A recent study by eToro showed that women constitute only 15% of the crypto community. At the same time, 70-80% of the overall transactions in the economy involve women. But why most of the important figures in the cryptocurrency industry are still men, ladies are not only entering this market but often play key roles in it.
The team of BDCenter has drawn up a list of five women who have become true icons of crypto, helping to popularize digital assets and sometimes even revolutionizing the DLT technology itself.
Joyce Kim, Stellar
Stellar executive director and SparkChain Capital managing partner Joyce Kim started out as a lawyer at Sherman & Sterling and Wilmer Hale, while also working for the NGOs Sanctuary for Families and Innocence.
She graduated from Cornell University, followed by graduate studies at Harvard. While still a student, Joyce noted that many of her fellow alumni had trouble sending money back to their families because the existing payment transfer systems were too costly or unwieldy. In blockchain, she saw an opportunity to remove the middle man from payments and thus help reduce the inequality among people.
In 2014, Joyce joined the founder of Ripple Jed McCaleb to create Stellar – a new blockchain designed to make cross-border transactions cheaper and faster, regardless of their size. A year later, they launched the not-for-profit Stellar Foundation. Since then, the Stellar blockchain has already processed over 450 million transactions.
Today, Stellar successfully collaborates with large banks and state institutions, helping them launch their own crypto projects. On top of that, Joyce Kim acts as an advisor for numerous crypto startups and finds time for charity, helping immigrant families and victims of domestic violence.
Elizabeth Rossiello, BitPesa
The founder of BitPesa is much more than a fintech businessperson. Elizabeth Rossiello has managed to transform the payment transfer industry and make an impact across all of Africa. She built a digital payment platform aimed at sub-Saharan Africa, cutting the cost of remittances by 75% and reducing the processing time from 12 days to 2 hours.
Apart from exceptional business achievements, Elizabeth Rossiello can boast first-class education. She has a BA in political science from the New York State University in Buffalo, as well as a MA in international business and finance from the Columbia School of International and Public Affairs.
Her career started with an internship at the German Bundestag and then at the West Virginia Economic Development (WVED). Later, she worked for LECG, Credit Suisse, Robert Bosch and Goldman Sachs, mostly as an analyst.
At present, Rossiello continues to run BitPesa, as well as acts as an advisor for Acumen Fund.
Catheryne Nicholson, BlockCypher
A former US naval officer, Catheryne Nicholson now runs one of the largest dApp development platforms. BlockCypher was founded in 2014, and just a year later Nicholson managed to raise $3.1 million from investors like Tim Draper and Yahoo founder Jerry Young.
Nicholson was one of the first to offer a user-friendly transaction interface coupled with an innovative API and scaling tools. This allows BlockCypher to become the leading provider of web services for the Bitcoin ecosystem. In 2016, the platform added support for the Ethereum blockchain.
Now BlockCypher Web Services processes millions of transactions every day for such leading companies as Coinbase, Xapo, Purse, ABRA, BitPesa, and Deloitte.
Like most successful women, Catheryne Nicholson combines growing her business with socially valuable work, helping girls enter the so-called STEM fields (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math).
Connie Gallippie, BitGive
Connie, the sister of BitPay founder Tony Gallippi, carried out a veritable revolution in charity donations. Her fund BitGive is the first registered NGO to use cryptocurrency, collecting donations for medical and environmental purposes.
Connie Gallippi holds a BS in natural resource management from Virginia Tech. She began her career working as an analyst for North State Resources and later worked for EDAW, Sacramento Tree Foundation, Conservation Strategy Group, and the California Urban Forests Council.
In 2016, Connie announced the launch of GiveTrack – a multipurpose platform for blockchain-based donations. The service ensured complete campaign transparency, allowing users to track all the transactions, from the point of donation to the point of use.
By using innovative technology, BitGive’s founder managed to rebuild trust in NGOs. Today the platform works with such major organizations as Save the Children, The Water Project, Medic Mobile, etc.
In spite of her outstanding success in business, Gallippi is most proud of having funded a water well for the Shisango Girls School in Kenya. The well transformed a lot of lives and keeps providing precious water for the whole community.
Amber Baldet, JP Morgan Chase
Amber Boldit managed to make an impact in not just one, but two industries: finance and technology. She is best known as the former blockchain lead at JP Morgan.
It is truly inspiring that this outspoken, pink-haired young woman held such a high position at one of the world’s largest investment banks. Amber’s positive attitude embodies the crypto community’s enthusiasm for blockchain, as well as the ideals of transparency and decentralization, which go against the traditional principles of the financial industry.
Baldit is convinced that any team working on a large project should be diverse in terms of gender, age, and race. Only by looking at the situation at various angles, one can avoid errors and create truly valuable products.
Amber helped JP Morgan Chase realize its strategic vision to become the new leader of the global digital financial system. The first step in this direction was the 2019 launch of JPM Coin.
The gender gap in the crypto industry remains huge, but serious change is afoot. We can expect more and more women to play important roles in the further evolution of crypto.
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