Being a woman in blockchain and dapp might come with challenges. But it also comes with all of the curiosity, joy, and innovation of being anyone else in the industry.
March 8 is the International Women’s Day - the day we honor all the movers and shakers around the (dapp) world and celebrate the female empowerment. It is a great opportunity for us to speak out, be heard, and share our stories.
Let’s hear a few stories from dapp builders - who happen to be women.
Please introduce yourself:)
How did you get into the blockchain, and why do you stay?
Right now at work, what’s the biggest challenge and what are you enjoying the most?
What are you most excited about for the future of dapp?
What is one piece of practical advice you would give to someone (a female) starting out?
I started in this field very casually, looking for a job in the South of Switzerland (where we are currently based). After spending 3 and a half year in a big company that operates in the media broadcasting market, I was looking for a stimulating and challenging job and what I found is exactly that. I didn’t know much about blockchain, besides the very “commercial” aspects. Now I am starting realizing the fascinating potential of this technology and how much this job allows me to learn.
For me, the challenges right now are getting used to the new “way of working” and getting to know the technology and the products as much as possible.
My job is making people understand, like, and use our products: this task is not very simple in a market which is not as easily comprehensible by the public; we need a major effort, especially now in the bear market where people are maybe less attracted.
The potential is enormous and I noticed that from one year to another, there are more and more dapps around. It is good because it means that we are still enthusiastic to build and create value. I expect new uses of dapps maybe in different industries such as fashion for example.
For someone just starting out, I would say: It is a jungle, do not be afraid. Become a monkey first, and maybe one day you’ll even become a tiger.
Hi! I’m Olive (@IamOliveAllen) from Decadent. Unofficially back in 2013 when I purchased my first Bitcoins. I became more involved at the end of 2017/2018 when I discovered NFTs - an entirely new asset class/product category that blockchain technology enables. I stayed because I’m really passionate about building things and I see great potential in digital goods and virtual economies.
Coming from the art world I have a rather different work (and thought) process than most of the people in tech. I guess it’s both advantage and disadvantage.
There are two major things I’m really interested in. First, I believe that virtual economies are the future of consumption. When the mainstream audience realizes that tangibility is not a prerequisite for value and technology can enable and protect it, we’ll enter a new exciting era of unlimited possibilities. Another one is privacy. It’s important to have control over the data you share. It’s a natural right of every individual.
For someone just starting out, my advice is - don’t get that fixated on gender, follow your passions and trust yourself. Your gender can be anything you identify as there way more options than two. People who are still putting individuals in labeled boxes and judge based on those preassigned labels can’t really help us to build a better future.
I'm Jacqueline (@Jacqs_Hardy), CCO and co-founder of Decentralized Concepts. We focus on developing NFT technology and infrastructure but most people know us from our first product, Everdragons.
I first got into blockchain in early 2017 as a side interest and mined my first Ether. As I am neither an investor nor a trader I looked into consumer use cases. When CryptoKitties launched with the ERC-721 standard the whole space got a lot more interesting for me. That's when we started work on Everdragons. We've now spent the last year building a product and exploring the technical possibilities of the blockchain.
I would say on-boarding new players remains a challenge as interfaces are still not completely user-friendly. There are however solutions coming to make the process easier. For now, we educate our players as much as possible on using the blockchain and keeping their assets secure.
As for what I enjoy most, for me the community is one of the best aspects. There are so many innovative and passionate people pushing the industry forward.
There are lots of projects working on infrastructure at the moment and I think that is truly exciting for dapps and crypto in general. Soon it will be easy for anyone to access dapps and easy for projects to integrate blockchain. It's exciting to be here from so early on and watch all these developments happen in real time!
I would advise anyone starting out that blockchain has all the challenges of a young and rapidly developing tech industry, but also all the opportunities. You should be committed and dynamic and passionate about what you're doing. I am happy that my experiences of being female in a male-dominated space have been positive and I think International Women's Day is a perfect time to celebrate the many wonderful women making an impact in the blockchain.
My name is Katerina (@katerinaramm1) and I come from Crete, Greece. I have a degree in Computer Science and have been working in tourism for 20 years, as a guest relations and as an online sales manager. Currently, I am the social media manager for Actifit, member of the PR team of SteemSTEM, and community manager of Utopian.
Being curious by nature, I started observing and testing any digital opportunity that I would notice. I try being educated, I try to explore the ever-growing field of blockchain technology and its applications! I had read about Bitcoin a few years back (who hadn't really?), and it always triggered something inside me. Last year I joined Steemit. That was the beginning of an amazing and exciting journey. I have completed the free MOOC "Introduction in Digital Currencies" by the University of Nicosia (taught by the pioneers Mr. Antonopoulos and Mr. Polemitis) and plan to go for the Master soon.
