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This year, new research showed that there’s still a long way to go before there is gender parity in the crypto and blockchain space. WEF’s April Global Gender Gap Report 2021 found that it will take close to 135.6 years to close the gender gap due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
However, that hasn’t stopped these women who used blockchain technology and cryptocurrency to tackle a whole range of social issues ranging from girls’ education 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 block at a time.
Tavonia Evans is the founder and lead engineer of GUAP Coin, which she created to help close the wealth gap and support black-owned businesses in the United States. Despite being hospitalized with COVID-19 and facing sweeping funding cuts, Evans says that her company accomplished more this year than ever before.
“We’ve onboarded hundreds of women of color into the Masternode space, an area of crypto that is largely male-dominated,” she told Cointelegraph. 70% of GUAP nodes are owned by women of color.
“We’ve sparked awareness about crypto among a population with less access and education in crypto and finance — and we continue to do so.”
This year, the company onboarded its first brick-and-mortar merchants. It also launched the xGUAP wrapper on Binance Smart Chain.
Lisa Wade was the 2021 recipient of Blockchain Australia’s Gender and Diversity Leader of the Year award, which recognized her work advocating for women and LGBTIQ+ people in the blockchain industry.
She is the founder of NEOMI, an investing ecosystem that connects charity entrepreneurs looking to raise capital with investors looking for authentic impact investments. Wade explained to Cointelegraph:
“NEOMI has a lens on our theory of change, which supports LGBTI and female entrepreneurs.”
Wade is also the chair of NAB Pride and pioneered the Australian bank’s “Rainbow Women” initiative, which gives LGBTIQ+ women a space to speak about issues that are holding them back on career development in the finance sector.
She also continued her work in environmental activism, co-creating a blockchain initiative called Project Carbon which tokenizes voluntary carbon credits.
Olayinka Odeniran is the founder and Chairwoman of Black Women Blockchain Council (BWBC), which is working toward increasing the number of black female blockchain developers to half a million by 2030.
Over the past year, the BWBC partnered with blockchain software company Consensys to help African people throughout the globe get involved in crypto.
She also launched a room on social audio app Clubhouse called “What The Hell is Blockchain” and a community site where members can network and learn about everything from nonfungible tokens (NFTs) to decentralized autonomous organizations (DAOs).
In case this wasn’t keeping her busy enough, she also released a social impact NFT collection CyberMermaid through ocean conservation nonprofit The Dope Sea.
In 2022, Odeniran plans to host a month-long event for Women’s History Month in March and release a new program to teach African women about NFTs and blockchain.
Maliha Abidi is a Pakistani-American author and internationally acclaimed visual artist. She founded ‘Women Rise NFTs’ this year. The collection of 10,000 NFTs represent diverse women from around the world including activists, artists, scientists and coders.
The collection has been featured on the front page of Rarible and at DCentral Miami. Abidi also had an artist residency during Art Basel in Miami.
According to Abidi, so far, 2,350 NFTs from the collection amounting to over 150 Ether (ETH), around $591,000, have been sold to 1,200 unique buyers including some big names like Randi Zuckerberg and Gary Vee. 10% of the total profits from the project will be donated to charities supporting women and children.
Abidi’s major 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), which is a female-led educational platform in the United Kingdom where women can network and learn about blockchain. She told Cointelegraph:
“Getting started in this revolutionary space is key to change and adoption, so Women in Blockchain Talks wants to make this as easy as possible for people — women and marginalized groups in particular — to do just that.”
This year, WiBT launched the 50k women into Blockchain by 2023 campaign, which Osbourne explained to Cointelegraph will “show that blockchain is for everyone as well as highlight the different pathways” to get involved in the space.
Osbourne also founded the upcoming female-centric Crypto Kweens NFT Marketplace, which is currently being built on the Rarible protocol.
WiBT introduced a Middle East ambassador to expand their international reach to women and marginalized groups wanting to learn about blockchain technology with translated versions of their educational material.
