Who are the top 10 women in blockchain? While we give you a list of women doing their best to contribute to the growing industry, let’s not forget that blockchain technology, like many facets of the modern industry, is dominated by men. The statistics are even there to support this claim. A report published by crypto research firm LongHash on Dec. 11, 2018, shows that a few women occupy leadership positions in the nascent sector.
The research firm surveyed a total of 1,062 team members, 326 founders or C-level executives, 473 listed advisors, and 100 startups.
The results were shocking, but not as shocking considering that women are underrepresented in many industries.
Only 14.5 percent of crypto team members are women while a mere 7 percent of executive roles were occupied by women. Women advisors make up 8 percent.
Top 10 women in blockchain
Despite these statistics that will surely improve as the market grows, there is a number of women who are doing a stellar job in the blockchain sector. We have compiled – not in any particular order – a list of women who are playing their part in taking the blockchain sector to the next level.
Hester Peirce – U.S. SEC Commissioner
Hester Peirce, also known as the Crypto Mom, is currently serving as a commissioner of the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). She is a lawyer who specializes in the regulation of financial markets.
She is known for going against the SEC’s decision to reject Bitcoin exchange-traded fund (ETFs) and has previously commented that the industry should be given enough freedom to blossom.
In a speech delivered in February at the University of Missouri School of Law, she said,
“We might be able to draw clearer lines once we see more blockchain projects mature. Delay in drawing clear lines may actually allow more freedom for the technology to come into its own.”
She may as well be the sector’s “inside person” as the race for a Bitcoin ETF intensifies. It is widely believed that a crypto ETF would attract more institutional investors into the industry and take us out of the crypto winter.
Kelly Loeffler – Bakkt CEO
Kelly Loeffler is the chief executive officer of Bakkt, the crypto arm of Intercontinental Exchange (ICE), the parent company of the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE), the largest stock exchange in the world.
Loeffler has spent more than 15 years at ICE and occupied several posts including Head of Relations and Chief Communications & Marketing Officer.
Loeffler’s position at Bakkt is as important as the firm she is serving. Bakkt is a cryptocurrency startup that wants to offer diversified cryptocurrency services such as trading and storage. The firm is currently awaiting approval from U.S. Commodity Futures and Trading Commission (CFTC).
If everything goes according to plan, Bakkt would potentially attract institutional capital and give the industry the credibility it desperately needs.
Elizabeth Stark – Lightning Labs CEO and co-founder
A Harvard University graduate, Elizabeth Stark is the co-founder and CEO of Lightning Labs. Stark and her company are working hard to address one of the longest-standing issues in the history of blockchains – scalability.
Lightning Labs has developed a new tech that allows transactions to be carried out off the blockchain main network. The startup introduced the Lightning Network, a solution that makes Bitcoin transactions faster and cheaper.
She is also a fellow at the not-for-profit research platform Coin Center.
Her contribution to the crypto sector makes her one of the biggest female giants in the industry.
Kathleen Breitman – Tezos co-founder
Kathleen Breitman and her husband Arthur Breitman are the co-founders of Tezos, a blockchain protocol that successfully raised $232 million in one of the most successful initial coin offerings to date.
The duo did not expect to raise more than $20 million. However, when it was reported that big investors such as Tim Draper and Polychain Capital were backing the project, many people rushed to invest in the project through a Swiss Foundation the couple had set up.
However, the relationship between the Tezos Foundation and the Breitmans went sour and in-house fighting ensued. The press got wind of what was happening and released a number of articles about the promising projects which eventually resulted in lawsuits by token holders.
Everything seems to be back in order as the platform has already launched a beta version and investors have already received their tokens.
Tezos is currently the 20th most valuable blockchain with a market capitalization of nearly $479 million.
Catheryne Nicholson – BlockCypher co-founder and CEO
Catheryne Nicholson is the CEO and co-founder of BlockCypher, a leading Blockchain Web Services (BWS) firm. The firm allows other companies to build blockchain applications on both public and private blockchains.
The firm claims to have no single point of failure and more than 99 percent uptime.
Nicholson has spent more than 15 years working in product management, defense, product marketing, environmental and energy.
Katherine Wu – Business Development Director at Messari
Katherine Wu is passionate about the emerging cryptocurrency industry. She is mainly interested in its development from a global perspective. She has served as a director of business development for Messari, a crypto research firm based in New York, USA.
A graduate of John Hopkins University, she had stints at several private and government organizations including the Bank of China, Bank of America, the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), U.S. State Department, and Oak Hill Advisors.
Galia Benartzi – Bancor co-founder
Galia Benartzi is a technology entrepreneur who has built and sold a number of startups including Myptopia for $48 million.
She co-founded Bancor, a cryptocurrency conversion company in 2017 and the project raised $153 million in an initial coin offering (ICO). The Bancor network suffered a security breach in which $13.5 million was lost.
The native token of the Bancor network is known as BNT and is ranked 111th on CoinMarketCap with a market cap of $38.4 million. Benartzi gave a TED talk about digital currencies.
Preethi Kasireddy – founder and CEO TruStory
Preethi Kasireddy is the CEO and founder of TruStory. She worked as blockchain engineer at America’s biggest cryptocurrency exchange Coinbase between May 2016 and February 2017.
She previously worked as an analyst at the investment bank Goldman Sachs and spent some time at the investment firm Andreessen Horowitz.
Her latest venture, TruStory, focuses on identifying fake and real news in the crypto sectors. She also holds sessions with women who are interested in getting into the blockchain sector.
Sandra Ro – Global Blockchain Business Council CEO
Sandra Ro is the CEO of Global Blockchain Business Council (GBBC), an industry association for the emerging blockchain technology that connects innovative organizations with thought leaders from more than 40 countries in an effort to bring an understanding of the young technology to business leaders and regulators.
The organization was officially launched as a Swiss not-for-profit organization during the Annual World Economic Forum in 2017 in the ski resort of Davos in Switzerland.
The GBBC is working hard so that blockchain technology can be adopted on a global scale.
Ro previously worked for CME Group.
Elaine Shi – Thunder Token co-founder and chief scientist
A Cornell University Professor, Elaine Shi is the co-founder and chief scientist at Thunder Token, a blockchain network that facilitates faster transactions.
The testnet for the platform is already live and the platform claims to provide maximum security. Security has become an important aspect in the blockchain sector as criminal elements have already made more than $1 billion from their nefarious acts.
The platform allows developers to build and deploy Dapps.
The university professor is the first person to publish peer-reviewed papers on Bitcoin and blockchain smart contracts.