Happy International Women’s Day! Leaders Share Their Experiences In Crypto
Mama Bitcoin: Fishing For Female Empowerment With Crypto In West Africa. Happy International Women’s Day! Leaders Share Their Experiences In Crypto
A Senegalese woman is empowering her community with Bitcoin, blockchain and a Bitcoin bakery idea that became a crypto fishery.
Mama Bitcoin is the pseudonym claimed by a young Senegalese Bitcoiner called Bineta. Her business, Bleu comme la mer, was the first retailer in Senegal (and possibly West Africa) to accept crypto as payment. She’s also the first generation of her family to read and write proficiently.
The name Mama Bitcoin takes inspiration from the initials of her name, while the “mama” not only reflects her motherly instincts but serves to inspire other women in West Africa to get into blockchain technology and Bitcoin (BTC). She told Cointelegraph:
“There are very few women that are active in the blockchain space around the world and the situation is no different in Senegal. I wanted to shine a light on being a woman in the crypto industry.”
Bineta first stumbled across Bitcoin in early 2017 thanks to a curious combination of good intentions and incongruous circumstances. Bineta had dreams of opening her village’s first bakery, a small fishing village called Mbour 90 minutes south of Senegal‘s capital, Dakar. But, in order to deliver warm pains au chocolat to the community each morning, Bineta needed money.
It’s incredibly difficult to get a bank loan for a business idea in West Africa, and it’s even harder for women. Bineta had to search for alternative means. She tried a multi-level marketing scheme (MLM) before hearing from a friend in Cameroon that Bitcoin might fit the bill.
After copious research, Bineta‘s curiosity sparked. She quickly realized that Bitcoin was far more important for her vision than a potentially risky MLM scheme. Fast-forward to mid-2017 and Mama Bitcoin had spent hours and hours devouring Bitcoin-related content in French and in English, translating where possible.
She’d arrived at the conclusion that Bitcoin is more than just a “number go up” technology — it could build far more than a new village bakery:
“The more I learned, the more I realized we need this. This kind of money will help overcome so many issues. Not only is Bitcoin a tool for freedom, but the technology underpinning Bitcoin such as blockchain and decentralization will change Africa‘s development.”
The journey down the Bitcoin rabbit hole shifted Bineta‘s plans up a gear. The bakery (Bineta jokes it would have been called the Bitcoin Boulangerie) was dropped and a vision for Bitcoin in West Africa took its place.
As the progress and the price of Bitcoin rose during the 2017 bull run, her understanding of the protocol evolved.
“Bitcoin isn’t just a means of self-financing without using a bank, it’s a technological revolution and a way of unlocking growth and development in Senegal.”
Questions such as “why is it so big yet why do so few Senegalese people talk about it, why is the media avoiding this critical topic, why doesn’t Senegal use this tool and why are there so few women talking about it?” kept swirling in her head.
Bineta set to work, penning articles about Bitcoin on social media websites, reaching out to the Senegalese Bitcoin and crypto community and reevaluating her goals.
Drawing from past experience in business and given the proximity of Senegal to the Atlantic ocean, Bineta allowed herself to dream bigger. She conceived then established an ambitious seaside operation called Bleu comme la mer.
A fishing commerce platform, Bleu comme la mer connects fishermen directly with consumers, removing the middleman. It is the first business in Senegal to accept Bitcoin as payment. They also accept Ether (ETH) and Tezos (XTZ). In fact, Mama Bitcoin founded the Tezos community in West Africa.
Sardines, shrimp, octopus and squid — anything that can be fished from the Atlantic — are available to buy with cryptocurrency on the platform. Bineta adds:
“Payment with cryptocurrencies shows that, contrary to what many people think, Bitcoin is a peer-to-peer payment solution, not a speculative asset.”
The blockchain vision extends merely beyond cryptocurrency payments. Bineta has focused on making Bleu comme la Mer into a decentralized e-commerce platform where fishermen log their catches and consumers can see exactly what was fished and from where.
Not only does the decentralized platform aim to streamline the fishing industry, but it also strives to undermine overfishing, a harmful yet common activity in West Africa’s waters.
Nonetheless, “Senegalese and West Africans are quite skeptical about Bitcoin.” Getting more women into crypto, a passion project of hers, remains a long-standing challenge.