The biggest challenge I am facing is to be able to do everything that I wish to! Having a family, a job, finding time for my hobbies and to continue education can be overwhelming at times! Besides that, I have found it difficult to help people understanding exactly what this technology is. Especially in the place I live, all this sounds too ''spacey'' and with all this terminology (not in Greek!).
Blockchain technology can be the means of achieving goals, both in personal but also on a business level. I enjoy reading about new researches and new applications of blockchain for just about anything! Here, I would like to make a special mention to a special lady, Mrs. Cherie Aimée, who I met at the Decentralized 2018 Blockchain Conference. She is one of the most influential women in blockchain and strongly believes in values like integrity, honesty and in the importance of sustaining them in all aspects of our lives.
Be bold, trust your instinct but be extra careful with the safety aspects of the blockchain. Be educated, devote time to search and ask to find out more about what interests you. Find your purpose, this will help you find a way towards your goals.
My name is Diana Furman (@FurmannD). I’m the CEO of Lumi Wallet and Lumi Collect and I am very passionate about my work. We are building client-side wallets for crypto lovers and blockchain gamers, that are really easy to use, secure and at the same time pleasant to look at.
I’ve got into the blockchain by accident. A couple of friends introduced me to the conception of blockchain and mining 3 years ago, and something clicked. I got very curious and have been working in the industry ever since.
One of the major challenges would be to look for new users on the graveyard market. It’s way too complicated to pull out rivals’ users at this stage. It’s also quite challenging to put up a dev team together. Well, actually the entire team. You should be constantly inspired by your own product and can’t get enough of it yourself, and that sometimes can be a little overwhelming. But I do enjoy the spirit of adventure at work, otherwise, what’s the point.
I believe in owning the rights to your assets and dapp industry has all the chances to make a massive change in this field. Also, the rise of the dapp market could provide everyone with an additional source of income and give rise to other industries. I’m expecting a lot of great things to happen.
If you don’t focus on your gender yourself then it doesn’t really matter for others whether you’re a man or a woman. It’s important to embrace the fact that we are all equal and you will then see how simple your life and business affairs become.
Of course, you can use the fact you’re a woman as your advantage and ignore it when it doesn’t really matter. But unfortunately, there’s still a common misconception in business that women cannot be trusted as much as men. When you start feeling this vibe just put your female side aside and deal with the situation as a professional, without involving any of the gender stereotypes. In general, nobody cares much if you’re a woman or a man as long as you’re working hard and building a mindblowing product.
My advice is to gain deep knowledge of the industry, understand the very core of the technology and study the market so nobody can take advantage of you. In the beginning, make everything by yourself, leave the delegations for later when you’re skilled enough to understand immediately whether your delegate is doing it right. And of course, you should always believe in your product and promote it all the time, everywhere you go.
I started eyeing this field and occasionally following blockchain news a while ago when it was mostly all about Bitcoin. In Slovenia, the general public has been quite knowledgeable about this field since its inception, and it has formed quite a blockchain hub. Also, in Taiwan where I spent a year and a half, the society is very digitized and innovation-oriented, and cryptocurrency payment was a common sight. But more than the monetary aspect, I was intrigued by the premise of the blockchain tech and the paradigm shift it brings to societies and the "established" organization of things. Then a year ago, the 0xcert project started preparing for the ICO, and the team needed an extra pair of hands with extensive marketing campaigns, and I jumped in contributing content.
It's a privilege to observe the development of tech from the inside and more so to contribute to it, even just by communicating what's new. We've heard many sources compare the potential of the decentralized systems to the importance of the Internet, and even if the adoption doesn't meet the forecasts, it's an extremely fascinating field to be involved in.
I'd say the biggest challenge is to stay updated in the overload of information, endless updates, and ever new projects building new tech and decentralized solutions on a daily basis. At the same time, all this is extremely exciting - the knowledge that this field provides and shares is beyond limits, and it's great to be a part of this community of forward-thinkers.
Even though games have been the catalyst for dapps popularity and advance, I'm actually not into games that much, so I find it more inspiring to see dapps applied to other fields, such as public administration, identity, certification, data registries, etc. These segments have consistently taken a much slower pace in the new tech adoption compared to the entertainment sector, even though its benefits would be more substantial for the ordinary Joe at the end (or beginning) of the civic engagement chain. Still, the potential remains, and I think sooner or later societies and organizations will embrace the benefits of a more decentralized (and optimized) level of civic participation, data verification, and management.
Although this field is male-prevalent, you can easily find many brilliant women with visionary minds and strong voices. Still, I wouldn't put any particular stress on being a female - I think betting on your skills while realizing there's always room for improvement is the way to go and the community will embrace it regardless of your gender. Be curious, always look for new sources of information, be investigative, read a lot, learn from others.
It's evident that the blockchain and other decentralized technologies plus everything sourcing from them are developing at a breakneck pace and it could indeed feel intimidating for anyone starting out. Still, it's delusional to expect for it to cool down, so you might as well join in and see how that goes :)
I have always been interested in new technologies and curious to learn. I started years back when security solutions like anti-virus software came into the market, I worked in the nanotechnology field. I knew nothing about blockchain before joining the Auctionity adventure but was eager to learn more about it.