Jen Greyson is a Utah-based advocate of women’s empowerment through cryptocurrency and a board member for Kerala Blockchain Academy (KBA) in India.
KBA trains women in STEM and blockchain to become leaders in the space. In 2021, it introduced several new blockchain courses, including two free foundation programs. The Academy trained close to 7,000 students this year, with over 6,000 students enrolling into the foundation programs in less than four months.
She told Cointelegraph: “The blockchain training program aimed to equip start-ups and individuals with the requisite knowledge, skills and attitude” needed to crack into the sector. Greyson added further:
“While my home state of Utah is languishing in even getting computers in every school for every student, across the globe, KBA did this in 2021 while navigating a pandemic.”
This year, the Academy’s vaccine traceability solution Immunochain was selected for a government health program in Kerala. KBA also developed a blockchain-powered multi-party document signing and verification system called Sign-A-Doc.
In 2022, Greyson will be launching an NFT podcast and an academy “focused on bringing more crypto education to the feminine.”
In May this year, Manasia Vora co-founded the Komorebi Collective on Syndicate, becoming the first investment DAO focused on funding female and non-binary crypto founders.
She is also the founder of the non-profit Women in Blockchain (WIB), which aims to provide a space for women to mentor each other about blockchain and crypto. “We aim to connect women to thought leaders in this space to inspire, collaborate and encourage others,” she said in a LinkedIn post. On Dec. 15, WIB tweeted:
“Crypto is about shared abundance and shared ownership. But this isn’t possible if the underrepresented communities are not included in the building, in the design, in the decision-making!”
Roya Mahboob is not only an internationally-recognized activist but was also one of very few female tech CEOs in Afghanistan before being forced to flee in September this year when the Taliban took over control of the country.
She is the founder and CEO of Afghan Citadel Software Company (ACSC), where over half the employees are women. Because many Afghan women are unable to access a traditional bank account, she pays her employees in Bitcoin. In an August interview with CoinDesk, she said:
“If young people can learn about computers, they can learn about Bitcoin. And now everybody wants to learn how to access Bitcoin. They need to.”
She is also a board member and president of the Digital Citizen Fund (DCF), a non-profit aiming to educate girls and women from developing countries about technology and finance.
Mahboob also sits on the advisery board of Ashford University’s Forbes School of Business & Technology and recently created EdyEdy, a platform that helps young people from developing countries learn practical digital literacy skills.
Cleve Mesidor is the author of My Quest for Justice in Politics & Crypto, and a former appointee of the Obama administration.
She was appointed as public policy adviser at Blockchain Association in March this year and is a 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 Botswanan “Bitcoin Lady” Alakanani Itireleng is the CEO of the Satoshi Centre, which educates members of her community on how they can make money from crypto and blockchain technology.
The self-funded center is in the process of developing an incubator where startups will be able to 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 will be able to directly connect to regular ATMs.
In a July interview with Forbes, Itireleng said, “I was feeling that there’s something about Bitcoin that is unique, that is different from normal fiat money.” She added further: “I always call it a currency of love.”
Uppsala, a blockchain security service provider for crypto AML/CTF, transaction risk management, regulatory compliance, and transaction tracking, has announced today that it has signed a contract to supply digital asset AML solutions to KODA (Korea Digital Asset), a South Korean crypto exchange.
Through the contract with Uppsala Security, KODA will receive full access to Uppsala Security’s Threat Intelligence Database (TRDB), Crypto Analysis Transaction Visualization (CATV), and Crypto Analysis Risk Assessment (CARA) tools.
KODA is a digital asset custody service company established by Kookmin Bank (KB), South Korea’s largest bank, based on technology provided by blockchain developer Haechi Labs and in association with Hashed. The company provides a one-stop digital asset custody service specialized in corporations and institutions and has signed Wemade as its first customer.