However, there is hope. At Dakar’s first in-person Bitcoin meetup in 2022, there were three women out of 20 participants. It’s a small but strong start, undoubtedly boosted by Mama Bitcoin‘s infectious energy and zest for cryptocurrency.
International Women’s Day 2022 Focuses On Bringing Women To Web3
Initiatives are launched on International Women’s Day 2022 to bring more women to Web3, but will this be enough in the long-run?
At its core, Web3 is about regaining control from centralized online experiences, allowing creators to interact within peer-to-peer (P2P) ecosystems focused on music, film, artwork, fashion and other popular topics. This has also given rise to nonfungible tokens (NFTs) and digital ecosystems often referred to as the Metaverse.
Given the broad range of interests Web3 touches upon, the sector is not only attracting typical “tech bros” but has also captured the attention of many females looking to further build and develop the decentralized web. The movement of women entering Web3 has especially become apparent now, as the sector is still in its infancy.
Sandy Carter, senior vice president of Unstoppable Domains — a blockchain domain name provider — told Cointelegraph that Web3 today presents women with a phenomenal opportunity to make an impact since the space is still being developed.
This isn’t always the case though, as Carter explained that before joining Unstoppable Domains in Dec. 2021, she was one of the few women executives at Amazon Web Services:
“As I transitioned to Unstoppable Domains, I was disappointed in Web2 and how much lack of diversity I found. Oftentimes 20% of the room would be women at conferences. It has also been shown that less than 5% of entrepreneurs in the Web2 space are female. This was mind blowing.”
International Women’s Day 2022
In order to help bring more women to the Web3 space, Carter said that Unstoppable Domains has partnered with 66 leading Web2 and Web3 companies to form a new initiative called “Unstoppable Women of Web3” — a diversity and education group focused on training the next generation of talent for the Web3 era.
Carter said that organizations supporting this initiative include major corporations like Google Cloud and Deloitte, along with blockchain companies such as Decentraland, BlockFi and Binance.US. “All partners have signed a pledge to feature work created by historically marginalized groups in at least half of all materials used for Web3 education,” said Carter.
While Carter believes that the Web3 space is starting to see an influx of women, she still thinks that the sector is often misunderstood and, therefore, intimidating. “I do think there is potential for women to enter Web3, but education is still required. For instance, if women look at a Web3 job offering and only meet certain criteria they may not apply. So, we are trying to break this down,” she said.
As a starting point, Carter noted that Unstoppable Women of Web3 will host a 24-hour Twitter spaces discussion on March 8 — International Women’s Day — to discuss Web3 related topics. She also noted that Unstoppable Domains will publish a list of 100 influential women in Web3 on International Women’s Day to demonstrate innovation in this new sector.
NFT marketplace Rarible is also hoping to drive women’s participation in Web3 by promoting female-empowerment projects during International Women’s Day this year. Masha Vyazemskaya, head of communications at Rarible, told Cointelegraph that while nonfungible tokens have created incredible opportunities for creatives, only 16% of NFT creators are women.
“Even lesser known is the generation of female artists that have been involved in the NFT space since the early days, building the foundation of what the industry is today,” said Vyazemskaya.
Given this, Vyazemskaya explained that Rarible is placing a heavy focus on female-led NFT projects on March 8 to ensure that diverse voices are recognized. For example, Vyazemskaya explained that Rarible will be highlighting one of its first female NFT artists, Lirona.
According to Vyazemskaya, Lirona started from scratch in the NFT space and has since launched her widely successful “#boiz” collection on the Rarible marketplace, which has garnered over $700,000 in sales. Vyazemskaya said:
“What’s amazing is that Lirona started on Rarible in early 2021 with her collections selling for 0.1 ETH and now they are selling for 20-30 ETH. This represents a very important journey for us, demonstrating how we work closely with artists and support their needs.”
Vyazemskaya added that Rarible will be launching “Metafemale” on March 8, which is an NFT collection that serves as a community for female creators and entrepreneurs in the space. “This project will also provide access to a private members club for female creatives in the metaverse,” she said.
Vyazemskaya further remarked that Rarible will be promoting “Women Rise” this year, which is an NFT series supporting women activists, artists, scientists and coders.
Initiatives Are Needed
While initiatives to drive female participation in Web3 are notable, it’s important to point out that Web3 may be catering to a more diverse audience in general. For instance, Tegan Kline, co-founder of Edge and Node — the development team behind open-source indexing protocol The Graph — told Cointelegraph that NFTs are a use case within the Web3 umbrella that has reached the masses.
