Trusted Women in the Cryptospace 2020
As the cryptocurrency market is slowly approaching mainstream waters, with blockchain jobs on the rise by 300% year-to-year from 2019 to 2020, gender equality emerges as an issue as only 5.5% of all crypto investors are women. In the meantime, only 8% of co-founders and founders of crypto and blockchain startups are female. Despite the perhaps disappointing numbers for a trillion-dollar market where an average salary has reached $84,000 a year, these 10 women are some of the most trusted figures in the crypto space in 2020.
1. Former VP at Coinbase – Tina Bhatnagar
Starting at Twitter while the social media company was only an emerging startup, Tina Bhatnagar spent the first five years of her career at Twitter, attracting over 275 million active users and becoming one of the leading social media networks. Moreover, with the appearance of cryptocurrencies and blockchain, the social media network became one of the epicentres for discussions, news, polls and opinion regarding the crypto space. Now, Tina Bhatnagar is one of the most influential and trusted women in the cryptocurrency and blockchain industry as a vice president at Coinbase.
Coinbase is one of the most popular and largest exchanges in the market, as it represents a massive ecosystem that hosts all the top cryptocurrencies. Bhatnagar joined Coinbase in 2018 as vice president, overseeing the company’s expansion to Portland, Dublin and Oregon. Ever since Tina Bhatnagar joined the team, the Coinbase board of directors has seen her involvement in the company’s business as a general improvement. She quit the position in January 2020, currently focusing on Airtable as an advisor.
2. Co-founder at Lightning Labs - Elizabeth Stark
Elizabeth Stark is perhaps one of the most active figures in the world of cryptocurrency and also one of the most famous crypto ladies. Aside from co-founding Lightning Labs to find a way to make Bitcoin usable as an alternative payment method, Stark is also a fellow at Coin Center. Coin Center is a non-profit organization focused on demonstrating the power of cryptocurrency and blockchain to the government.
With Stark at the head, the organization demonstrated the speed of the Lightning Network to Congress. Aside from her active involvement in advocating for cryptocurrency and making a Bitcoin-based payment system more efficient, Elizabeth Stark was at the head of the investment initiative for Dorsey’s work in Lightning Labs.
3. Co-founder at Tezos – Kathleen Breitman
Kathleen Breitman is one of the most successful women in the cryptocurrency sphere and is the co-founder of the seventh-largest ICO project in the crypto market – Tezos. While not many people can say that they managed to raise 232 million dollars for a project, Breitman can. Breitman also worked for the Wall Street Journal before co-founding Tezos. Besides, she already had a history in the crypto sphere before her working as a senior strategy associate at R3 blockchain consortium before co-founding Tezos.
4. Chief Strategy Officer at CoinShares – Meltem Demirors
The author behind the controversial report that states that a great majority of Bitcoin was mined by using renewable energy and the chief strategy officer at CoinShares, a crypto investment company. Demirors is most certainly one of the boldest and most memorable women in crypto. Demirors also published interviews with over 50 women working in the cryptocurrency and blockchain industry, while holding the role of vice president at Digital Currency Group, a crypto VC company, for three years. During her time as vice president, Demirors contributed to the overall expansion of the company, while also being a member of the World Economic Forum Blockchain Council.
5. Head of Strategy at Casa – Alena Vranova
Before Vranova became the head of strategy at Casa, she co-founded SatoshiLabs, a well-known company developing and designing Trezor wallets. Since 2018, Vranova has become the head of strategy at Casa, and is also known for her advocacy for Bitcoin and cryptocurrency in general. Ana Vranova also wrote a book about Bitcoin and why it matters to our financial freedom.
6. Former CEO at Digital Asset Holdings – Blythe Masters
Blythe Masters had to step down from her position as the CEO at Digital Asset Holdings due to personal reasons. However, Masters will certainly be remembered for her remarkable achievements in the crypto space before she returns to active involvement in the industry. While working as the CEO at Digital Asset Holdings, the company raised over 100 million dollars from companies such as Goldman Sachs and JP Morgan. Masters worked for JP Morgan for 23 years and became the managing director at the age of 28.
7. Founder at Satoshi Center – Ani Itireleng
Popularly known as the Bitcoin Lady, Ana Itireleng is pushing the adoption and use of Bitcoin in Africa. Itireleng is at the head of the crypto movement in Africa as she created the Satoshi Center in Botswana. Thanks to this venture, users in Africa may use transactions that are all made in Bitcoin with the center as the medium of operations. Itireleng has also built a hub in the capital of Botswana that focuses on teaching children technology skills.
8. Managing Partner at SparkChain Capital – Joyce Kim
Joyce Kim started her career at a law firm but has drifted to the crypto waters since then. Kim was one of the co-founders of Stellar (XLM), alongside Jeb McCaleb, which became one of the top traded cryptos with a top-rated market cap among the ten biggest crypto projects. Since then, Kim has co-founded SparkChain Capital, a venture capital fund that has invested millions in crypto startups.
9. Plasma Group – Jinglan Wang
Before co-founding Eximchain, Wang joined Nasdaq as a blockchain product manager. Previously, she was a part of MIT’s Bitcoin Club, which was the first time Wang appeared in the crypto sphere as a figure. After founding Eximchain, which managed to raise 20 million dollars in funding for financing startups, Wang became the executive director at the Blockchain Educational Network. Wang is currently working with Ethereum as a part of the team building Plasma for the network.
10. Co-founder at Bancor – Galia Benartzi
Before arriving on the crypto scene and founding Bancor in 2016, Benartzi co-founded Mytopia, a social gaming company for smartphones in 2006 and Particle Code in 2010, a cross-platform development software company. Bancor is a decentralized liquidity network that enables token swaps without fees. Since starting the network in 2016, Benartzi has raised 153 million dollars for Bancor ICO.