Money is one of the oldest technologies that we have as humans.
Economists define it as anything commonly accepted by people for the exchange of goods and services. Although every country has its own system of coins and paper money, other things can also be used as money. Cue cryptocurrency. Whether you’ve traded it, used it, been fascinated or confused by it, you’ve no doubt heard of blockchain technology since it broke onto the scene about a decade ago. While much of the world has had a tumultuous relationship with the concept of digital currency, some are betting on Bitcoin as the future of business. After all, it’s now accepted as legitimate payment at major brands from AT&T to the Dallas Mavericks. As we’ve seen in recent weeks, emerging spaces like crypto can be unpredictable, and volatile; like any frontier, the opportunities to learn and lead are great, if you’re able to explore them.
In this part one of MBAchic’s emerging tech series we will get back to blockchain and Bitcoin basics and talk to one female entrepreneur who is making it her mission to see more women in C-suite positions shape the technology that has the potential to transform our world.
The Software Engineering Institute (SEI) at Carnegie Mellon University describes a blockchain simply as a distributed ledger that tracks transactions among parties. What makes it interesting are its fundamental properties, which apply to every single transaction:
- All parties agree that the transaction occurred
- All parties agree on the identities of the individuals participating in the transaction
- All parties agree on the time of the transaction
- The details of the transaction are easy to review and not subject to dispute
- Evidence of the transaction persists, unchangeable, over time
One of the simplest and best-known implementations in use today is the cryptocurrency Bitcoin.
The blockchain in Bitcoin literally acts as a ledger; it keeps track of the balances for all users and updates them as money changes hands. It’s the first system of money that is completely decentralized which is precisely why female leaders in the space are pushing to get more women involved with the design, development, deployment and decommissioning of tech solutions. One of those leaders is Bridget Greenwood, the founder of The Bigger Pie, an award-winning organization focused on supporting women in blockchain and emerging tech.
“Historically blockchain has been a combination of the tech world and the finance world, both heavily dominated by men and people have been introduced to this world through their networks,” says Greenwood. “But it’s time now to actively bring in smart women, accelerate their Web 3 learning and place them in senior roles within Web 3.”
Greenwood is also co-founder with Dr. Amber Ghaddar at The 200Bn Club, an accelerator program to help female-led startups match successfully with investors. Despite recent efforts for young women to gain greater access to STEM careers, women only account for about 33% of the workforce at large global tech firms.
For women who have not yet entered this rapidly-evolving space, one mistake entrepreneurs often make is waiting before taking action.
“Believe that you have enough insight and knowledge to get started and jump in,” Greenwood says. “I see how this is so important, particularly in emerging tech. I remember reading that men will apply for a job two years before they’re ready and a woman will not apply until two years after she’s ready. That’s a four year gap – and in emerging tech it means we’re allowing others to build and shape industries that need us right now.”
Blockchain technology and its integration into the Metaverse has the potential to fundamentally change the way we attend higher education and conduct business in the future.
After all, Blockchain is now being deployed to create “digital deed” ownership records of unique digital objects — or nonfungible tokens (NFTs) which have exploded over the last year, conjuring a $41 billion market in 2021 alone according to blockchain data company Chainalysis. Because the space is full of so much untapped potential, the time is now for women of all backgrounds to take a digital dive into the next chapter of their professional lives.
“We still live in a world filled with unconscious and conscious bias – this space is no different,” Greenwood says. “It’s seeking out those who believe in what you do, and wish to build and put their action and money into doing so. The opportunities are boundless for women, across all sectors and disciplines, the time to get in is now. Let’s build the future together.”
While there is much progress to be made, it’s clear that there’s a growing global community of women willing to support one another and share learnings, resources, and networks in tech.
Photo by Shubham Dhage
About the author
Torri is a mom, creative writer, communications specialist, and professional journalist. She has nearly a decade of experience working in print and TV newsrooms as an on-air reporter and anchor independently researching, writing, interviewing, filming, and editing her own content. Whether she is interviewing the Speaker of the House about hot button issues, or a small student group about a local grassroots campaign, her commitment and focus remain the same: to bring the story she is telling to life. As an amateur watercolorist, she is passionate about the arts, promoting women's empowerment through writing, and investing time in her family.
She lives outside of Manhattan with her husband, baby boy, and rescue dog, Jax.