“With this, it feels like many more women have gotten involved in the space. For that I am grateful, as it has been a huge need,” she said.
In addition to NFTs, Megan Kaspar, co-founder and managing director of Magnetic — a crypto and blockchain investment and incubation firm — told Cointelegraph that since 2013, she has been asked, “How do we bring more women into tech, crypto and blockchain?”
Kaspar explained that her answer applies to Web3, noting that more women will participate when dominant female verticals such as those related to beauty and fashion start to develop. “That’s happening now and it’s a contributing factor to all of the new female Web3 entrants over the past year and a half. The merge of fashion and blockchain has made this possible and that motivates me to continue contributing to the excitement emerging in metafashion,” remarked Kaspar.
While more women are taking an interest in Web3, Kline believes that awareness needs to be raised to ensure that women continue to enter the Web3 space early on:
“There is such a huge opportunity right now within Web3, it is similar to the early days of Wall Street or the early days of the tech boom. So many women were left out of both of those movements and I do not want to see the same in Web3. Now is the opportunity to get into a revolutionary movement that will likely change the world ahead of the masses.”
With this in mind, Kline said that she believes talks, panels and events are all important everyday initiatives to ensure that more women enter Web3. Echoing Kline, Jennifer Kim, founder and chief operating officer of SEUNwater — an Internet of Things water monitoring platform — told Cointelegraph that although Web3 may cater more to women, there still isn’t enough participation to see real traction.
In order to change this, Kim explained that she manages HBAR Foundation’s “Female Founders Fund.” According to Kim, The Female Founders Fund is a new program where qualified teams, led by women, may be eligible for funding, mentorship and guidance by the HBAR Foundation, which is Hedera Hashgraph’s grant program.
“I hope that I can help women who want an extremely rewarding and fulfilling career in Web3. My passion for this industry is fierce and I want to share it,” mentioned Kim.
Connecting with other female thought leaders is indeed a critical element for growth within a new technology sector. Sonal Patel, operations lead at ConsenSys Mesh Baseline Research and Development — a unit developing technologies and contributions to the Ethereum Foundation — touched upon this.
She told Cointelegraph that her interest in Web3 began when she invested in crypto for the first time. Following this, Patel explained that she wanted to learn more about Web3 in her spare time, which led her to contribute to projects focused on decentralizing the web. In turn, Patel connected with some inspiring women like Eva Beylin, director of the Graph Foundation. Patel elaborated:
“The rise of decentralized communities, protocols and practices creates a strong need for operational integrity since the work is usually voluntary for those involved. Because of this, I’ve been formalizing and optimizing processes in the open source Baseline Protocol community to ultimately share and apply these innovative practices to contribute to the success and longevity of Web3 projects across the ecosystem.”
Although Web3 seems to be a promising new sector for diversity, some women already immersed in Web3 believe that a challenge moving forward is ensuring that women’s voices are continually heard.
To put this in perspective, Olive Allen — an NFT artist who recently burned her Russian passport in hopes of raising awareness and funds for the military conflict in Ukraine — told Cointelegraph that she entered Web3 in 2018. According to Allen, she created one of the very first NFT drops in 2019 known as “13 Dreadful and Disappointing Items.”
While notable, Allen explained that many men took credit for this project shortly after it was launched. “Unfortunately, women have always been pretty much cut out from the history of any field be it science, technology or the arts. And, I feel it’s happening now,” she remarked.
As such, Allen believes that women’s voices often get lost in what she refers to as “the sea of crypto bro Twitter/Discord talk.” She added, “Don’t believe me? Tune in to the most popular crypto Twitter Spaces. I feel like ‘community’ doesn’t exist for women.”
Fortunately, understanding challenges early on may help improve Web3 as it matures. To this point, Carter noted that a main goal of Unstoppable Women of Web3 is to create ongoing community building. “Knowledge will be shared through Twitter Spaces, Discord, Telegram and in-person events, starting with a live event at South By Southwest 2022,” she said.
Denelle Dixon, chief executive officer and executive director of the Stellar Development Foundation (SDF) — a non-profit organization meant to support the growth of the Stellar Network — further told Cointelegraph that SDF is working with universities and educational institutions to organize NFT hackathons for women and nonbinary learners.
