This year, new research showed that there is still a long way to go to achieve gender parity in the crypto and blockchain space. The WEF’s April Global Gender Gap Report 2021 found that it will take nearly 135.6 years to close the gender gap due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
That didn’t stop these women, however, who have used blockchain technology and cryptocurrency to address a whole range of social issues, from the education of girls in developing countries to the wealth gap in black communities in the United States.
In no particular order, these 10 women are changing the world using crypto one by one.
Tavonia Evans is the founder and chief engineer of GUAP Coin, who created her to fill the wealth gap and support black-owned companies in the United States. Despite Evans hospitalized with COVID-19 and facing massive funding cuts, Evans said her company has accomplished more this year than ever before.
“We have incorporated hundreds of women of color into the masternode room, an area of cryptocurrency that is largely male-dominated,” she told Cointelegraph. 70% of GUAP knots belong to women of color.
“We have raised awareness of crypto among a population with less access and education in crypto and finance – and we continue to do so.”
This year the company took its first stationary dealers on board. It also introduced the xGUAP wrapper on Binance Smart Chain.
Lisa Wade received the Gender and Diversity Leader of the Year Award from Blockchain Australia in 2021, which recognized her work for women and LGBTIQ + people in the blockchain industry.
She is the founder of NEOMI, an investment ecosystem that connects charitable entrepreneurs looking to raise capital with investors looking for authentic impact investments. Wade told Cointelegraph:
“NEOMI has a look at our theory of change that supports LGBTI and women entrepreneurs.”
Wade also chairs NAB Pride and pioneered the Bank of Australia’s Rainbow Women initiative, which gives LGBTIQ + women space to talk about issues that are hindering their career development in the financial sector.
She also continued her work on environmental activism, starting a blockchain initiative called Project Carbon that tokenizes voluntary carbon credits.
Olayinka Odeniran is the founder and chair of the Black Women Blockchain Council (BWBC), which is working to increase the number of black blockchain developers to half a million by 2030.
Last year, BWBC partnered with blockchain software company Consensys to help African people around the world get into crypto.
She also set up a room on the Clubhouse social audio app called What The Hell is Blockchain and a community site where members can network and about everything from non-fungible tokens (NFTs) to decentralized autonomous organizations (DAOs) ) can experience.
In case she wasn’t busy enough, she released an NFT social impact CyberMermaid collection through The Dope Sea marine conservation charity.
In 2022, Odeniran plans to host a month-long Women’s History Month event in March and launch a new program to educate African women about NFTs and blockchain.
Maliha Abidi is a Pakistani-American author and internationally recognized visual artist. This year she founded “Women Rise NFTs”. The collection of 10,000 NFTs represents various women from around the world, including activists, artists, scientists and programmers.
The collection was featured on the cover of Rarible and DCentral Miami. Abidi also had an artist residency during Art Basel in Miami.
To date, Abidi says 2,350 NFTs from the collection, valued at over 150 ethers (ETH), around $ 591,000, have been sold to 1,200 individual buyers, including some big names like Randi Zuckerberg and Gary Vee. 10% of the total profit from the project will be donated to charities that support women and children.
Abidi’s main project for next year will be the creation of the world’s first Metaverse school for marginalized children from around the world.
Lavinia Osbourne is the founder and host of Women in Blockchain Talks (WiBT), a women-run educational platform in the UK where women can network and learn about blockchain. She told Cointelegraph:
“Entering this revolutionary area is the key to change and acceptance. Women in Blockchain Talks wants to make it as easy as possible for people – especially women and marginalized groups – to do just that. “
That year, WiBT launched the 50,000 Women on Blockchain by 2023 campaign, which Osbourne told Cointelegraph that it will “show that blockchain is for everyone and highlight the different ways” to get involved in the area.
Osbourne also founded the upcoming women-centric Crypto Kweens NFT Marketplace, which is currently being built on the Rarible protocol.
WiBT has launched a Middle East Ambassador to expand its international reach to women and marginalized groups who want to learn about blockchain technology with translated versions of their educational material.
Jen Greyson is a Utah-based advocate for women’s empowerment through cryptocurrency and a board member of the Kerala Blockchain Academy (KBA) in India.
KBA trains women in STEM and blockchain to become managers in this area. In 2021, it introduced several new blockchain courses, including two free foundation programs. The academy trained nearly 7,000 students this year, with more than 6,000 students enrolling in the Foundation programs in less than four months.
She told Cointelegraph, “The blockchain training program was aimed at equipping startups and individuals with the knowledge, skills and attitudes” needed to get started in the sector. Greyson added:
“While my home state of Utah languishes bringing computers to every school for every student around the world, KBA did so in 2021 when it was weathering a pandemic.”
That year, the Academy’s Immunochain vaccine traceability solution was selected for a government health program in Kerala. KBA has also developed a blockchain-powered multi-party system for signing and verifying documents called Sign-A-Doc.
In 2022, Greyson will launch an NFT podcast and academy that will focus on bringing more crypto-education to women.
In May of this year, Manasia Vora co-founded the Komorebi Collective on Syndicate, making it the first investment DAO to focus on funding female and non-binary crypto founders.
She is also the founder of the non-profit Women in Blockchain (WIB), which aims to offer women a space to advise one another about blockchain and crypto. “Our goal is to bring women together with thought leaders in the field to inspire, collaborate, and encourage others,” she said in a LinkedIn post. December 15th, WIB tweeted:
“Crypto is about shared abundance and shared property. But that will not work if the underrepresented communities are not involved in the building, in the design, in the decision-making process! ”
In addition to being an internationally recognized activist, Roya Mahboob was one of the few female tech CEOs in Afghanistan before she had to flee when the Taliban took control of the country in September this year.
She is the founder and CEO of the Afghan Citadel Software Company (ACSC), of which more than half of the employees are women. Since many Afghan women do not have access to a traditional bank account, she pays her employees in Bitcoin. In an interview with CoinDesk in August, she said:
“If young people can learn about computers, they can learn about bitcoin too. And now everyone wants to learn how to access Bitcoin. You need to.”
She is also a board member and president of the Digital Citizen Fund (DCF), a nonprofit that aims to educate girls and women in developing countries about technology and finance.
Mahboob also sits on the Advisory Board of Ashford University’s Forbes School of Business & Technology and recently launched EdyEdy, a platform that helps young people from developing countries learn practical digital skills.
Cleve Mesidor is the author of My pursuit of justice in politics & crypto, and a former commissioner for the Obama administration.
She was named a Public Policy Advisor for the Blockchain Association in March of this year and is Mayoral Appointee for the DC Innovations and Technology Inclusion Council.
She is also the founder of the National Policy Network of Women of Color in Blockchain and LOGOS, a social platform on the blockchain for activists.
The Botswana “Bitcoin Lady” Alakanani Itireleng is CEO of the Satoshi Center, which educates members of her community about how they can make money with crypto and blockchain technology.
The self-financed center is in the process of developing an incubator in which startups can network with potential sponsors or mentors.
She has campaigned for the Bank of Botswana to regulate and legitimize Bitcoin as a legal currency and is also developing a local crypto wallet that can connect directly to regular ATMs.
In an interview with Forbes in July, Itireleng said, “I felt there was something unique about bitcoin that was different from regular fiat money.” She added, “I always call it a currency of love.”