This year, new research showed that there’s still a long way to go before there is gender parity in the crypto and blockchain space. WEF’s April Global Gender Gap Report 2021 found that it will take close to 135.6 years to close the gender gap due to the COVID-19 pandemic.However, that hasn’t stopped these women who used blockchain technology and cryptocurrency to tackle a whole range of social issues ranging from girls’ education in developing countries to the wealth gap in black communities in the United States. In no particular order, these 10 women are changing the world using crypto one block at a time.Tavonia EvansTavonia Evans is the founder and lead engineer of GUAP Coin, which she created to help close the wealth gap and support black-owned businesses in the United States. Despite being hospitalized with COVID-19 and facing sweeping funding cuts, Evans says that her company accomplished more this year than ever before.“We’ve onboarded hundreds of women of color into the Masternode space, an area of crypto that is largely male-dominated,” she told Cointelegraph. 70% of GUAP nodes are owned by women of color.“We’ve sparked awareness about crypto among a population with less access and education in crypto and finance — and we continue to do so.”This year, the company onboarded its first brick-and-mortar merchants. It also launched the xGUAP wrapper on Binance Smart Chain.Lisa WadeLisa Wade was the 2021 recipient of Blockchain Australia’s Gender and Diversity Leader of the Year award, which recognized her work advocating for women and LGBTIQ+ people in the blockchain industry.She is the founder of NEOMI, an investing ecosystem that connects charity entrepreneurs looking to raise capital with investors looking for authentic impact investments. Wade explained to Cointelegraph:“NEOMI has a lens on our theory of change, which supports LGBTI and female entrepreneurs.”Wade is also the chair of NAB Pride and pioneered the Australian bank’s “Rainbow Women” initiative, which gives LGBTIQ+ women a space to speak about issues that are holding them back on career development in the finance sector.She also continued her work in environmental activism, co-creating a blockchain initiative called Project Carbon which tokenizes voluntary carbon credits.Olayinka OdeniranOlayinka Odeniran is the founder and Chairwoman of Black Women Blockchain Council (BWBC), which is working toward increasing the number of black female blockchain developers to half a million by 2030. Over the past year, the BWBC partnered with blockchain software company Consensys to help African people throughout the globe get involved in crypto. She also launched a room on social audio app Clubhouse called “What The Hell is Blockchain” and a community site where members can network and learn about everything from nonfungible tokens (NFTs) to decentralized autonomous organizations (DAOs).In case this wasn’t keeping her busy enough, she also released a social impact NFT collection CyberMermaid through ocean conservation nonprofit The Dope Sea.In 2022, Odeniran plans to host a month-long event for Women’s History Month in March and release a new program to teach African women about NFTs and blockchain.Maliha AbidiMaliha Abidi is a Pakistani-American author and internationally acclaimed visual artist. She founded ‘Women Rise NFTs’ this year. The collection of 10,000 NFTs represent diverse women from around the world including activists, artists, scientists and coders. The collection has been featured on the front page of Rarible and at DCentral Miami. Abidi also had an artist residency during Art Basel in Miami. According to Abidi, so far, 2,350 NFTs from the collection amounting to over 150 Ether (ETH), around $591,000, have been sold to 1,200 unique buyers including some big names like Randi Zuckerberg and Gary Vee. 10% of the total profits from the project will be donated to charities supporting women and children.Abidi’s major project for next year will be the creation of the world’s first metaverse school for marginalized children from around the world. Lavinia OsbourneLavinia Osbourne is the founder and host of Women in Blockchain Talks (WiBT), which is a female-led educational platform in the United Kingdom where women can network and learn about blockchain. She told Cointelegraph:“Getting started in this revolutionary space is key to change and adoption, so Women in Blockchain Talks wants to make this as easy as possible for people — women and marginalized groups in particular — to do just that.”This year, WiBT launched the 50k women into Blockchain by 2023 campaign, which Osbourne explained to Cointelegraph will “show that blockchain is for everyone as well as highlight the different pathways” to get involved in the space.Osbourne also founded the upcoming female-centric Crypto Kweens NFT Marketplace, which is currently being built on the Rarible protocol. WiBT introduced