Like most technology industries, the blockchain space is widely perceived to be dominated by men. Indeed, among the best known personalities in crypto – the likes of Vitalik Buterin, Gavin Wood and Justin Sun – to name a few, female faces are few and far between. Cointelegraph’s 2021 list of the Top 100 Notable People in Blockchain contains just 12 women, for instance. Hell, even Satoshi Nakamoto is widely assumed to be a man.
The same can be said of investors. Recent research by eToro shows that just 15% of cryptocurrency traders are female, and it’s clear that the vast majority of crypto millionaires - those investors who got in early and made millions simply by hodling - are also men.
Though gender diversity remains an issue in blockchain, there are signs that won’t always be the case. Another recent report, this time from Gemini, shows that 40% of people currently considering making a crypto investment are women. What’s more, there is indeed a growing body of women playing a key role in the crypto community today. These women occupy a range of influential positions at some of the most innovative crypto projects in the space.
So what better day to showcase the gals who’re helping to fix blockchain’s gender gap than today: International Women’s Day.
Few women have been involved in more crypto projects than Anna Stone, who was perhaps most notably one of the co-founders and Head of Strategy of the GoodDollar Protocol, a social impact initiative led by eToro that delivers a daily digital basic income to needy people. Anna previously earned her blockchain credentials while working as VP of marketing at Bancor and now serves as VP of Strategy, Marketing and Innovation at eToro. In addition, she has worked as a freelance consultant in areas such as Web3, Blockchain, Crypto, DeFi and NFTs since 2017.
An accomplished leader in the wider blockchain space, Anna spends her time helping Web3 protocols and DAOs to grow. She’s also at the forefront of DeFi innovation and a key force behind the endowment model that enables investors to earn while helping to correct inequities that threaten global peace and economic health.
Mariana Gospodinova is one of the most prominent executives at leading cryptocurrency exchange Crypto.com, serving as its General Manager of Europe. The role requires her to lead the company’s strategy, business development and operations in some of its biggest markets. One of her initial successes was the launch of Crypto’s crypto to fiat exchange in countries such as Germany and the U.K, and has been followed by multiple local initiatives in European markets.
Crypto.com hired Mariana because she brings a lot of wisdom garnered from years of experience from the payments industry, having previously worked for Skrill and SysPay, where she helped to build up their platforms in a regulatory compliant way.
As the co-founder and CEO of Millicent, Stella Dyer is playing a key role in the quest to bridge blockchain with traditional finance systems. She’s better placed than most to do this, having began her career on Wall Street where she served at three of America’s biggest banks: Morgan Stanley, Goldman Sachs and JP Morgan Chase. A keen philanthropist too, Stella helped to develop The Robert F. Smith Explore Your Family History Center at the Smithsonian National Museum of African American History and Culture.
Nowadays, Stella is bringing her philanthropic nature to the blockchain, working to create an accessible and equitable financial system for everybody in an effort to unlock latent prosperity across the world.
Serving as the Chief of Staff at ParallelChain Lab, Jessie Chan is part of a potentially game-changing initiative that aims to develop a scalable blockchain ecosystem consisting of not one, but two layer-1 platforms - a public mainnet and a private chain. If successful, ParallelChain will likely open up blockchain technology to multiple enterprises that require a private network that’s able to piggyback onto a public blockchain, to meet regulatory requirements.
In her role, Jessie works to coordinate and align ParallelChain’s diverse business lines. It’s a task that involves close collaboration with its customers and partners. Jessie is well suited to the task, since she has a strong background in analysis and public policy research, meaning she brings political insights that are essential to help ParallelChain navigate a constantly changing regulatory landscape.
Women in the crypto space are a rare breed, but in the case of GameFi in particular, they’re almost non-existent. Looking to change that is avid gamer Carina Kom, the Game Director at the popular play-to-earn game MixMob.
MixMob is a unique, play-to-earn card battle game that creates a “Remix Culture” that draws its inspiration from Clash Royale, Mario Kart, music, art and fashion. Carina fits in well there as a veteran games designer that once participated in the development of the Halo and Battlefield series. In addition to her work at MixMob, Carina is also the founding director of PVP: Pitch Circuit, an organization that advocates for up and coming games designers from diverse backgrounds.
Bette Chen is making big waves in the decentralized finance space as the COO and Co-Founder of Acala Network, helping it to build out a DeFi Hub on one of the most promising blockchain projects of all - Polkadot.
