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.
Here’s where the real fun begins! 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 any central authority such as the Federal Reserve or a bank does not control. 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 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 mediators, 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 precious 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 understand their product inventories and stock better,” 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, 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.”
Women in Blockchain Industry: Their Importance
First and foremost, on this year’s International Women’s Day, let us highlight the relevance of women in the blockchain industry. Let’s dispel the widely held belief that women are incapable of understanding and utilizing technology. Does anyone remember Madame Curie? Women have been one of the most critical contributors to technological innovation in recent times. Women have emerged as maverick performers in the blockchain realm, to everyone’s astonishment. For example, a 2020 research found that women made up nearly 43 percent of those interested in Bitcoin.
Most importantly, women are not passive participants in the blockchain and cryptocurrency revolution. Some women have pioneered promising blockchain initiatives, enhancing the importance of women in the blockchain industry beyond mere participation. Maliha Abidi, a 25-year-old women’s rights activist from the United Kingdom, aims to begin a Women Rise campaign. The program aims to get 100,000 girls and women involved in blockchain by the end of 2022.
Is Inclusiveness a Possibility?
Answers to this question are also needed for International Women’s Day 2022. When it comes to women’s prospects, inclusion is one of the most important themes. Historically, the fields of technology, science, and Finance have been dominated by men. Is the blockchain industry inclusive of women, despite its promises of a more fair and transparent world with more prospects for inclusion? Women made up roughly 20% of all crypto investors in the United States, which is concerning.
Furthermore, women in blockchain have difficulty finding work in blockchain firms. According to research, female employees made up only 14.5 percent of the workforce in 100 blockchain businesses.
Women are changing as time goes on.
In any field, the path for women has not been easy. They have, however, always found a way to overcome the odds. As International Women’s Day approaches, it’s impossible not to notice the rise of women in the blockchain industry. Women currently make up 40 percent to 50 percent of the workforce at leading crypto firms. Most importantly, the number of women leading blockchain firms has increased dramatically.
Women have risen in the blockchain industry’s leadership ranks. Marie Wieck and Amber Baldet, respectively, have taken over as supervisors of IBM and JPMorgan Chase’s blockchain operations. Kaitlin Breitman, the co-founder of Tezos, is another prominent woman in the blockchain.
Women’s voices in the blockchain industry have been amplified due to this. According to statistics, the number of women working in the blockchain area has risen to about 12% in just two years. Furthermore, women that work with blockchain are interested in attracting additional women to the technology. The fact that there is no pushback from the men is a plus.