Technology

Women in Blockchain – 3 female experts within the field of this rising technology

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The hype of blockchain is inescapable. Headlines all over the world are drumming up excitement surrounding its potential. For example, China’s state TV recently announced that the economic value of blockchain is “10 times more than that of the internet.”

Its prevalent use has successfully infiltrated the startup scene, whether as a component of an innovative idea, driving up the startup’s stock value, or quite simply as an ICO to raise funds, blockchain is everywhere in the startup scene. In fact, the only thing more prevalent in the startup industry is the male presence, with many drawing attention to the fact that the startup scene is very much a “boy’s club.” In light of this, we spoke with three women working within the startup, blockchain scene to understand more about this rising industry from their perspective.

Elizabeth White, CEO of The White Company

Elizabeth White, CEO of The White Company, a fine art and luxury goods dealer that facilitates purchases with cryptocurrencies for clients. White is the brains behind The White Company which was initially created to provide the opportunity for clients who held wealth in cryptocurrencies to purchase luxury goods without giving up their desire for privacy and anonymity.

Elizabeth White, CEO of The White Company

What first inspired you to work with blockchain technology?

I first discovered crypto in 2011 and bought some bitcoin as an experiment. I didn’t really revisit it much until 2016 except for staying current on news and continuing with various investments. My background is in the luxury automotive space having worked with brands such as Formula 1, LVMH and McLaren Automotive. I paired my real world expertise with the needs of blockchain and cryptocurrency holders, like myself, providing them the opportunity to spend their newfound wealth. As I continued to build my reputation among the early adopter crypto community, I created ways for people to use their cryptocurrency in more meaningful ways for both wealth building and more liquid transactions.

What began as a personal crypto investing hobby blossomed into a luxury goods concierge service in 2017, where I have been able to help the newly-minted “crypto wealthy” spend their fortunes. My first sale was a laptop in early 2017, but I quickly moved to larger, more expensive items such as Lamborghinis, Super Bowls Suites, vacations at 5 star resorts and contemporary art. Earlier this month I furthered my mission to bring usability and access to the crypto community by launching a USD-backed stablecoin, the White Standard, and the White Wallet platform, allowing users to easily “cash out” of crypto to fiat or use crypto in the real world without the volatility that comes with other digital coins.

What area of society or industry are you looking forward to seeing develop thanks to blockchain technology?

Usability of crypto is key for its mainstream adoption. We’ve built our stable coin on Stellar’s blockchain to harness its incredibly high transaction capabilities and lower costs, allowing us to scale at a faster rate. The White Standard and White Wallet provide crypto holders the ability to easily move in and out of other cryptocurrencies and even retain the value of their cryptocurrencies without any of the limits or fees that come with other exchanges and wallets. Our goal is to create a payments ecosystem of consumers and merchants alike who use our technology for faster transaction speeds and lower costs.

Do you have any advice for other women looking to get into blockchain?

Now is the time for blockchain to be a true equalizer. More and more women are looking to enter the space, and channels such as Reddit and Twitter are incredibly valuable places to meet like-minded individuals. I try to attend as many events, conferences and meetups as possible, always wanting to learn more, meet new people and suggest that to be an easy way to enter the space. It’s not easy to breakout in industries typically dominated by men, but understanding as much as you can about the subject and having the confidence to join a debate, while meeting people with different backgrounds and expertise are great steps any woman can take.

Mirta Jarnjak, CMO at SophiaTX

Mirta Jarnjak, CMO at SophiaTX

Mirta Jarnjak, CMO at SophiaTX, a blockchain platform and marketplace tailored for extending traditional applications like ERP, CRM and many others with robust collaborative and decentralized blockchain capabilities. It is Open Source and contains integration APIs to SAP and other enterprise applications.

What first inspired you to work with blockchain technology?

During the recent months, blockchain has gained lots of attention across the world. What was originally considered to be a pure cryptocurrency-related term or hype has now changed into a technology that may bring a technological revolution to the society. I have been interested in innovations through my entire carrier and when I met with my former coworker, now CEO of SophiaTX Jaroslav Kacina, and heard his business vision, I wanted to become a part of the SophiaTX team. After seeing several projects trying to find ways how to implement blockchain into their use case, this was the first time when I realised what a huge potential blockchain may have on various industries.

What area of society or industry are you looking forward to seeing develop thanks to blockchain technology?

As my background lies in business consulting, especially in change management and business transformations, I see a lot of potential in enterprise systems. Unsurprisingly, that’s what SophiaTX is specializing in. There is a long list of processes which companies deal with every day. I believe blockchain is a great solution for more effective and trustworthy system that will provide businesses with much-requested reliability and transparency. However, there are other great use cases as well, for example supply chain management, public or health records management etc. Basically, any environment where trust and security are crucial.

Do you have any advice for other women looking to get into blockchain?

Take your chance and get involved. Nowadays we have a great chance to be a part of something that can reshape the way we do business, or even the way we live our lives. Anyone who is looking for a new challenge and an opportunity to learn a bunch of incredible things, come and explore what blockchain has to offer. In the end, whatever technology or business area you are working in, it comes to the people around you, surround yourself with people who inspire you and let you develop and grow. Choose a working environment that lets you be the best version of yourself, professionally and privately. I am have been looking for and found exactly that. Furthermore, I am very happy to be working at the C-level position in parallel with being a mother of 3 under 3 – so anything is possible with the right organization.

Molly Spiers
Molly Spiers, Marketing Manager at CoinCorner

Molly Spiers, Marketing Manager at CoinCorner

Molly Spiers, Marketing Manager at CoinCorner, one of the UK’s leading and long-established cryptocurrency exchanges.

What first inspired you to work with blockchain technology?

I actually came into working with bitcoin/blockchain by chance. I was looking for a new job and I applied for a marketing role with CoinCorner.

I did a little bit of background research (as you do) on CoinCorner and the industry, but back in 2014 both were still very much in their infancy, so the amount of information was limited. I had very little knowledge about the crypto industry but I could see the potential and knew that it was something I wanted to be a part of.

What area of society or industry are you looking forward to seeing develop thanks to blockchain technology?

A decentralized Internet. If you (like me) are a fan of Silicon Valley (the TV show), then you will understand the potential for a decentralized Internet.

At the moment, big corporations have the ability to control access to and sensor data from us. They also run the risk of being attacked, which can result in innocent user data being stolen and abused. With a decentralized Internet, the users could take back control.

For those unfamiliar with how a decentralized Internet would work, it would rely on a peer-to-peer network built on a community of users. Their devices would be connected to the Internet and would host the Internet. Each website would be spread out across hundreds of nodes on different devices, removing the possibility of a single server going down e.g. a DDoS attack.

The exciting news is that a decentralized Internet is not just a vision – it’s early days still, but developers are already working on apps. I can’t wait to see how the future of the Internet plays out.

Do you have any advice for other women looking to get into blockchain?

Go for it! The crypto industry is truly fascinating. It’s an industry like no other – it’s fast-paced and exciting and no two days are ever the same.

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Sam Brake Guia
Sam is an energetic and passionate writer/blogger, always looking for the next adventure. In August 2016 he donated all of his possessions to charity, quit his job, and left the UK. Since then he has been on the road travelling through North, Central and South America searching for new adventures and amazing stories.