In a year with plenty of negative news, it has been an absolute joy to be on the judging panel for a celebration of something very positive. Earlier this year – Wirex, a leading payments company, in partnership with The Fintech Times launched ‘Rising Women in Crypto Power List’ 2020, as part of Wirex’s inaugural ‘Women in Crypto’ campaign.
Wirex and The Fintech Times called on women driving the future of digital money, inviting them to nominate themselves and others they believe are making a difference in space. As a stereotypically male-dominated industry, Wirex aimed to shed light on exceptional women and inspire others with the confidence to participate in a thriving sector.
We had a phenomenal response. The contest was open for six weeks and we saw an incredible 367 attempts flood in! Throughout the process, content campaigns were also conducted with contributions from influencers such as George Coxon, COO at the Nano Institute, Erica Stanford, Founder of the Crypto Curry Club, and Ashley Koh, COO at Spark Systems.
Now, we’ve selected the ten most inspirational women at the forefront of the crypto industry, who we think do an important job promoting the world of crypto.
I wanted to take part in this campaign because I think it’s really important. In fact, I have been advocating for women’s participation in the fintech and crypto places for years. I have had the honor of being held to the forefront of the sector, demonstrating that women in senior, influential positions in fintech and crypto can be respected.
In terms of what excites me about fintech, the ability to reshape our business and social lives, create new players and infrastructures and transform the concept of sovereignty itself. And I think it’s really important to celebrate the achievements of women in the industry.
With women in half the world’s working age population, they should play a key role in shaping the future of money and investment – which crypto represents. If today’s cryptocurrencies are anything like the pioneering days of the Internet, it is absolutely vital that women play a greater role.
However, there is currently a $ 300 billion annual credit shortfall in funding for women-owned small businesses – and this will only increase because of the after-effects of COVID-19. In terms of fostering gender equality in the sector, we need to do better: a LendIt survey found that only 37% of fintech employees are women, and only 19% are at C-suite level.
Role models play a huge role in this shift and there are plenty of talented women whose efforts and achievements need to be recognized and celebrated, so that we can demonstrate their influence in the world of digital currency.
I’m happy to say that there are some amazing women who reached the Power List.
One was Noelle Acheson, Director of Research, CoinDesk. Acheson researches, analyzes and publishes the “Crypto Long and Short” newsletter every Sunday, where she shares her knowledge and insights with tens of thousands of readers.
While many such readers are professional investors, Acheson has gained attention for streamlining the often complex crypto world and its developments for the curious to learn, inviting everyone into the crypto space. I think this is extremely important as it makes the world of crypto more accessible to those who may be curious to learn but too shy to ask.
Another woman who impressed me was Simone Maini, CEO of Elliptic. She is leading this blockchain analytics company to support the safe adoption of cryptocurrency assets on the market.
In its quest to widen access to cryptocurrency, she leads and drives the London-based company to protect businesses from space financial crime, manage risk and meet regulatory compliance worldwide. His role at Elliptic gives businesses confidence to trust the digital economy and reap the benefits.
Another inspirational winner was Inbal Polak. Polak is one of the few women working in the digital asset hedge fund, and is a champion for getting more women into venture capital roles.
As Director of the Fund for Digital Assets at YRD Capital in London, a global fund for digital assets, she is a pioneer in her own right by leading YRD Capital to become the world’s first Focused Cash Fund purely on quantitative strategies in crypto assets.
Polak and I are similar in the sense that she is also passionate about getting more women to invest in alternative assets like cryptocurrencies. When venture capitalists claimed they could not find female investors, NEOME – The Women Investing Club in Israel, of which she is Co-Founder and CIO, began to raise the profile of women in space and change the investment. industry attitude.
These are just a few of the women we had to read about and celebrate in the process, and just reminded me of the impact that initiatives and campaigns like this have had.
In fact, the reason I was one of the biggest supporters of our campaign and the first to join the judging panel is because I have experienced the benefits of these initiatives. I’ve been on the other side of a Power List like this, having been selected as a 50 Fintech Global Influencer myself.
I have a lot of experience in the field, and I’m proud of that. But I also know that networks are an essential element of stimulating and broadening the industry experience, and initiatives and campaigns like this help with that. They highlight the incredible amount of female talent in the sector and introduce female leaders in space to others like them.
These initiatives acknowledge that progress is being made in crypto, and we know that women are gradually becoming more interested in this new asset class. In 2017, we found that only 5% to 7% of all cryptocurrency users were women.
Two years later, Bitcoin fund operator Grayscale revealed that 43% of survey respondents interested in bitcoin investments were women and that some countries (like India) where the majority of crypto investors are women.
This is also reflected in the workforce. I have been pleased to see a significant increase in the number of female staff at key crypto companies such as Coinbase, Binance and Banco – the latter two being founded by women with a workforce that is now 40-50% female!
It is therefore extremely important that we continue to encourage and celebrate women who are not only pioneers in space, but who are also examples of leadership in action. I wanted to thank the Wirex and The Fintech Times teams for creating this initiative and for inviting me to be a part of it. It really has been an honor. Congratulations to our Best Girls in Crypto!
Written by Ruth Wandhöfer. Fintech Global Influencer 50