The biggest challenge is that we are all excited to start and move forward in the blockchain ecosystem and in our case with NFTs, but the market is so not ready. We are still at its early premise, though there are many new promising projects every week. We can't wait to see this market taking off!
I’m excited to see more and more real usage of the blockchain. Today, blockchain games are clearly paving the path to be an enabler in mass adoption of what one can do with blockchain and NFTs, the art sector is also embracing this technology which is revolutionizing relationships between artists and collectors. Can't wait for this technology to be used by anyone.
Don't try to be a man, this field is already masculine enough. Just be yourself and true to yourself. Know your competences (and your limits) and go ahead.
I got into blockchain through a friend who was investing and developing. I have a background in finance and economics so I was instantly engaged with the idea of being able to create new economic ecosystems and incentivize stakeholders in a way we’d never really been able to do before. All of my co-founders at shEOS got involved with blockchain in different ways - some are developers, some have founded companies and others are investors. What we share is a passion for educational opportunities for girls and the idea that blockchain can help us improve society. To quote my co-founder Sandy Hill, “educated women empower whole societies”.
The biggest obstacle is a lack of understanding about the implications of having more women in blockchain. Some people think that more women means less opportunity for men for example. In reality, more women means more opportunity for everyone. Diversity helps us to build better technology and innovate in different ways. That in turn will make the whole ecosystem grow.
I am excited for dapps to reach the mainstream. There is a huge effort to develop UX right now which will make a big impact in bringing EOS to a mainstream user group.
Advice for starting out: just dive right in. This is a nascent industry and there is a huge amount of flexibility to still shape the space. There is a huge demand for people of all backgrounds and this industry is desperate for a diverse group of participants to make sure this technology reaches its full potential.
Living in sunny Australia, crazy about all things coffee, crypto and unicorns, humans call me Adel de Meyer (@AdeldMeyer). I am the co-founder of a blockchain publication called The Crypto Collectors and co-founder of DAPS Coin, a privacy coin (cryptocurrency) launching in Q2 this year.
I come from a long and experienced marketing and PR background and have been recognized for the last 3 years as a top 100 marketing influencer across the globe for my contributions in the industry. My portfolio includes brands like Enjin, Huawei, Pitney Bowes, Adobe, Hootsuite and the Marriott Group. I am a contributor on TNW and Hacker Noon sharing technology pieces with the world.
Now, my mission is to contribute towards mainstream adoption of cryptocurrency and blockchain technology – it is the future and I am thrilled to be a part of the journey.
I’ve been a gamer since I can remember dating back to the days of the Atari consoles and games that we loved so much playing like Mario Bros and Space Invaders. With this interest, I always follow the gaming industry closely and saw the developments around the use of blockchain technology. Then the huge success of CryptoKitties came around in 2018 and I saw the big potential with a big gap in the market to get this to a level of mass adoption.
From there I wanted to be involved and started The Crypto Collectors giving blockchain companies and developers a platform to help with reaching new audiences out there. The coin I am developing called DAPS is a cryptocurrency which is another area that interests me naturally from the love of blockchain technology.
The biggest challenge at the moment I would say is finding a good balance between being a good leader for my team and community and juggling everything else that comes with the responsibility of driving successful startups. It is easy to get lost in work and not maintaining a healthy balance of ‘work time’ and ‘me time’. I think for most leaders and startups especially those driving new technologies and swimming around in unexplored waters, the pressure is overwhelming sometimes.
The flip side of that coin is obviously the reason why I jump out of bed excited for the new day every day at that is working with my amazing teams, seeing the great community feedback, forming industry changing partnerships and making a difference in the world. This brings me great pleasure and I wouldn’t trade the pressure and responsibilities for anything else. They say when you LOVE your job you never work a day in your life and that is true.
I’m excited about everything! Wow, there is SO much room for growth and innovation still in this space. We are just scratching the surface now at the start of 2019. Development tools are improving, we have multiverse games now thanks to the innovation of Enjin, DEXs are growing, organizations can create tools and apps to help with businesses efficiency that wasn’t possible before and we have social media and content platforms like Steemit growing at a rapid rate. In my opinion, I believe that gaming is going to bring the fastest mass adoption in this sector.
Just start! Don’t doubt yourself in a male-dominated industry (technology) and let planning, passion, and education be your weapons. Get out there and meet peers in the industry, build your connections, brainstorm with others and form partnerships that can help you bring your dream to a reality. Keep yourself educated by reading industry news daily, look for potential gaps in the market for example blockchain gaming marketing – the developers are all looking for help in this area at the moment or if you want to start your own product/service even better. Start by reading Dapp.com and researching the list of dapps they have to get inspired!