Key Women Breaking The Crypto-bias.
Recent research from eToro suggests that 75% of Crypto owners are men, this powerfully illustrates the gender imbalance in the world of cryptocurrencies.
Nonetheless, there are reasons to be optimistic. A report from Gemini indicates that, among those who are planning to invest in crypto, 40% are female. Better still, a greater number of women are making an impact in high-profile positions throughout the digital assets sector and this representation will be crucial for enacting change at every level of the industry.
Today we are shining the spotlight on eight women with prominent voices in the cryptoz space. This isn’t a catalog, nor an exhaustive list, but it’s an impressive collection of professionals.
Caitlin Long, Avanti Financial Group founder, and CEO
After an illustrious career at Morgan Stanley and Credit Suisse, Caitlin Long has now set her sights on the world of blockchain. This year, she is set to launch Avanti’s new bank, which aims to serve institutional customers and high-net-worth individuals. Her financial institution is based in Wyoming, and she serves on the state’s Blockchain Select Committee.
Long says that Avanti aims to offer a “critical” piece of infrastructure that is currently missing from the market — a regulated bank that can provide crypto custody services. She argues that pension funds, corporations, and other entities need this to exist before they can gain exposure to Bitcoin in any meaningful way.
Kristin Smith, Blockchain Association executive director
Kristin Smith runs the Blockchain Association, which is dedicated to assisting the crypto industry in developing “a strategic roadmap for public policy.” She is uniquely qualified for the position, having worked at the highest levels of the House and Senate, as well as in the private sector advocating for telecom companies.
The association’s goal is to help tackle some of the regulatory hurdles that stop entrepreneurs from innovating — and support lawmakers who have to take security concerns and consumer protection into account.
Hester Peirce, SEC commissioner
Hester Peirce, affectionately known as “Crypto Mom” by many in the industry, is an SEC commissioner who is instrumental in delivering a regulatory framework for digital assets. Peirce began her second five-year term in the role last August, working alongside the new chairman Gary Gensler, and will remain in the position until 2025.
Peirce has received accolades for her dedication to providing clarity for the crypto industry, which she believes is critical for fostering innovation in the space. She also has a refreshing tone in her speeches about the digital economy. In February, she stated at George Washington University Law School: “We tend to look at technological innovation in the markets with deep suspicion, and that mindset has to change.”
She was also full of praise for the DeFi sector, adding: “Although a work in progress with all the growing pains and rough edges that implies, DeFi’s promises of democratization, open access, transparency, predictability, and systemic resilience are alluring.”
__ Ria Bhutoria, Fidelity Digital Assets research director__
As a research director at Fidelity Digital Assets, Ria Bhutoria is delivering razor-sharp analysis of what’s happening in the crypto markets and why — all while helping to address some of the persistent criticisms surrounding Bitcoin.
One of her most innovative ideas has been the "FUD Fort," a carefully curated list of articles that help to address some of the most prevalent areas of fear, uncertainty, and doubt in the crypto space...environment, manipulation, limited throughput, illicit activity, volatility, and everything in between.
Bhutoria also shares pearls of wisdom on her Twitter page, writing last month: “I have never regretted buying more Bitcoin and I have always regretted not buying more Bitcoin.”
Her posts serve as essential reading if you’re looking for a way to make sense of what’s going on.
Camila Russo, The Defiant founder
For outsiders, some areas of the crypto sector — especially decentralized finance — can be exceedingly confusing to follow. Camila Russo is one journalist who has been making remarkable in-roads in demystifying this space for all of us.
Formerly a reporter at Bloomberg, she went on to write an in-depth book that told the story of Ethereum. She’s now launched The Defiant — a media outlet that tracks DeFi’s story through a website, a newsletter, YouTube videos, and a podcast.
We’ve even been lucky enough to welcome Camila to CoinMarketCap Alexandria, where she wrote this brilliant deep dive into DeFi — chronicling its evolution from a Telegram chat between developers and entrepreneurs to a bustling sector that now has a total value locked of about $40 billion.
Elizabeth Stark, Lightning Labs CEO and co-founder
Bitcoin can only handle about five transactions a second, but Elizabeth Stark is spearheading an effort to make BTC payments far faster and cheaper than they are now.
She’s the CEO of Lightning Labs, the company behind a layer 2 solution for Bitcoin that ultimately aims to serve as a Visa-inspired network for the cryptocurrency.
Although the technology is still being finessed, it could prove essential in ensuring that Bitcoin can be used widely as a payment method — and all without the blockchain suffering the same levels of congestion that Ethereum does.
Sheila Warren, World Economic Forum head of blockchain and data policy
With attitudes towards crypto and blockchain shifting and the World Economic Forum’s annual meeting in Davos crucial for shaping opinion, Sheila Warren’s role as head of the blockchain and data policy at the WEF is a significant one.
She recently set out writing: “Financial institutions and service providers will likely intensify their experiments with, and use of, cryptocurrency this year, whether via investment or actual deployment.”
Warren also believes that there will be great strides in unlocking the potential of non-fungible tokens, and plenty of exploration surrounding the merits of decentralization.
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