Women are Investing in Blockchain and Cryptocurrency
Women have started investing in Blockchain and Cryptocurrency. The Women in Investing series’ first two editions brought together a group of extraordinary female entrepreneurs. They taught our users about investing and the value of forming communities with Republic’s own Lisa Carmen Wang. We’re going to talk about blockchain and cryptocurrencies in the third episode. The meteoric rise of technologies such as Bitcoin and Ethereum has been in the news for what feels like years. Still, it’s critical to cut through the hype and get to the heart of what makes cryptocurrencies, blockchain, and decentralization so popular.
Understanding the fundamental relationship between bitcoin and blockchain is the first step. Blockchain technology enables decentralized networks, which are used to power cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin. People worldwide can transact safely, affordably, and without constraints thanks to decentralized networks that are not controlled by any central authority such as the Federal Reserve or a bank. Smart contracts, which allow platforms and entire digital economies to run with decentralized systems, are featured in the next generation of blockchain networks emerging now, such as Polkadot, Algorand, and Cere. Here’s where the real fun begins!
Here are five highlights from the Women in Investing—Blockchain & Crypto session, with minimal jargon and maximum impact, for a deeper look into the debate.
What matters is Trust
Anwaar AlMahmeed, Republic’s MENA Managing Director, commented, “I think Bitcoin is a major deal.” “But, more crucially, blockchain technology provides you with Trust. You don’t need somebody in the middle to facilitate your interactions with people all over the world. It’s a system that can’t be trusted, which is extremely important.” The fast-growing DeFi (decentralized finance) industry exemplifies trustless technologies, which allow everyone to participate in digital economies and use financial instruments without the prohibitive aspect of middlemen, such as banks and institutions, defending the capture of value. It’s a significant shift in how people engage with assets. “Looking back [from the future], I don’t think we’ll see how the world would have progressed without blockchain,” Anwaar concluded. It will appear as if it was a foregone conclusion.”
Decentralized networks are global in scope and available at all times. While much of the debate of cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin may appear theoretical, the actual, real-world benefits of the technology are front and center in many world regions.
“There are many applications in the West and our financial institutions, but there is also a great possibility to impact the rest of the globe, particularly in developing nations where individuals don’t necessarily trust their governments or corporations: Africa, India, Eastern Europe, and Russia. Angie Ramirez, Head of Sales at decentralized video platform Livepeer, stated, “There are 2.5 billion people in the globe who do not have access to financial services.”
“I’m from Colombia, where government openness and accountability are major concerns.
Hundreds of millions of people lack access to financial services, protected identities, healthcare data, and insurance. There are numerous uses, and it’s great to see all of these different companies working to help with this concept of Trust.”
Crypto in Practice
Angie Ramirez cited the present economic scenario in Venezuela as an illustration of the concrete necessity of disintermediation for real individuals worldwide when it comes to bitcoin. “Venezuelans are having problems with the national currency, the Venezuelan Bolivar, which has been experiencing insane inflation for several years, to the point where if you buy one Bolivar today at noon, by 2:00 PM, the value of that Bolivar will have been diluted to the point where it is worthless. Every day, thousands of individuals leave the country.
Many people have relatives in other countries send them money. Still, the procedure can take weeks because each transfer must pass through several banks and middlemen before reaching [recipient] accounts in Venezuela—and the fees can be as high as 50%.”
“If you give a hundred dollars to someone in Venezuela, they could only get $40 of it,” Ramirez explained. ‘You’re already squandering a significant portion of the value you’re sending.
Furthermore, after your family members pull the money out on the other end and rush to the grocery shop to buy necessities, that Bolivar would most likely be insufficient to cover their needs.
That is why a large number of Venezuelans have chosen Bitcoin. It’s become a very valuable currency in that country. They’re able to avoid the problem of hyperinflation brought on by political instability. The government cannot close your bank account because Bitcoin is not routed through a bank, a third party, or a centralized authority.”
It’s more than Finance
While bitcoin is the most well-known application of blockchain technology, decentralization is being tested in practically every industry. Several major use cases were mentioned during a discussion on the far-reaching consequences of blockchain technology. “Large telecommunications firms, as well as the logistics and shipping industries. Large corporations, such as Walmart, are utilizing technology to better understand their product inventories and stock,” said Sarah Tulin of SFOX, citing microtransactions in games and crowdsourced data as examples.
“Right now, there’s a lot of buzz regarding non-fungible tokens, or NFTs,” says Republic Labs’ Elizabeth Olshanetsky. NFTs are one-of-a-kind digital tokens that include provenance, access, and ownership rights and have fast become the new standard for trading collectibles and digital art. “An NFT picture was recently auctioned for $69 million at Christie’s,” Olshanetsky explained.
“The present state of healthcare is that patient data is housed across numerous institutions in antiquated and siloed EMR healthcare record systems,” Angie Ramirez explained another fascinating use case in healthcare and medical records.
For example, if you have your blood drawn somewhere and then visit a doctor somewhere else, the records will not be the same. You’ll need to request that the blood lab deliver it to your physician.
You’ll have to approve of writing. And that procedure can take a long time, and it’s made considerably more difficult if you’re moving across foreign boundaries or switching healthcare systems.
To fix this problem, simply employ blockchain technology to store patient data on a distributed ledger and allow multiple stakeholders to access that data without relying on a single proprietary or closed system—as long as you provide permission.”
When in doubt, DYOR
There are numerous benefits of implementing decentralization to many businesses. One of the reasons why the new world of blockchain and cryptocurrencies is thrilling and overwhelming is this.
There are so many new concepts to learn, and things move so quickly that keeping up can be challenging. The cloud of jargon associated with the industry can make things even more challenging to comprehend.
There are a few basic steps you may take to get control over your awareness of this new technology and its global implications: “If you’re ever stuck on something, just check it up on the internet or watch a video about it,” Olshanetsky advises. “Because, at one point or another, everyone who is now an expert on these matters was once stuck. Don’t be discouraged if you come across a slew of unfamiliar words. It’s the equivalent of learning a new language.”
DYOR stands for “Do Your Own Research,” and it’s become a common abbreviation in many crypto-related circles.
Just as bitcoin and blockchain empower individuals to take control of their interactions with economies of value, we must all take responsibility for our education on the issue.
We’re still in the dawn of this new era, yet we have access to all of the knowledge we require.
The Women in Investing series is part of an ever-growing and powerful worldwide network of enthusiasts, entrepreneurs, and organizations dedicated to helping each other learn about the subtleties of blockchain and cryptocurrency.
We’re here to assist, so stop by and participate in future sessions.