The blockchain landscape is commanding an increasing amount of attention. With more first-time companies and applications vying for ICOs, interest in the long-term viabilities of technologies based on the blockchain is also growing.
One of the questions many blockchain developers and entrepreneurs must answer to investors who may be intrigued, but skeptical, regarding the actual potential use of their blockchain solution is scalability, and inclusion. Luckily for entrepreneurs eager to make an impact in this space, more resources are popping up to help burgeoning ventures to hone their applications and refine their unique value propositions in the field.
I recently chatted with Tiffany Madison, one of the founding partners at DecentraNet, a full-service blockchain advisory, to learn more about the consultancy’s offerings and why the blockchain space needs guidance now more than ever. As a woman at the forefront of a growing company in the blockchain, Madison’s insights not only cover where blockchain as a whole needs to go, but also, how the vertical can transform into a more diverse and inclusive industry.
Do you feel there is a gender equality gap in blockchain and if so why?
Like the broader tech industry, there is a gender equality gap in blockchain technology. I think this is attributed to the fact that in the initial days of crypto, the earliest voices advocating widespread adoption of privacy-enhancing cryptography (as a facilitator for social and political change), were mostly male. That is changing.
Speaking only for myself: while there is certainly a disparity between men and women in this space, I think the industry is rapidly evolving into a culture of inclusion. In my experience, the community is comprised of highly conscientious individuals that sincerely strive to include women and all underrepresented groups in the industry. These efforts will naturally continue to attract more female involvement. This is important to me. I have three nieces and a four-month old daughter. I want as many opportunities open for them in this world, and want to only be a part of cultures that would actively welcome them.
How can we get more women into blockchain?
1) Create new opportunities: As the blockchain industry is transitioning from its newborn phase into infancy, new opportunities are emerging for women. Until recently, most of the positions in this space targeted technologists, a niche underrepresented with women. While we still have work to do, more women are entering STEM and technology-related fields than ever. As the industry continues to grow, positions where women often shine become more in demand, especially operations, marketing, public relations, content development, and media. Further, over the next decade, many industries where women dominate will be disrupted by blockchain, creating a catalyst for their interest.
2) Offer a platform: I also think industry events are a very public way of demonstrating support for inclusion and diversity. Event organizers and leaders can play a very important role by continuing to foster an inclusive culture welcoming to all. At d10e, we specifically sought female moderators to mediate all-male panels. Our emcee, still to this day, is the very talented young woman, Naomi Brockwell, also known as Bitcoin Girl. The result was that more women leaders felt empowered by their roles as early adopters and thought leaders, and more inclined to speak at future events. When DecentraNet hosts events, we promote inclusion by seeking out as many talented and diverse presenters as possible.
3) Focus on cryptocurrency adoption first: In my experience, interest in cryptocurrency almost always leads to interest in the power of blockchain technologies. Estimates currently place that 5 to 7 percent of all cryptocurrency users are women, making the industry a highly male-dominated one.I think this will change in the next 5-10 years. As cryptocurrency investment platforms, including wallets and exchanges, continue to become less cumbersome and more user-friendly, many women that do not consider themselves technical, but financially savvy, are apt to become interested.
How did DecentraNet begin?