It’s no secret that the crypto ecosystem has been – and still is – dominated by men, including on the investor and leadership side. While there have been strides and advancements for gender parity since the days of the “crypto bros and their lambos,” a lot of effort is still needed.
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Indeed, a salient data point is that of the 378 venture capital-backed crypto and blockchain companies founded globally between 2012 and 2018, only one had an all-female founding team, and only 8.2% had a mix of male and female founders, according to a Diversity in Blockchain report.
Similarly, the lack of diversity is also present in other areas of crypto, including academia and government.
Yet against this backdrop, some women have risen to leadership positions in various spaces and are leading the way, including Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) Commissioner Hester Peirce, and Cathie Wood of Ark Invest.
“I find it incredibly encouraging and inspiring to see powerful women making their mark in a currently male-dominated space. It’s reinforcement that there is of course room for us in crypto,” said Diana Brown, People Manager at Eco “So far, a few inspiring women have risen to leadership positions and are showing us the way — a reminder that there’s plenty of room for all of us. We’re getting to create the experience we want in these early days of crypto.
Hester Peirce: “Crypto Mom”
Peirce, SEC commissioner since 2018, is also known as the “crypto mom.” She is a strong supporter of crypto and is often a dissenting voice on the SEC’s regulatory stance on the space.
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For example, in response to the SEC’s announcement in May that it would bolster the unit tasked with protecting investors in the crypto markets by adding 50 dedicated positions, Peirce tweeted: “The SEC is a regulatory agency with an enforcement division, not an enforcement agency. Why are we leading with the application of crypto? »
While women are underrepresented in the crypto industry, it is even rarer to have a regulator who is female and also very pro-crypto, some observe.
“That’s where the SEC’s Hester Peirce comes in,” said Ming Duan, co-founder of bond market platform Web3 Umee. “It’s no surprise that the SEC and the crypto world have been under strain lately, and yet Hester has stood firm and shown that a fresh perspective is needed towards new technologies, showing that there is has plenty of room for the legacy system to adapt and progress. I think that’s why everyone calls her the Crypto Mom.
The industry really appreciates his hard work and good faith, including smart proposals such as the Safe Harbor idea, Duan added.
In April 2021, Peirce proposed Safe Harbor, which “aims to provide network developers with a three-year grace period during which, under certain conditions, they can facilitate participation in and development of a functioning network or decentralized, exempt from the registration provisions of the federal securities laws.
Duan said it gave him “hope that more women will not only enter crypto but also government, and Hester Peirce is really the role model for the latter.”
Cathie Wood: a positive and visionary force
Wood, CEO and CIO of Ark Invest, is known for her bold predictions and actions, as well as being a huge supporter of Bitcoin and being a visionary.
“We believe Bitcoin is the deepest application of public blockchains, the foundation of ‘self-sovereign’ digital currency,” Ark wrote in a January report. “The Bitcoin protocol has enabled two other revolutions: the financial (DeFi) and internet (Web3) revolutions”.
According to Ark’s estimates at the time, the price of one Bitcoin could exceed $1 million by 2030.
As the crypto world has seen a downturn in recent months, Wood reiterated his prediction in April, telling Yahoo Finance, “I don’t think people believed me when I said it on stage last week. last at Bitcoin 2022. But I thought so.
“And a lot of people think, ‘OK, so you’re assuming institutional investors are becoming huge holders of Bitcoin.’ No, we are not. We assume, however, that they will gradually move in.
Kayla Kroot, co-founder of Koii Network, a decentralized publishing protocol and Web3 library, said, “While ARK hasn’t had the best year, that could be said of so many forward-looking companies. future in any market; and, stepping back, we should recognize just how much of a positive force Wood has been on major technological breakthroughs through his investment acumen.
According to Kroot, Wood sees trends years ahead of the pack, and his early understanding of Bitcoin’s potential to transform the economy is a perfect example of his ability to predict trends.
“When all the naysayers were telling her that Bitcoin, and crypto as a whole, weren’t worth much, she stayed true to her instincts.” said Kroot. “And she was right. Even though the price of Bitcoin has fallen this year, the crypto market and the technologies supporting the industry aren’t going anywhere.
Additionally, Kroot said Wood has remarkable leadership skills and an innate ability to identify breakthrough technologies that will one day change the world.
“She is an inspiration not just to women in crypto, but to all women and underdogs striving to be the best at their professional development,” Kroot added. “I think five years from now we’ll be looking back and thinking about how Wood was right about so much early-stage technology.”
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