8th March 2018 Perspectives This International Women’s Day, Let’s Celebrate the Women in Blockchain The role of women in blockchain technology has been a recent topic of discussion in the media. Most of the content covering the subject has been written with advocacy in mind, but some of the articles highlighting women as a minority in the industry may hurt, rather than help, their cause as it perpetuates their marginalization. Rather than constantly declaring a state of gender inequality, we should instead focus our attention on the contributions of the women in the industry and how their work can catalyze change. Women in Blockchain: The Ones to Watch In conjunction with International Women’s Day, we want to celebrate the work of some of the key female players in the blockchain and virtual currency space. Here are a few international figures that are making strides within the industry by building an inclusive and diverse ecosystem. Meltem Demirors Meltem Demirors is a Director of Development at the Digital Currency Group, a New York-based group that specializes in developing blockchain protocols and she leads a team that manages cryptocurrency investment portfolios. Meltem also lends her expertise to other causes such as being an advisor at the MIT Media Lab and is also a member of the Global Future Council on Blockchain with the World Economic Forum. In addition to her work, Meltem is also involved in fighting centralized cryptocurrency mining pools, particularly within the Bitcoin network. Follow her thoughts on the subject on Twitter and Medium. Laura Shin Laura is the voice behind the podcasts Unchained and Unconfirmed, where she shares insights and analyses the cryptocurrency ecosystem with experts from the field. She was also a senior editor at Forbes magazine, covering stories on crypto assets, Bitcoin, Ethereum, cryptocurrencies, ICOs, tokens, and blockchain technology. Her journalistic experience includes being the co-lead reporter on the Forbes Fintech 50 List, and being the author of the Forbes eBook The Millennial Game Plan: Career and Money Secrets To Succeed In Today’s World. Learn more about the industry through her informative podcasts, Unchained and Unconfirmed. Jessi Baker Jessi Baker is the founder of Provenance, a UK startup that utilizes blockchain technology to enable provide security and transparency within supply chains and bring trust back into the market for goods and services. The idea of the company was inspired by her mother, who was very cautious about conscious consumption. While her company is still exploring its potential and scalability, there is immense promise on disrupting the supply chain process and creating more transparency within the industry. Follow Jessi’s thoughts and updates here. Maxine Ryan Hong Kong entrepreneur, Maxine Ryan dropped out of university just before completing her degree in international relations to pursue her passion for blockchain technology. Her decision was not in vain, as is now the COO and co-founder of Bitspark, a global pioneer in cash-in, cash-out blockchain remittance solution. Maxine tweets at @MaxieRyan Sonya Kuhnel Sonya was one of the first South African women in blockchain. She is the co-founder of Blockchain Academy, an organization that provides training and education within the blockchain industry to businesses, schools, and individuals. She is also the heavily involved in the conception of other ventures, such as founding the bitcoin payment company, Bitcoin Payments, a BitPay Affiliate partner; as well as co-founding BitSure, a blockchain payment solution provider, and Bitcoin Events, a company that hosts the Bitcoin and Blockchain Africa Conferences in Cape Town and Johannesburg. You can find Sonya on Twitter at @SonyaKuhnel This list is by no means exhaustive as there are more women are entering the blockchain and cryptocurrency scene every day, using their talents and strengths to help shape the industry. Join us in celebrating International Women’s Day by spreading the word about the accomplishments of women in blockchain and in other areas of life! Image credits: StartUpStockPhotos (Pixabay), Forbes, Forbes, Jessi Baker (Twitter), Comstockmag (via Bloomberg), Sonya Kuhnel (Twitter) To learn more about blockchain applications across different industries, visit Coinify Newsroom.