“Inclusive education and community building are how we help bring more women and a broader group of users into Web3 that don’t see themselves reflected in the space nearly enough,” she said.
Women’s Day In The Metaverse, Potion Unlock NFT Auction, And Papa John’s Brand New Bag
To celebrate International Women’s Day, HeyLayer on Stacks is hosting an event in the Metaverse. Meanwhile, PotionLabs is auctioning off NFTs of its code, and Papa John’s has put cheese in its NFTs.
Nonfungible token platform HeyLayer has partnered with the Stacks Foundation to host an event in the vSpace metaverse to celebrate International Women’s Day.
The “HerNFT” event will feature the work of more than 30 female NFT artists, including Goldy Succi, Mother Pop, Kaylee Hawley and others. Their work on the Stacks blockchain will be on display in a virtual gallery curated specifically for this event, which started on Tuesday.
Participants of the event will be able to purchase NFTs on the HeyLayer Marketplace. 2.5% of sales from the event will be donated to the Just Love Film Academy charitable organization for Ibero-American female filmmakers.
HeyLayer co-founder and CEO Alla Koretsky said, “We created HerNFT as a way to tap into more feminine energy and celebrate and showcase more female points of view within NFT art.” She added:
“These women all have something that they want to say and when it comes to our theme of #BreaktheBias, art can be a very powerful medium of getting that message across.”
The Sandbox Partners With World Of Women To Drive Female Education And Mentorship
Together, they are launching the WoW Foundation and additional educational initiatives, as announced on International Women’s Day.
The Sandbox (SAND) metaverse announced its partnership with nonfungible token (NFT) community World of Women, or WoW, to launch the WoW Foundation. A $25 million grant from The Sandbox will help fund the foundation over the next five years. The mission of the WoW foundation is to amplify female representation in the NFT and metaverse spaces.
As a collection of “diverse and powerful” women sold on the Ethereum blockchain, World of Women shared with Cointelegraph that they aim to lower the barrier to entry for women in Web3.
“Our mission is to highlight and lift up as many female and underserved creators as possible, making the metaverse not just a landscape designed by men but rather one enriched with as much diversity of thought as possible.”
This mission has four main pillars: uplift the ecosystem by supporting artists and funding projects; educate newcomers; give more visibility to women-centric causes and give back to charities. Via The Sandbox’s grant, it also plans to support creators’ journeys in Web3, from mentoring and funding their first mint to their first sale.
World of Women and The Sandbox intend to work together to create a series of interactive experiences via the WoW Foundation within the metaverse.
Among these projects are the WoW Museum on a 2×2 Sandbox LAND, the WoW University, which provides free online lessons on how to get started with Web3, and The WoW Academy, which will serve as a mentoring and funding incubator.
Recently, The Sandbox acquired the most expensive WoW NFT at the time of purchase for 200 ETH, named Aurora, and made her the new “goddess” of The Sandbox. Yam Karkai, co-founder and artist of World of Women, revealed that WoW will be voxelizing all 10,000 NFTs “so that our entire community can join us” in the metaverse.
— Sebastien (@borgetsebastien) March 3, 2022
These interoperable avatars will be accessible within The Sandbox’s “Alpha, Season 2.
Additionally, WoW may be gearing up for film, TV and music opportunities, thanks to tech investor Guy Oseary who recently added World of Women to his NFT portfolio. WoW NFT holders have complete ownership and intellectual property rights over their assets, similar to the Bored Ape Yacht Club model.
Both The Sandbox and World of Women currently rank within the top 20 collections of all time in terms of trading volume on OpenSea. At the time of publication, WoW had traded 55,300 ETH, or $142.7 million, while The SandBox traded a volume of 156,200 ETH, or $403.2 million.
If The Glass Slipper Doesn’t Fit, Smash It: Unraveling The Myth Of Gender Equality In Crypto
The nature of crypto as a global and distributed industry must provide more opportunities for all possible diversified groups of people.
Crypto’s reputation as a boys’ club does not come as a surprise: It sits at the very intersection of tech and finance, perpetuating the legacy of “bro culture” that is coded into Silicon Valley and Wall Street. It was only in 2020 when Citigroup bank appointed the company’s first female CEO, Jane Fraser.
This was a milestone in its 200-year long history and in the history of Wall Street itself, having the first woman lead one of the largest Wall Street banks.