By becoming an active user of Uppsala Security’s Threat Intelligence data hub (TRDB), KODA can strengthen its Anti-Money Laundering (AML) and Counter-Terrorism Financing (CTF) fund monitoring functions by checking and reviewing in advance whether the wallet addresses of the deposited funds are blacklisted wallets related to the Dark Web or hacking/financial crimes.
In addition, Uppsala Security’s CARA tool, which uses Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Machine Learning (ML) mechanisms to detect various on-chain transaction patterns based on blacklisted wallet addresses behavior, helps with associating a risk level to wallet addresses that are not labeled yet in Uppsala Security’s Threat Intelligence data hub (TRDB), so that the risk of interacting with suspicious wallets can be mitigated and categorized in advance by grading them.
Uppsala Security also explained that if virtual asset transactions involved in crimes such as fraud are discovered at a later time, wallet transaction flows can be tracked and monitored in real-time through the Virtual Asset Tracking Security Solution (CATV) to further strengthen Regulatory Compliance and prevent virtual asset Money Laundering.
According to Uppsala Security, the company is currently working full steam ahead on developing a completely new leading-edge digital asset Fraud Detection System (FDS) solution that can block high-risk transactions in advance by pre-checking the risk of a large number of wallet addresses with just one click.
“KODA’s AML and internal control security system are already operating at the level of the existing financial sector and industry’s requirements, but we expect to be able to handle digital assets above the Government’s regulatory standards by additionally introducing Uppsala Security’s Anti-Money Laundering and Transaction Tracking solutions. We are also reviewing the introduction of a digital asset-specialized FDS solution that Uppsala Security will soon launch.”
– Ko Young-joo, Chief Information Security Officer (CISO) at KODA
The United Kingdom is paving the road for cryptocurrency services, courting startups and established players alike while leading the way in pioneering regulation on stablecoins and nonfungible tokens.
But a lot has changed. After two years of deliberations, European Union lawmakers achieved agreement on the Markets in Crypto-Assets (MiCA) regulation, marking a pivotal moment for harmonized supervision of the sector on such a scale. This followed United States President Joe Biden’s executive order recommending a whole-of-government approach toward the responsible development of digital assets within the United States.
The U.K. has also seen major political shifts during this period, including the resignation of Treasury Minister John Glen, whose April speech supporting the industry represented the most emphatic from a U.K. official to date.
While Glen was broadly supportive of a regulated and nurturing framework for the sector, other U.K. institutions have voiced concern about the safety and viability of cryptocurrency. In fact, on the same day as Glen’s speech, Bank of England Governor Andrew Bailey called the crypto market an “opportunity for the downright criminal.”
It’s precisely this sort of mixed messaging that could hinder the industry’s development just as the starting pistol is fired. Uncertainty breeds stagnation. Evidence suggests that a lack of regulatory clarity has already put the brakes on the wide adoption of cryptocurrency by consumers.
The industry will not be able to enjoy any comfort until regulators align their thinking.
With a new prime minister and government on the horizon, it is vital that whoever takes up residence at 11 Downing Street unifies the government’s position with the Bank of England and the country’s regulators so that the U.K. can become a true leader in innovative technology and standards setting.
The crypto sector has reached a point where it is both achieving global recognition as an incubator for fast-moving financial technology and missing out due to inconsistent approaches.
The crypto market holds approximately $1 trillion in value. That figure will increase as consumer and commercial adoption grow, creating jobs, improving financial inclusion, and providing fresh alternatives to legacy systems in the financial services sector.
The U.K. is one of Europe’s leading fintech hubs and finds itself in a fortunate position, equipped with the infrastructure, investment and talent to champion the crypto industry. But in order to cement this position, it needs to continue to attract best-of-breed challenger financial services brands. To achieve this, it must take a decisive and unilateral stance on cryptocurrency — consistent with the points delivered by Glen — that shows it is the home for building and growing innovative digital asset companies. After all, effective financial regulations exist to protect consumers without stifling innovation that ultimately benefits them.
