Contributed by Kristen Giovinazzo, a freelancer from California with a Masters in Public Accounting
Less than 10 years ago, there was a new area of business everyone was curious about -- cryptocurrency. It all started with Bitcoin and quickly grew into a multi-billion dollar industry.
To many of us, cryptocurrencies can appear confusing and mysterious. We hear many stories about individuals who first invested a few dollars to discover years later, they are millionaires.
But who are the individuals behind the numbers and expanding this ever-growing business? We quickly discovered, a lot of them are women!
Today, highly educated women are forming businesses and assisting others to understand more about cryptocurrencies. Who are these women? We have compiled a list of 5 incredible women making their mark in this exciting new area of business.
Monika Proffitt, Co-founder and CEO of Rise Housing
Monika Proffitt is an entrepreneur, writer and speaker with 20 years experience in community design and real estate investment. She is the founder of Rise Housing, a real estate company using blockchain technology to the address issues of equity access for tenants and liquidity for investors. She regularly speaks at conferences and universities throughout the the Americas and Europe, and has been featured in Vogue Italia and New Mexico True TV. In her spare time, she writes poetry, creates art installations, and goes on long, meandering walks through New York City, where she lives.
TIP: Make sure the company that you invest in is playing the long game by making sure their token is backed by a real asset - not just a possible idea.
Elena Shkarubo, CEO of MeetnGreetMe
Elena Shkarubo – MBA from Kingston University, member of SPARK initiative to promote entrepreneurship globally and Co-Founder and CEO of MeetnGreetMe – a marketplace where international travelers can find personal assistants/concierges among local people. In September 2017 Elena decided to apply Blockchain Technology to the platform. Adapting the blockchain technology allows MeetnGreetMe to have its own means - MeetnGreetMe crypto-token - to incentivize contributors and reward the activities connected with the platform growth and development and fuel the MeetnGreetMe ecosystem.
The blockchain enabled payment system will allow them to exclude a costly middleman from the money transfer process in the future, and make it transparent and convenient for the parties regardless their geographical location. MeetnGreetMe has already successfully completed the Pre-ICO. The ICO will start on March 27 and last till May 21.
TIP: Don’t invest more than you are ready to lose.
Maria Eagleton, Co-founder of ChargaCard
Maria Eagleton is the co-founder of ChargaCard, a Boulder, Colorado startup that has created a cryptocurrency payments app that allows people to pay for goods and services with cryptocurrency. ChargaCard has a deeper mission related to social equity: tens of millions of Americans are mired in massive credit card debt or poor credit, and ChargaCard is the first B2C platform that taps into the informal credit markets to connect customers with legal and medical services—a true win-win for companies and the consumer.
Under Maria’s leadership, ChargaCard has embraced a policy of complete salary parity between women and men in the same positions, and ensuring that at least half of its employees are women (the current industry standard in tech companies now is closer to 20% female and 80% male). And there’s a practical rationale too: men and women think about the same things differently and have different approaches to development, and Maria wants this commitment to diversity and inclusion as a core element of the company’s DNA.
TIP: Do your homework! Each day, there are dozens of new cryptocurrencies coming online. The best resource is to read each company’s white paper, and get a sense for whether a company has the infrastructure and product in place that they claim to. If a white paper feels generic or doesn’t give a clear picture of what they’re trying to do, that should raise a red flag.
Kim Jackson, SingularDTV co-founder and President of Entertainment
As the co-founder and President of Entertainment at SingularDTV, a blockchain entertainment technology company, Kim Jackson brings about change by offering artists tools to empower themselves from funding all the way to distributing to their audiences.
She is responsible for all strategy and implementation of entertainment partnerships, including original and acquired content. An accomplished film producer, Kim has been a driving force behind Sundance winner BLUE CAPRICE and more than a dozen other award-winning films.
TIP: Before you make a decision on becoming involved in any ecosystem, it’s important to investigate the promises they make about products. You need to check that there’s an engine in the car that you’re buying - that there is something going on under the hood and that they have engineers backing their products. Doing your research and homework is very important.
Grace (Rebecca) Rachmany, Founder of IwriteICOwhitepapers.com & DAOleadership.com
Grace (Rebecca) Rachmany is the founder of IwriteICOwhitepapers.com, and also of DAOleadership.com. In addition to helping companies get to ICO (Initial Coin Offering), she works with growing decentralized organizations to instill the company culture and management skills needed for success in a decentralized world.
TIP: Cryptocurrency is not an investment. It's a currency. If you didn't invest in forex before, this isn't a vehicle you should be considering as an investment today either.