In honor of International Women’s Day, it is the perfect time to look at some of the most bad ass women in the crypto and blockchain arena. In an industry dominated mostly by men, more and more women are getting involved and creating some of the most interesting and innovative products. These 5 ladies are doing amazing things and deserve to be praised for breaking barriers, building the future, and for being a positive influence among young women interested in tech.
1. Elizabeth Stark
Elizabeth Stark is the cofounder and CEO of Lightning, a decentralized network using smart contract functionality in the blockchain for faster, high volume transactions. As we have seen time and time again with different crypto coins, scaling is probably the number one issue when it comes to growth and adoption. Stark and Lightning technology are who you can thank for helping Bitcoin stay practical and not become obsolete in the future. Stark also played a huge role in fighting against SOPA/PIPA, acts as an adviser to several decentralized technology start ups, and has even taught at Stanford and Yale.
2. Jay Graber
Jay Graber is a developer and software engineer for Zcash. There are lots of women in the crypto industry who may specialize in the business aspects like PR, community relations, and managerial roles, but this women gets into the nitty gritty of coding and helps build. She is an advocate for building technology that decentralizes infrastructure and protects user privacy. Before her position at Zcash, Graber worked as a political organizer on campaigns to protect privacy and open internet. Graber is vocal on social media and her twitter is chalk-full of inspiration and advice for women trying to break into the industry.
3. Chrissa McFarlane
Chrissa McFarlane is not only a woman trailblazer in crypto, she is one of the few Black female founders on the scene. McFarlane is the founder and CEO of her cybersecurity healthcare company, Patientory (PTOY). Patientory’s platform provides an easy way to securely store and manage health information using dApp (decentralized app) blockchain solutions. McFarlane worked in health care for 10 years. Her last position was at a digital health tech company, before she decided to venture out on her own and build solutions for the issues that hindered the health industry in its current state. McFarlane is an advocate for women and minority groups building tech companies to impact the communities they live in. She is an active speaker on the conference circuit and the chairwoman and adviser for several blockchain working groups.
4. Elena Sinelnikova
Elena Sinelnikova is the cofounder and CEO of CryptoChicks, a non-profit organization that is the ultimate resource for women trying to get into crypto. Sinelnikova and her team of volunteers organize various blockchain workshops and conferences aimed towards women. Sinelnikova has previously held positions as a software developer and impressively has over 20 years of experience in the tech industry. She attributes the lack of women while attending tech conferences as the reason for starting CryptoChicks, and had a desire to organize her own events geared towards women. Sinelnikova advocates women learning to develop blockchain technology as it will help the crypto industry progress with diversity and wider adoption. She regularly holds CryptoChicks hackathons and conferences in the Toronto, Ontario areas.
5. Preethi Kasireddy
Preethi Kasireddy is a self-employed blockchain engineer who has previously worked with Coinbase, Goldman Sachs, Abbott Labs, and Andreessen Horowitz. While most people working in tech make it a career goal to work for a huge company in Silicon Valley, Kasireddy had other entrepreneurial ambitions in mind. Her last position was a software engineer at Coinbase in 2017, which she voluntarily quit in order to be a self-employed blockchain engineer and start her own company. Shortly after leaving Silicon Valley Kasireddy cofounded Sapien AI, an artificial intelligence startup that build intelligent text and voice applications. Kasireddy now dedicates all of her time engineering blockchain projects as well as dropping a lot of knowledge through her blog and Ask Preethi educational video series.
Of course there are hundreds of women who deserve to recognized in the crypto scene, for the sake of your attention spans, 5 is a good start. Thank you and congratulations to all the women who continue to inspire and build a better world for us all.