Meanwhile, cases of sexual harassment run rampant across pioneering tech firms, as seen in the case of Riot Games, for example, where it has been implied that women simply do not belong. Just four years ago, the 2018 North American Bitcoin Conference culminated in a notorious networking event held at a Miami strip club.
Though the organizers later expressed regret at their choice of venue, the story is only one of many incidents in crypto’s history of diminishing the role of women in the industry.
The perception of crypto’s proclivity toward men clearly needs rehabilitation, and the business case for this is evident. An inclusive crypto ecosystem not only broadens its appeal to a wider audience but, more importantly, helps crypto move into the mainstream.
While there is no shortage of interest or talents in crypto among women, the most outspoken crypto traders and influencers speak to a male audience simply because these influencers are men themselves. In fact, CryptoHead’s 2021 list of the world’s top 50 crypto figures features an all-male ensemble — a symptom of serious gender underrepresentation via the absence of women entirely.
Numbers Speak Louder Than Words
Women still suffer from the problematic legacy of the male-dominated finance ecosystem, be it existing barriers to personal finance or in ascending the rungs of the corporate ladder. On Forbes’ 2021 Billionaires List, all 12 crypto tycoons are men.
While this could be attributed to first-mover advantage, Amber Baldet, former blockchain program lead at JP Morgan Chase, believes that women are just not being publicly recognized for their industry-shaping work because of skewed media coverage.
At the same time, female-led projects are seeing less support across the board. 2021 marked the second consecutive year where the percentage of women’s VC funding shrank despite total funding levels hitting record highs.
The reality is that crypto is still a nascent industry, so everything, including HR processes, is new, while the lack of diversity further deepens the industry’s unawareness of necessary workplace policies that best support women.
As the discourse on gender disparity in crypto continues to gather steam, the solution must go beyond hitting diversity quotas for the sake of it and instead focus on ensuring that women have equal opportunities and a conducive work environment, starting from the hiring stage.
Why Empowerment At Every Stage Is Imperative
When key women executives are appointed because of their professional expertise and industry track record, it is undoubtedly an encouraging sign that the crypto industry’s attempts to narrow the gender gap are genuine. It is high time that the industry recognizes and rewards female talents instead of lapsing into lazy platitudes and cheap wins where we celebrate diversity for diversity’s sake.
Women are stepping up to a variety of leadership and entrepreneurial roles in the field, and more can be done to break the stigma of women in crypto being locked into influencer stereotypes.
Representation begets representation — exposure to female figures in the industry will go a long way to encourage young women who are looking to get into the industry. But for women to be supported at every stage of their crypto careers, it is important to consider broad deep-seated gender inequalities that limit their capacities to succeed at work.
Women globally have been found to spend two to ten times more time on unpaid care work than men. This could include housework and caregiving duties focused on children, the sick and the elderly — areas that many companies underestimate.
Empowering women with more flexibility and control over their working hours, for one, is only a small step for success and the nature of crypto as a global and distributed industry certainly facilitates this flexibility.
The key to success in the crypto industry, however, lies in realizing crypto’s promise as a social and financial instrument for freedom. It has the potential to redefine the financial industry both economically and culturally, as it is an avenue for financial freedom that can do away with age-old power structures of the traditional financial industry.
Until there are more initiatives that champion crypto’s underlying philosophy as well as more women and many more communities represented in the field, it is fair to say that it is men who “simply don’t get it.”
Leveling The Playing Field For Financial Inclusion
Crypto has a lot to offer to the financially underserved and, more often than not, women are more disadvantaged than men in this arena. Women make up 55 percent of the world’s unbanked population — this means almost one billion women globally have little to no financial security, and this is a problem that crypto can help to address.
Naturally, the anonymity that blockchain technology affords and the autonomy that decentralized finance (DeFi) offers to make crypto an enticing solution to the lack of financial access so many women face. Want to make a living for yourself but societal constraints limit financial autonomy even after you are paid?
Crypto can empower you to get paid in Bitcoin (BTC) like how activists Fereshteh Forough and Roya Mahboob helped hundreds of Afghan girls, who previously had little control over their finances, to reclaim their agency. Want to set up a business? Accept payment in crypto — no husband needed.
