t view gender like society use to.
 This year has seen a tremendous growth in Networking and Collaboration strengths as the Blockchain and Cryptocurrency sectors evolved from there former speculating “glories”.
 The Blockchain Industry steamrolled ahead advancing the Technological capabilities they set out and promised to build. The “bad apples & empty promises” got sorted out and so will the ones in the future. I actually think much faster as no one can hide or alter their Blockchain Capabilities for too long these days. (Reach out if you are in doubt!)
 Women and Men, Girls and Boys heading into the next century have a big obligation to hold true to this ‘open-source plan where people are seen as equals, contributing to a common goal. In 2020 it will remain interesting to see how the big corporates adapt or maybe swallow up the “ideal that is open source” or if indeed the democracy that Satoshi set out to establish found its way into a borderless society.
From my side at home, I must thank my wife for keeping me level headed, she’s funny like that, if I can’t explain Blockchain to her, I can’t explain it to anyone. Some of those explanations were really testing the boundaries :)) but these days it makes a lot more sense.
This year I’ve decided to give my family an Investment in a Digital Assets Index Fund for X-mas as a measure of appreciation for putting up with my ‘new ideas and believing in me. I’m very confident it will make for an interesting portfolio in time to come.
 Whoooh so on that note before this is all about me here’s our 17 & 18th lady contributing her experiences and knowledge in the Blockchain Industry.
Co-Founder at Altai Digital Capital
Q&A
#1 Give us a summary of your background and how you got into Blockchain & Digital Currency / Cryptocurrency?
I fell into crypto back in 2017 as the market was on the rise. I was posting about Bitcoin and blockchain technology on social media before it blew up — much to my surprise, people remembered this and started to chase me down for assistance with crypto wallet installation and altcoin research. Overnight, I found myself supporting crypto clients full-time.
When the market tanked in 2018, I went on to start a cryptocurrency trading service called CORÁS 9, based in Dublin, Ireland. It traded cryptocurrency via algorithmic trading technology.
​Prior to my work in blockchain, I worked for the United Nations, USAID and other international NGOs as a content producer and media strategist.
#2 Tell us about your current position, responsibilities and some day to day activities that you look forward to?
My latest crypto venture is Altai Digital Capital, which is also based in Ireland and connects investors to blockchain-based hedge funds and traders. We provide guidance, transparency and reassurance typically found in traditional investment firms, affording clients easy access to the investment potential of cryptocurrency.
#3 If you had to be critical about yourself, which part of your career would you like to improve on?
I’ve been quiet for too long, and it’s now my intention to become a stronger voice and advocate for the integration of blockchain technology into society. As a woman, I feel great pressure and responsibility to speak up and open more doors for diversity in our field. I hope to be doing more of this over the next year.
#4 What advice do you have for children/youth (10–18 years ) today especially young women about the Blockchain world? How do we nurture interest in this new technology?
Blockchain will be growing for years to come, and women are especially needed in its evolution and global integration. I highly encourage young women to learn basic coding skills for a start. Look for free resources online. Go to coding camps if possible, and don’t ever let anyone tell you that you can’t do something. I say this because of experience…
I was slightly dyslexic and had undiagnosed ADD as a child. I had good grades for a while, but was restless in high school and lost interest in being a top student. In a strange and unexpected moment during my senior year, my high school vice principal pulled me into an empty classroom and told me that I would never grow up to achieve anything special in life and that my parents would never be proud of me. It was a dysfunctional and confusing experience, but I refused to listen to this ignorant man who should have never been around children in the first place. Don’t ever let anyone bring you down. In one ear and out the other is what I say.
#5 What kind of skill set would you be looking at in job applicants?
I’m usually looking for people who have some basic understanding of programming for the blockchain and experts with an understanding of both traditional finance and crypto.
Beyond this, I want to work with people who can think outside societal norms, people who have traveled the world and people who have intercultural sensitivity and emotional intelligence. The ability to traverse between cultures and countries is the greatest way to learn and appreciate diversity of thought and to be open to other perspectives. This is where true innovation comes from.
#6 Blockchain to me is a forward-thinking force of snowballing Technology, but where I’m from a lot of people still see Bitcoin as a scam.
How do we bridge the gap between technology and people that are skeptical about it?