a Middle East ambassador to expand their international reach to women and marginalized groups wanting to learn about blockchain technology with translated versions of their educational material. Jen GreysonJen Greyson is a Utah-based advocate of women’s empowerment through cryptocurrency and a board member for Kerala Blockchain Academy (KBA) in India. KBA trains women in STEM and blockchain to become leaders in the space. In 2021, it introduced several new blockchain courses, including two free foundation programs. The Academy trained close to 7,000 students this year, with over 6,000 students enrolling into the foundation programs in less than four months. She told Cointelegraph: “The blockchain training program aimed to equip start-ups and individuals with the requisite knowledge, skills and attitude” needed to crack into the sector. Greyson added further:“While my home state of Utah is languishing in even getting computers in every school for every student, across the globe, KBA did this in 2021 while navigating a pandemic.”This year, the Academy’s vaccine traceability solution Immunochain was selected for a government health program in Kerala. KBA also developed a blockchain-powered multi-party document signing and verification system called Sign-A-Doc.In 2022, Greyson will be launching an NFT podcast and an academy “focused on bringing more crypto education to the feminine.” Manasi VoraIn May this year, Manasia Vora co-founded the Komorebi Collective on Syndicate, becoming the first investment DAO focused on funding female and non-binary crypto founders.She is also the founder of the non-profit Women in Blockchain (WIB), which aims to provide a space for women to mentor each other about blockchain and crypto. “We aim to connect women to thought leaders in this space to inspire, collaborate and encourage others,” she said in a LinkedIn post. On Dec. 15, WIB tweeted: “Crypto is about shared abundance and shared ownership. But this isn’t possible if the underrepresented communities are not included in the building, in the design, in the decision-making!” Roya Mahboob Roya Mahboob is not only an internationally-recognized activist but was also one of very few female tech CEOs in Afghanistan before being forced to flee in September this year when the Taliban took over control of the country.She is the founder and CEO of Afghan Citadel Software Company (ACSC), where over half the employees are women. Because many Afghan women are unable to access a traditional bank account, she pays her employees in Bitcoin. In an August interview with CoinDesk, she said:“If young people can learn about computers, they can learn about Bitcoin. And now everybody wants to learn how to access Bitcoin. They need to.”She is also a board member and president of the Digital Citizen Fund (DCF), a non-profit aiming to educate girls and women from developing countries about technology and finance. Mahboob also sits on the advisery board of Ashford University’s Forbes School of Business & Technology and recently created EdyEdy, a platform that helps young people from developing countries learn practical digital literacy skills.Cleve MesidorCleve Mesidor is the author of My Quest for Justice in Politics & Crypto, and a former appointee of the Obama administration.She was appointed as public policy adviser at Blockchain Association in March this year and is a Mayoral Appointee for the DC Innovations and Technology Inclusion Council. She is also the founder of the National Policy Network of Women of Color in Blockchain, and LOGOS, a social platform on the blockchain for activists. Alakanani Itireleng The Botswanan “Bitcoin Lady” Alakanani Itireleng is the CEO of the Satoshi Centre, which educates members of her community on how they can make money from crypto and blockchain technology.The self-funded center is in the process of developing an incubator where startups will be able to network with potential sponsors or mentors. She has campaigned for the Bank of Botswana to regulate and legitimize Bitcoin as a legal currency and is also developing a local crypto wallet that will be able to directly connect to regular ATMs. In a July interview with Forbes, Itireleng said, “I was feeling that there’s something about Bitcoin that is unique, that is different from normal fiat money.” She added further: “I always call it a currency of love.”Čítaj viac
