“Satoshi is female!”
That’s how New York Congresswoman Carolyn Maloney rallied the crowd on May 13 at the “Women on the Block” event in Brooklyn, New York, where more than 300 people came together to talk about cryptocurrency and blockchain technology. The event comes at time of tension within the crypto community, as blockchain stars like Lightning Labs CEO Elizabeth Stark are urging interviewers to stop asking what it’s like to be a woman in crypto.
“Stop marginalizing and write about the awesome work that women are doing,” Stark tweeted in February.
But to the ladies at the event, it’s less about creating a divide and more about a welcome reprieve from the perennial challenge of being treated like a crypto unicorn, when they just want to discuss use cases and applications.
True to that, many of the day’s discussions focused on the business opportunities within the space, from using the technology to shine a light on the opaque real estate industry to utilizing blockchain for supply chain management within the food sector.
Nonetheless, the fact is that women are still underrepresented in positions of privilege and power across the board – and the blockchain industry is no exception.
Based on findings from an international Quartz survey of 378 venture-backed crypto and blockchain companies founded between January 2012 and January 2018, roughly 8.5 percent had a woman on the founding team, compared to 17.7 percent in the broader tech industry.
And according to many women at the event, this lack of gender parity could hold the nascent industry back significantly.
“Women have a better understanding and different priorities with this technology,” European Parliament member Eva Kaili from Greece told the crowd, adding:
“We believe, with these tools, you can have a strong influence on the future.”
Sure enough, women at the event, including German entrepreneur Masha McConaghy, co-founder of both BigchainDB and the Ocean Protocol, told CoinDesk that women could benefit from blockchain technology, perhaps, even more than men.
That’s because women…