My life’s work is now fully in the blockchain. I try not to overwhelm people who don’t understand it. If people ask, I do my best to site examples of how there’s a massive global movement of governments, corporations and educational institutions jumping on board. Companies like Disney, BMW, and IBM are in it. Countries are embracing crypto more and more every day, with regulation and billions of development grants. Major institutions like Fidelity, Barclays, and Bank of America are even onboard — it’s hard to call it a scam when this information is brought to light. Follow the news and site examples when possible. It’s out there.
#7 Can you please provide the details of an educational facility that is in your area or country if anyone reading this article decides to find out more about Blockchain.
I find the best way for beginners (outside of a good ol’ Google search) is to start by going to meetups. In Ireland where I live, there are meetups for crypto and blockchain topics all the time. Just go to sites like meetup.com and ye shall find.
#8 What is your current opinion on the Digital Assets, ( Cryptocurrency ) market and share with us your opinion on where you think this technology will take us?
The marketplace is VOLATILE, but I don’t see it fading away. We’re just getting started. We should see it level out one day as more regulation and major institutions come in, but I don’t see that happening for quite some time. HODL’ing doesn’t really work at the moment if you want to experience immediate gains. If executed right, trading algorithms are the way to go for short-term gains.
#9 What new exciting projects are you currently working on or planning?
I’m honored and inspired to be a part of the AKASHA Innovation Hub, a Blockchain focused Incubator and Accelerator with Hubs in Zug, Barcelona and Dublin. It is part of the AKASHA Foundation founded by Ethereum Co-Founder Mihai Alisie. I’m actively promoting blockchain awareness through this organization. I can’t publicly say too much about the projects at this moment, but stay tuned. There’s much more to come.
#10 What is your favorite Blockchain project and why?.
My favorite project is Building Blocks, which was created by the United Nations to use the blockchain to deliver food relief to Syrian Refugees (link: https://bitsonline.com/united-nations-blockchain-refugees/ ):
“Looking at how the technology works, Building Blocks integrates with a biometric authentication technology called IrisGuard which allows refugees to identify themselves by looking into an iris scanner. This technology is connected to the camp supermarkets where aid is provided to refugees. Using this technology, refugees individually go to this supermarket and get the food they need. When they go to the checkout line, all they need to do is look directly into the IrisGuard iris scanner.”
This just makes my heart happy, especially after working for the UN and other NGO’s for nearly a decade. I know too well how waste and misuse use of funds can happen in the nonprofit world. Blockchain will completely revolutionize the delivery of relief funds and donations once-massive integration occurs. Billions of dollars will be saved. I applaud the UN for this effort and look forward to seeing more.
Learn more about Erin Grover at www.eringrover.com
Thank you Erin, I hope this article adds to your ‘voice for a long time to come. I wonder how many of us have that ‘person in our lives that told us we could not do something, perhaps even now there are emotions/pressure from family or friends keeping us from doing the one thing that will make us happy. It’s hard to overcome, it’s difficult to stay focused in a zone heading to a goal we believe in.
That’s why I hope these articles will give people the courage to start, well anything really, as long as they follow their passions. Communication seem’s to be key and finding like-minded people initially helps build a lot of confidence until that point we can head out into the world and become our own ‘voices.
Take home: #believeinyourself
Awesome, thank you Erin.
Now let’s welcome Barbara Bickham
Managing Director @ WIFAX | CTO & Strategic Blockchain Advisor | The 10 Most Influential Women Leaders 2019
Q&A
#1 Give us a summary of your background and how you got into Blockchain & Digital Currency/Cryptocurrency?
- Computer Science, UC Berkeley
- Traditional Career path, Architecting, Designing Software Systems, programming, management.
- Started a company in 2001, TechGenii — Wireless/Digital Strategy. Helped bring Wireless to the US masses.
- 2007 & 2010 — Introduction to Angel Investment and Private Equity
- 2011 — I went back to coding root, and in 2014 won a Gartner Cool Vendor Award.
- 2015 — Became a CTO
- I was introduced to Bitcoin in 2012. When I first learned about thought it was not real. In 2015, I attempted to get back into the space as a developer after hearing Andreas Antonopoulos speak on “The Internet of Money”. In 2017, I got my first Blockchain client 2TransFair (payment and remittance on the Blockchain).