Bette’s love of blockchain dates back to 2015 when she first discovered bitcoin, and she never looked back, immediately throwing herself into crypto development. Having helped to found Laminar, an open financial platform that powers margin and synthetic assets trading, she then switched her attention to Acala, which is arguably the biggest and most important project in Polkadot’s ecosystem, aiming to serve as the liquidity hub for all DeFi activity across its ecosystem of parachains. Bette’s goal with Acala is for the protocol to help onboard the traditional banking industry into the world of Polkadot-based DeFi.
Only a fool would bet against Tatiana Metodieva achieving her ambitious goal of establishing crypto as a mainstream asset class for big institutions to invest in. As Head of Corporate Finance and Investments at Nexo, Tatiana is working hard to do just that, by bringing greater credibility, compliance and institutionalization to the crypto ecosystem.
Tatiana’s role consists of leading Nexo’s global corporate finance and M&A processes,accelerating its market outreach, developing strategic relationships and identifying key market opportunities. Lucky then, she has plenty of experience in that regard, having spent more than 12 years in the commercial banking, fintech and consulting sectors prior to joining Nexo.
As one of the co-founders of Dynamic Ledger Solutions, alongsider her husband, Kathleen Breitman is one of the leading minds behind the Tezos blockchain, one of the fastest and most energy-efficient blockchain-based smart contract platforms around.
Kathleen spends much of her time these days working on building a decentralized governance system at Tezos that will ensure its community has the final say on all matters of importance, including key upgrades to the network and its moves into NFTs, DeFi and elsewhere. She has broad experience in finance and business leadership, having once served as a senior strategy associate for R3, a consortium that represents more than 70 financial firms. Prior to that, she held roles at companies including Accenture and Bridgewater Associates, and she even has media experience, having once worked at the Wall Street Journal.
Aya Miyaguchi holds an extremely influential position as the Executive Director of the Ethereum Foundation, and she’s using that influence to do a world of good, leading various initiatives that aim to transform people’s lives for the better with blockchain technology.
To that end, Aya has worked closely with UNICEF, the UN’s children’s agency, helping to raise cryptocurrency donations for various projects it's working on. Aya, who also advises positive-impact projects such as OmiseGo, firmly believes blockchain has the potential to revolutionize development work by increasing transparency and accountability.
“Together with UNICEF we’re harnessing the promise of blockchain to improve access to basic needs, rights and resources,” she told UNCTAD in an interview last year.
A well known face in the blockchain marketing industry, Lea Thompson has successfully branded herself as “Girl Gone Crypto” and built up a massive social media following. She specializes in content creation, helping crypto brands to grow awareness and boost adoption of blockchain. Lea is also one of the most respected speakers and panelists in the industry, who has featured at some of the biggest crypto conventions and exhibitions around the world.
Lea is a strong advocate for blockchain adoption in general, having begun her career on Steem, a platform that allows users to earn crypto for generating video-based content.
A serial technology entrepreneur who makes no secret of her passion for decentralized technologies, Galia Benartzi is the co-founder of one of the most recognizable projects in the DeFi space, the Bancor Network.
Bancor is a blockchain protocol that allows users to convert different tokens directly and instantly, instead of exchanging them on cryptocurrency exchanges. Under Galia’s leadership, Bancor has fully embraced the world of DeFi, evolving its protocol to allow users to earn interest by staking tokens with impermanent loss protection via its decentralized exchange.
Galia has extensive experience in mobile tech. In 2005 she helped found one of the first social gaming platforms for smartphones, Myopia, before going on to establish Particle Code, a cross-platform development platform for mobile apps. However, it was her stint as a venture partner at Founders Fund where she first became interested in crypto. There, she not only helped identify promising Israeli startups, but also launched various local currency pilots to model, build and test software for community currencies.
The last of the ladies on our list, Gardi Rigby is the official Partnership and Friends Manager at the Bit.Country and the Metaverse.Network. Not surprisingly then, she is a vocal proponent of all things Web3 and a big believer in the potential held by the metaverse to help brands reach out to new audiences.
Gardi is a supporter of autonomy and the right for people to infest and transact on accessible, secure and transparent platforms. That explains her belief in the metaverse, which she says provides solutions to questions around accessibility while helping to make Web3 more easily relatable.
Thanks to her status as host of the Metaverse News, Gardi has become one of the highest-profile female advocates of the metaverse.