Decentralized And Devoid Of Discrimination
All technologies are inherently neutral by design and this also applies to blockchain. It does not care about your age, gender, race or socioeconomic status. The prospect of overcoming systemic challenges and crypto’s offer of greater financial freedom and independence could not be more welcome and apt.
In fact, things are looking up with 2021 being a defining year for women investors. From crypto trading app Robinhood reporting a 369% increase in its female users, to Cardify reporting that women made up more than 15% of total cryptocurrency deposits — a marked 5.6 percent increase from their study the year before — it’s apparent that women are increasingly cognizant of crypto’s potential as a tool for financial empowerment.
Everyone stands to gain when women have financial freedom among disadvantaged communities or in boardrooms in need of more diversity.
Ultimately, whether it is encouraging women to regard crypto as a valid pathway to financial empowerment or championing gender diversity in the crypto industry, the road ahead is still a long one as the industry collectively addresses the gender gap and prove that crypto is integral to the future that everyone has been waiting for.
Happy International Women’s Day! Leaders Share Their Experiences In Crypto
Could crypto pioneer inclusive organizations for women in technology? Women around the world discuss the good, the bad and what must be done.
The International Women’s Day theme this year is #BreakTheBias, so Cointelegraph spoke to 10 leaders in the blockchain industry about their experiences as women in Web3 and gathered their advice. From discussing barriers to entry to nonfungible tokens (NFTs) and role models, the following comments are from women in the United States, Latin America, Europe and Asia.
When asked what current barriers to entry are faced by women considering careers in crypto, Dr. Cagla Gul Senkardes, co-founder of the Istanbul Blockchain Women Association and lecturer at Istanbul Bilgi University, flatly answered “bias.”
Speaking from a more academic point of view, Senkardes sees gender bias and culturally constructed ideologies in the context of cryptofeminism, the concept of having to choose between adhering to customary expectations for women and carving out novel paths within crypto, doing none or both.
“The masculine construction of technical language and symbolism carries inclusiveness to a point far away from competence and skills. From this point of view, it would be correct to discuss the cryptofeminism debate against a male-dominated culture in crypto.”
Jackie Rose, head of institutional business development at Blockchain.com shared a similar sentiment about confusing “lingo” or buzz words like “meme coin” or “Web3” that sound aptly cryptic and potentially detract someone from further investigation.
Hailing from a traditional finance background, Rose found crypto to be a more “welcoming environment” where her female colleagues became “invaluable resources.”
“In the U.S., where most people have access to traditional banking, crypto is often viewed as more akin to gambling than to investing. The space can also feel pretty intimidating from the outside looking in, things move so quickly, a lot of the lingo is new and confusing, and the way it’s portrayed in the media is overwhelmingly negative.”
A more common answer to possible barriers among the women interviewed was a lack of finance and tech education, specialized skills or the sometimes requisite years of experience. Daniela Henao Moreno, chief operating officer of Defy Trends, a Miami-based women-led startup, pointed out that there is even a lack of access to job postings because many jobs in crypto tend to be made known via Telegram or word of mouth, rather than posted to popular job boards and employment sites.
Aurore Galves, co-founder of Leonod, a French development agency specializing in cryptography and distributed technologies, brought up another matter: representation.
“Women, when they are present, serve more as a showcase to reassure investors and to increase the confidence index of a project. It is more complex to legitimately assert yourself as an expert in this environment.”
Galves admitted that women are increasingly more present at events and participating in more projects, but that both men and women “must have a voice” for the blockchain world to “find balance.” When asked if she believed if NFTs can be seen as a gateway for women to get into crypto, Galves answered that the NFT space is a “phenomenon shrouded by illusion,” warning that “discovering crypto-assets through NFTs could be misleading” but nonetheless could “become a source of innovation and value creation.”
Someone with a more optimistic outlook on NFTs is Wengie, musician and founder of the Nyan Heroes NFT game, who has “only had a positive experience thus far” as a woman developing a blockchain game.
“A lot of projects are founded on culture, art and creativity and it’s a space for creators to be rewarded for their work. I believe more and more women are taking control of their own financial education and learning about crypto from an investment standpoint too.”
Wengie added that as more women become well-versed in NFTs and other crypto native concepts, women will likely be taken more seriously and less likely to be objectified. Similarly, Bineta Ngom, a Senegal-based blockchain project manager also known as Mama Bitcoin on social media, considered NFTs to be investment vehicle. Ngom founded a Bitcoin fishing business because “she had nothing to lose.”