Following the announcement that Facebook’s parent company would be rebranding in a shift towards the metaverse, many projects have started similar initiatives entering the virtual space, from buying property to testing the limits of what this universe has to offer. Digital cities: Santa Monica and SeoulThe Downtown Santa Monica District west of Los Angeles was one of the first real-world areas to allow users to have access to the metaverse through the FlickPlay app. Branded as a metaverse tool, walking around the district seems to be more of a limited augmented reality experience rather than a virtual one, with people collecting digital tokens in the style of Pokémon GO. In contrast, Seoul’s entry into the metaverse is expected to be a 100% virtual environment once launched in early 2023. In November, the local government announced it would be starting its own platform, Metaverse Seoul, slowly integrating services related to the economy, culture, education and civil complaints. In addition, the Korean capital planned to create virtual versions of its major tourist attractions and hold festivals in the metaverse.Seoul, South Korea. Source: authorDoes Meta have a ‘women problem’?Following the launch of Horizon Worlds, the virtual reality game and online community platform released by Meta — formerly Facebook — at least one user reported that the virtual environment allowed sexual harassment. In a Dec. 16 report from MIT Technology Review, one of Horizon’s beta testers said a stranger had groped her avatar. Though there is a feature capable of encasing an avatar in a protective bubble to seemingly stop such an attack, the user was either unable to activate it in time, or was otherwise unaware of it.“At the end of the day, the nature of virtual-reality spaces is such that it is designed to trick the user into thinking they are physically in a certain space, that their every bodily action is occurring in a 3D environment,” said Katherine Cross, an online harassment researcher at the University of Washington. “It’s part of the reason why emotional reactions can be stronger in that space, and why VR triggers the same internal nervous system and psychological responses.”In November, another woman reported her metaverse persona under attack, this time without the use of avatars and with seemingly more real-world effects on her business. When Facebook rebranded to Meta, Australian artist Thea-Mai Baumann reported being locked out of her Instagram account. Her handle? “Metaverse.”Source: Thea-Mai Baumann’s Instagram account, “metaverse”Because Meta owns Instagram and Baumann’s account was relatively small — fewer than 1,000 followers at the time — many on social media suspected the company would simply seize her account rather than buy it. She ended up being locked out for more than a month without being able to verify her identity before Instagram restored access.“This account is a decade of my life and work. I didn’t want my contribution to the metaverse to be wiped from the internet,” said Baumann. “That happens to women in tech, to women of color in tech, all the time.”Companies going metaOn Dec. 10, Chinese internet giant Baidu announced plans to launch its own metaverse product, called XiRang, a universe capable of handling input from 100,000 users where it also plans to host an AI developer conference. The Baidu Create conference is expected to be held on Dec. 27.A city in Baidu’s metaverse. Source: BaiduSports footwear and apparel manufacturer Nike’s products are officially going virtual following the acquisition of virtual sneakers and collectibles brand RTFKT this week. RTFKT, which describes itself as “fully formed in the metaverse,” will likely help Nike advance its own plans to “just do it.”Facebook whistleblower issues metaverse warningFormer Facebook employee Frances Haugen, who turned over thousands of documents that implied that the company was not doing what it claimed in regard to removing hate speech and posts encouraging violence, voiced her concerns about the metaverse. In a Dec. 16 newsletter released by Time magazine, Haugen said she was “super scared” about the potential risks of the virtual world for surveillance, socializing, and more:“When you go into the metaverse, your avatar is a little more handsome or pretty than yourself. You have better clothes than we have in reality. The apartment is more stylish, more calm. And you take your headset off and you go to brush your teeth at the end of the night. And maybe you just don’t like yourself in the mirror as much. That cycle… I’m super worried that people are going to look at their apartment, which isn’t as nice, and look at their face or their body, which isn’t as nice, and say: ‘I would rather have my headset on.’”Čítaj viac
