The digital currency we know as Bitcoin is truly booming. And so is the work of women in the world of digital currencies. Wider recognition by international organisations and online businesses inevitably means that moving forward, the cryptocurrency will have more and more impact on our everyday lives, making it all the more important to achieve gender equality in the online and economic spheres.
As a relatively new venture, implemented as an open source code and released in January 2009, the Bitcoin business has seemingly been yet another ‘man’s world’ with research conducted in 2013 revealing 96% of Bitcoin users to be men and the business of digital currency being labelled as having a ‘pale male’ problem. But look a little closer and it becomes apparent that while it may be a male dominated sphere, there are many powerful women involved in the Bitcoin business. And some of them are very big fish indeed.
Women are hit with a double whammy of male-dominated worlds when it comes to using and working with Bitcoin. Not only are the vast majority of Bitcoin users male but so are the technological and economic minds behind the cryptocurrency. While the Bitcoin community is a democratic commons that anyone can join, women are having to show their metal and skill to prove themselves as a worthy minority. Moreover, Women in Bitcoin forums have been established, encouraging, supporting and promoting the work of women in the sector. And despite disheartening statistics, there are powerful women leading and leaving significant markers on the Bitcoin trail.
Their work will be becoming all the more important following the surge in confidence in Bitcoin, especially as some businesses have set up branches that deal exclusively in digital currency. These even include takeaway food order websites and online iGaming sites, which you can see in action here. BitCasino was one of the first businesses to place their trust on Bitcoin, as it was the first casino where players make deposits, play games from slots and blackjack to video poker and roulette and collect their winnings in Bitcoin.
Satoshi Nakamoto, the person behind the invention of Bitcoin and blockchain (the digital ledger that supports it), still remains anonymous. Naturally, some of the theories behind who it could be involve powerful women in tech, including Margaret Runchey, who published a paper and acquired a patent on an innovative type of sophisticated distributed systems architecture in 2007 that seems to have a lot in common with blockchain.
But regardless of theories, the reality is that there’s quite a few superwomen doing essential work in the Bitcoin business. Here’s just some of them:
Blythe Masters is probably the most widely recognised female advocate of cryptocurrency. As the former top exec of JP Morgan Chase and known for her brilliance in the economic sector, she led startup company Digital Assets Holdings, a business which specialised in blockchain solutions for large financial organisations.
Elizabeth Rosiello is also a key feminist representative in the world of digital currency. She is CEO and co-founder of BitPesa, a company helping to build a payment infrastructure in Africa which allows its users to make fast and low-cost transactions in Bitcoin.
Cindy McAdam is president and general counsel at Xapo, one of the leading Bitcoin wallet services, a company which has received $40 in funding. McAdam is one of the highest ranking executives.
While there may still be a long way to go before women achieve equal representation in the field of cryptocurrency, there is at least a light beginning to shine at the distant end of the tunnel. And let’s not forget the still secret identity (and gender!) of Satoshi Nakamoto.