There is a perception, held by some, that the crypto sphere is populated almost exclusively by men. While men certainly make up the majority of crypto investors, the absence of women is certainly a misconception. Not only that, the proportion of women in crypto is growing.
Currently, women make up only 26% of crypto holders in the US. While that is certainly a minority, it is by no means an inconsequential amount. On top of that, a much larger proportion of newer investors could potentially be women. Of the 63% of adults who are “curious” about getting involved in cryptocurrency (these are individuals who are interested but want to learn more first), a massive 53% of them are women. This represents a huge shift and indicates the new demographic getting involved in crypto. The high percentage of women interested in the blockchain world is a great indication of how mainstream crypto is becoming.
But women being involved in crypto is not just limited to holders of crypto assets. There are many women entrepreneurs making a name for themselves and pushing the blockchain world forward.
The last big crypto cycle in 2017 saw a small few women make a large mark in the crypto sphere. Joyce Kim, for example, having co-founded Stellar left to found SparkChain capital, a blockchain investment firm in 2017. Galia Benartzi co-founded Bancor, a protocol for smart tokens, the same year. Bancor is still considered one of the most successful token sales of all time. Elizabeth Stark taught p2p technology at Yale and Stanford and went on to co-found Lightening Labs.
Perhaps most influential of all is Kathleen Breitman,CEO of Dynamic Ledger Solutions. Dynamic Ledger Solutions is the company that created the first version of Tezos. Currently, the 35th largest cryptocurrency by market cap, Tezos was the 3rd largest ICO ever when it launched in 2017. Tezos is also one of the most democratic blockchains in the cryptocurrency sector. Tezos is based on an on-chain governance model, meaning users can participate in the decision making ecosystem.
The idea of on-chain governance is one that is very commonplace in many of the projects that are being started this year. On-chain governance represents a step further for blockchain. It allows blockchain technology to evolve past simple crypto-currencies into something else. Currently, we are seeing projects like Spl.yt, AOIZ and Mozik, create decentralized platforms to challenge Amazon, YouTube and Spotify respectively.
On-chain governance allows these projects to challenge genuinely centralized institutions and become disruptors in a space previously protected from decentralization. Bitcoin is a revolutionary way to decentralize wealth but for blockchain to move into other areas, and not sacrifice decentralization, on-chain governance is required. Many of the projects utilizing this technology owe their existence to Kathleen Breitman and the role she played in founding Tezos.
The Next Generation
We are seeing a massive increase in the number of women involved in founding projects this cycle. Because of the volatility of crypto it is, of course, hard to say which projects will fulfill their potential. However, as some of these projects come to fruition, we may well see many more women who have had a similar influence on crypto as Breitman.
The aforementioned, Spl.yt has the potential to be a genuinely revolutionary project. It utilizes NFTs to create a global blockchain inventory for retailers. Each NFT corresponds to a real world item allowing them to be traded on any store built with Spl.yt’s framework. The potential for this project to change the way we view e-commerce is massive. It offers users a way to take profits out of the hands of centralized bodies like Amazon and keep them in the market for retailers or customers to benefit from. If this project can fulfill its potential, then founder, CMO and CPO, Lindsey Mallon will have created one of the most genuinely disruptive blockchain projects of all time.
With UniSwap fees the way they currently are, it’s no wonder that the CSPR token had one of the most lucrative launches of any project this year. The token reached a staggering $28 in some places, a 2,300% increase on its private sale price of $0.03. CSPR is the native token of the Casper Network, a proof-of-stake blockchain that offers genuinely scalability and decentralization. Medha Parlikar, CTO of Caspar Labs was an integral part of this project and will hope to see it grow to support many different projects in the same way Ethereum is currently doing.
NFTify was founded by Nikita Ngan Nguyen, graduate of Hanoi Foreign Trade University, and is aiming to position itself as the “Shopify of NFTs”. NFTs have been an absolute revelation during this year’s bull market, attracting everyone from Tom Brady to The Undertaker. NFTify offers small businesses an easy way to create a store to sell NFTs. NFTify also features AI detection for copyright violation, something small businesses would not have the resources to pursue themselves. With NFTify, small businesses have a simple and affordable way to create and distribute their own NFTs. This gives them a chance to truly engage and benefit from the lucrative world of NFTs.
With more and more women entering the crypto sphere as investors, it only follows that this cycle we’re seeing many more women entrepreneurs. This feels like just the beginning though. As blockchain becomes mass adopted the demographic engaged in it will, of course, become more inclusive. In a few years time, the projects being founded now, and generation of female crypto entrepreneurs founding them could well be seen as trailblazers.