This isn’t to say that Bailey’s concerns regarding the possibility of crypto being used for illicit activity are unwarranted. But addressing this point should not preclude the U.K. government from demonstrating it is not fearful of new technology and the positive changes crypto specifically is capable of delivering.
To that end, Glen’s statements regarding the delivery of a financial market infrastructure sandbox and the establishment of a crypto-asset Engagement Group are welcome steps that we believe will allow the U.K. to continue to serve as a leader in this space in active collaboration with the industry.
Taking a single unified approach to crypto regulation is also important. With MiCA, the EU is setting the bar and must be applauded for demonstrating the benefits of a unified approach to crypto regulation.
As the U.K. considers additional regulation in this space and the newly introduced Financial Services and Markets Bill makes its way through parliament, it would behoove the U.K. to build on the EU’s approach with MiCA, working with industry and consumers alike to discourage uncertainty and doubt.
UK Govt has today published 330 page long Financial Services and Markets Bill.
It will roll back many post-crash reforms, including capital adequacy rules.
Impose a duty of competitiveness on the regulator – effectively a race to the bottom.
This won’t have a happy ending.
— Prem Sikka (@premnsikka) July 21, 2022
Similarly, the upcoming consultation on the government’s approach to crypto assets represents a good opportunity for policymakers to hear from the industry about how to best build the regulation that will protect businesses and consumers while empowering innovation to thrive.
Of course, building regulation is only one part of the puzzle. Communicating government policy to those subject to regulation is as important as policymakers understanding the industry they are regulating. To that end, robust public-private collaboration is vital to adapt financial regulations to new technologies.
Only through a unified approach to crypto regulation will businesses have the confidence that they are operating in a market where the authorities are fully invested in the success of the sector, and consumers can feel protected by effective regulatory oversight.
To mitigate the current period of economic uncertainty, the U.K. will need to rely more heavily on its flagship industries, such as fintech, to drive growth, create jobs, and help the country to “Build Back Better.” To achieve this, it needs to encourage innovation in digital assets underpinned by a resilient and comprehensive regulatory framework. At this early stage, when a number of nations are seeking to grab the crypto crown, the U.K. cannot afford to allow mixed messaging to stymie its crypto ambitions.
The opinions expressed are the author’s alone and do not necessarily reflect the views of Cointelegraph. This article is for general information purposes and is not intended to be and should not be taken as legal or investment advice.
Nodle, a decentralized network on Polkadot that provides secure, low-cost connectivity and data liquidity to connect billions of devices worldwide, announced today it has reached half a million token holders (per Subscan, as of August 1, 2022), bringing the project closer to the mission of empowering people to build the first smartphone-powered decentralized network.
Having a mobile-first approach reduces the barrier to entry for users and allows anyone to quickly join the network as an antenna or “node” with no additional equipment or prior knowledge. Bringing web3 to the physical world, Nodle leverages smartphones to read sensors and devices that exist materially.
The location of the device is only used to compute rewards based on contribution to network coverage and to locate Bluetooth devices at the request of their owners. The “nodes” (smartphones) are rewarded for providing network availability and connectivity. Building an ecosystem anyone can join with a resource they already own (their smartphones) is the key to Nodle’s commitment to inclusion and accessibility.
“The Nodle Network is experiencing a first-mover advantage in terms of blockchain and mobile devices, as many web3 companies have yet to develop and launch a native app. In time, this will be like a company going to market without a website — practically unthinkable today.”
– The Nodle Team
Nodle is powered by mobile phones that earn NODL for providing network availability and connectivity. Users connect and secure physical assets, track lost or valuable items, capture sensor data, authenticate security certificates, and more. This data provides insights for consumer electronics manufacturers, enterprises, smart cities, the finance industry, and more. Since its founding in 2017, Nodle has become one of the largest wireless networks by the number of base stations.
For more information on the Nodle economy, see Nodle’s tokenomics documentation.
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