#2 Tell us about your current position, responsibilities and some day to day activities that you look forward to?
- Managing Director, Women’s Innovation Fund Accelerator — mainly concentrating on 3 things (1) Fundraising, (2) Accelerator Co-Horts and helping them fundraise and/or get clients and (3) Incubating our IP within the Fund
- Founder & CTO Trailyn Ventures — working with companies on their Blockchain Strategy.
Since I love what I do, some of the things I most enjoy is helping companies solve their problems.
#3 If you had to be critical about yourself, which part of your career would you like to improve on?
- I would work harder on my mindset earlier in my career. Overall I’ve had a wonderful career, since all experiences that I have had, both positive and negative (which are really just lessons), have led me to what I’m doing now.
#4 What advice do you have for children/youth (10–18 years) today especially young women about the Blockchain world? How do we nurture interest in this new technology?
- Kids just need to be exposed to technology.
- Learning Computer Science concepts (encryption, distributed networks, big data, quantum computing), and economic principles.
- Advice: can’t be afraid, study your craft, practice your craft, trust yourself and your intuition, don’t let anyone knock you off your path.
#5 What kind of skill set would you be looking at in job applicants?
- Can they code (can be checked via Github)
- Can they solve complex problems
- Can they communicate
- Can they work well in a team environment
- Do they know how to use the tools
#6 Blockchain to me is a forward-thinking force of snowballing Technology, but where I’m from a lot of people still see Bitcoin as a scam. How do we bridge the gap between technology and people that are skeptical about it?
- We need a practical use case that everyday people can use that has a simple interface (like the Starbucks App).
- A good example is CashApp.
#7 Can you please provide the details of an educational facility that is in your area or country if anyone reading this article desires to find out more about Blockchain.
- CryptoBlockchainPlug is the best place to find out more about Blockchain. They run cryptocurrency classes, blockchain classes, have a co-working space. They run CryptoKidsCamp, a 1 week camp for kids ages 5–18, whose theme is BEAST MODE. Beast Mode stands for: B-Blockchain, E-Evolution of Money, A-Artificial Intelligence, S-Security(Cyber), T-Technology
M-Mining, O-Online Gaming D-DApps E-Engineering
The next camp is DEC 30, 2019 — Jan 4 2020
#8 What is your current opinion on the Digital Assets, ( Cryptocurrency ) market and share with us your opinion on where you think this technology will take us?
- The cryptocurrency market needs to evolve some of the traditional banking and centralized thinking so that people who are not interested in trading it can use it.
- The technology will get us an efficiency, sovereignty (ownership over our digital self) and eventually new business models which we have not yet seen or created yet.
#9 What new exciting projects are you currently working on or planning?
- The Women’s Innovation Fund Accelerator (www.wifaxvc.com), is the most exciting and important project that I’m working on. It’s an impact fund that uses co-working and acceleration techniques for emerging tech companies, the companies must have a gender-balanced C-level and use sustainability techniques to monetize our fund. For any investors who are interested in learning more, they can contact us at: fund@wifaxvc.com
#10 What is your favorite Blockchain project and why?
The Aclyd Project. It is a P2P payment processing, security management, and identity verification platform designed for the alcohol industry. It is really logistics in reverse since supply chains are transparent and we know where the product comes from. What we want to know is what happens after we deliver it. We use blockchain tech to increase transparency and the speed of processing of payments, while also keeping alcohol out of the minors’ hands by verifying consumers’ identity. What adds to the appeal of Aclyd is its CEO Jessica Contreras’ fascinating story: she transformed her grandmother’s Mexican tequila operations into a US importer/wholesaler of alcohol, succeeding in a traditionally male-dominated business.
Thank you Barbara, your achievements speak book loads to those that have the will to be in charge of their own destiny. Great share on Crypto Blockchain Plug and the Crypto Kids Camp — BEAST Mode and a nice new angle on the supply chain from the reverse side, I think it’s brilliant to see where the product end’s up, very similar to Erin’s mention on Building Blocks ensuring food resources reaches the right person.
Fantastic contribution again by Erin and Barbara thank you very much!
from Morne Olivier LinkedIn
Writer | Marketer | Blockchain Consultant

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