A new survey shared with Cointelegraph has found that the proportion of Australian women who own crypto assets has doubled in the last year. The 2021 Independent Reserve’s Cryptocurrency Index (IRCI) of 2000 Australians found that the number of women who currently or have previously invested in crypto rose from 10.3% in 2020 to 20% in 2021. The percentage of female Bitcoin owners also rose from 8.3% to 14.8% according to the survey.Independent Reserve is an Australian-based cryptocurrency exchange that was founded in 2013, it has more than 200,000 users. Karen Cohen, Deputy Chair for the Board of Blockchain Australia, said that more women have entered the crypto market this year as the asset class has continued to become a mainstream investment. Speaking to Cointelegraph, she said: “I think that it tells you that investing in crypto is less risky and is just one of many different ways you can invest. I think it’s sort of giving the signal that if a bank thinks it’s okay, then you know it’s a safer place to invest.” Cohen cited examples such as the CBA adding crypto trading options to its app in early November. Co-founder of Independent Reserve Adrian Przelozny added that “over time, as cryptocurrency investments become more acceptable and mainstream, the perceived risk also reduces.”He added: “I think that as that happens, you’ll see more and more women enter the market.” Research by Grayscale from 2019 showed that women tend to be more risk-averse investors, which is often attributed as a reason for the gender gap between female and male crypto investors. The ICRI also found that women were more likely to listen to family and friends about crypto. 56.7% of the women surveyed said that they would enter the crypto market based on advice from family and friends, as opposed to 42.2% of the men surveyed. Cohen said, “A lot of women are getting referrals from their friends and family, so they’re getting a feeling a bit safer to get involved.”On the other hand, 45.9% of men said they would consider entering the crypto market due to interest sparked by media coverage, compare to 41.8% of women surveyed. Closing the gender gapCohen said that moving forward, she expects that total gender parity among crypto investors is still “a while away,” because it’s so entangled with gendered stereotypes and the way that women are brought up to understand risk and investment. Przelozny agreed, saying that he couldn’t possibly speculate as to when the investment gap will close. He said: “As to when it becomes 50/50, I don’t know. But I think it’s definitely trending in the right direction.”Cohen also said that as the Metaverse and blockchain gaming begins to dominate the crypto market, users can expect “the landscape to completely change again.”“Is gaming more of a boy’s club than crypto?” she asked, concluding that “nobody really knows.” Related: How women are changing the face of enterprise blockchain, literally!In last year’s IRCI report, Cohen urged decision-makers in the crypto industry to include women in events and panel discussions, saying “we are what we see”.The IRCI is an annual cross-sectional survey of over 2,000 Australians conducted by PureProfile. Independent Reserve says its sample was reflective of the country’s gender, age, and geographic distribution.Čítaj viac
Cryptocurrency exchange Okcoin has announced Randi Zuckerberg — the sister of Meta CEO Mark Zuckerberg — will be joining the platform’s brand advisory council in its aim to bring more women into crypto.In a Thursday announcement, Okcoin said that in addition to hiring Zuckerberg, the exchange would be committing $1 million in an attempt to reach a 50% female user base by 2025. Zuckerberg was the former director of market development and a spokesperson for Facebook until she resigned in 2011, moving on to start her own social media firm in addition to founding the Zuckerberg Institute — a program aimed at educating business leaders, entrepreneurs and students. “Crypto and this new era of wealth creation should be open to everyone,” said Zuckerberg in a video promoting her move to the crypto exchange. “I’ve joined Okcoin’s advisory council to support that mission and bring more women into the world of crypto.”Had so much fun filming this video (complete with a cameo from my toddler) and over the moon to be working with @Okcoin to get more women into the crypto space https://t.co/FtURPcFcSt— Randi Zuckerberg (@randizuckerberg) December 2, 2021With the hiring of Zuckerberg, Okcoin will have many women in key leadership positions at the exchange, including CEO Hong Fang as well as head of content and brand Mandy Campbell. Fang told Cointelegraph last year the crypto exchange had seen a significant influx of women in 2020, with 50% of female users to the platform in the first quarter being new. “Historically, women and other marginalized groups have been locked out of the traditional financial system,” said Fang on the $1 million commitment. “Cryptocurrency is turning this norm on its head through the wealth-creating opportunities created by decentralized finance, but we’re still seeing lower adoption among women.”Related: Women-led events may encourage long-term female participation in blockchainFounded in 2013, Okcoin is one of the world’s oldest crypto exchanges and has steadily expanded to serve customers in more than 190 countries. Though its headquarters are based in the United States, the exchange secured regulatory approval to operate in Malta and the Netherlands in July.Čítaj viac
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