“NFTs could be of interest to women, especially [those] in Africa, who are very active and always looking for ways to make their money grow. Often they invest in tontines, so why not NFTs? And meanwhile, they will learn about the world of crypto.
Cointelegraph also spoke with Fiorella Scantamburlo in Argentina, communications manager of POAP, the Proof of Attendance Protocol that mints digital badges representing event attendance as NFTs. Scantamburlo shared that since working at POAP, she “totally” believes in the power of NFTs, stating that they are a gateway for artists, content creators and collectors to enter the blockchain ecosystem.
She also revealed that an NFT project she particularly likes is Bored Ape Yacht Club, because “they achieved a community that feels like home.”
When asked what message she would like to share about her personal journey in blockchain, Scantamburlo answered that crypto gives everyone the possibility to “be the architects of our own future” and not have to wait for others “to write our story for us.”
According to Jassy Jackson, vice president of operations at WAX, who is “grateful” to work in crypto, a space that she admitted “is a boy’s club,” is also going to “change the world on so many levels, from improving our planet to shifting financial services and elevating gameplay experiences.” She also encourages others to identify the women in our lives who support and empower those around them.
“It’s important to understand the power and value of feminine energy in workplace culture and the yin-yang balance they bring to every organization, and the blockchain, itself. Women must be acknowledged, celebrated and recognized for the value they bring.”
Dawn Newton, chief operating office and co-founder of digital identity provider Netki, did just that when asked what message she would like to share about her personal experience and shouted out to a woman who she admires.
Newton credited Connie Galippi, founder and executive director at the first Bitcoin nonprofit called BitGive, with helping her “truly understand how Bitcoin could empower folks and create meaningful change in the world.”
After hearing Galippi speak about a fundraising project for a girl’s school in Africa in 2014, Newton was inspired to join BitGive’s board of directors and provide advice on creating the blockchain-based donation tracking system GiveTrack.
Newton also gave some advice to women looking to get started in crypto, recommending that they get involved with the community whether on social media or at local meetups and stating that networking is “the key to breaking into this sector!”
Women-Led Startup To Help Consumers Monetize Their Data Through Blockchain
Greta Menzies, the co-founder of Chain Collective, says that blockchain can change the “economics of data between consumers and businesses.”
Web2 lets big tech companies collect consumer data without paying the people behind the statistics. However, the advent of Web3 technologies may change the way data is collected and let consumers get compensation for the information they share, according to the founders of Chain Collective, a Web3 startup that enables consumers to monetize their data using blockchain.
Skills acquired from working in business intelligence and machine learning coupled with a passion for Web3 technologies led Jenny Walker and Greta Menzies to create a data marketplace. With blockchain technology, the all-female team aims to help consumers monetize their data and inspire women to enter the Web3 space.
Greta Menzies, co-founder of Chain Collective, told Cointelegraph that at the moment, consumer data is being “collected, bought, sold and profited from.” However, the consumers who are the true owners of the data have no way to claim their share from “the value of their data.”
“Our initiative empowers consumers with a data exchange marketplace allowing a fair and equitable exchange of the economics of data between consumers and businesses.”
According to Menzies, companies have been crafting data policies that are very complex and difficult to understand for everyday consumers. The co-founder believes that these are designed to confuse consumers about how their data are being used.
“We believe consumers and businesses alike would benefit from a cross-industry standardized framework and consumer-friendly language to unlock transparency and build trust between both parties around data sharing.”
Using blockchain, the team will make digital certificates that will be available on their nonfungible token (NFT) marketplace. These certificates will represent consumer data assets and will be exchanged through a smart contract. Relying on the inherent security and transparency provided by blockchain and enhancements offered by machine learning, the team aims to provide “dynamic and equitable pricing models.”
Apart from these, Menzies also recognizes a need to create space and opportunities for women in crypto. The data executive says that they are using this chance also to inspire women, like their own daughters, and show them that they can do this themselves.
“We believe it is important to create spaces and opportunities for women. We are digging deep and are so appreciative when people reach out and provide those opportunities to us and we are trying to create that for other women too.”
Being based in Australia, the co-founder also shared her thoughts on blockchain adoption within the region. While regulators in Australia try to push crypto adoption, Menzies believes that “the barrier to entry remains too high for more widespread adoption” in the region.