By Ronny Lavie, Managing Editor for The Fintech Times.
As and avid supported of encouraging more women into the tech space, I went along to the Women in London Talk Tech – Blockchain and Crypto Special event at Rise on Wednesday (9th August) night. The event was run by the @witechrev team and included some pretty awesome speakers.
First up, Natalie Furness, Co-Founder of WITechRev, Crypto HODLer and Communications Director for the Blockchain company Medicalchain, gave an intro into purchasing crytocurrency, because, really, we should all be getting involved at this stage.
Next up, Dr. Natalie Pankova, CSO at Shivom.io – a global genomics blockchain company focused on advancing precision medicine using genomic data – gave a talk about the companies currently making billions off of our medical records, and how Shivom intends to use blockchain to give data ownership back to patients and get them incentives for helping to cure some of the world’s deadliest diseases.
The next presentation, titled The Blockchain Vision saw Maya Middlemiss – managing director of BlockSparks OÜ – a marketing communications agency specialised in storytelling for the blockchain world – compare the current rise of blockchain not to the early internet of the 80s and 90s (like most people do), but to the Gold Rush in California in the 1800s. Personally, I find the comparison a fitting one.
Last but certainly not least came Elly Zhang, Head Of Partnerships, Asia at Token. Ranked in the Top 200 Fintech Influencers in Europe, Elly knows her way around the space and gave an hilarious take on her journey so far, and some considerably more sobering figures relating to the current number of women in the industry.
The audience Q&A provided further interesting insights from the panel. When asked what needs to happen for crypto to become mainstream, Elly said, “Right now, it is really up for speculation, but I think a lot of people are working on it, including at Token. We’re talking to governments to find a proper way to regulate it, but we have a long way to go. Currently, a lot of people just want to make money, but we’re trying to make things better. It will take time and might not end up being for everyday use, but, as long as we find a proper way regulate the currencies, we’ll get there.”
“For it to be mainstream, it has to be useful and valuable to the user”, Natalie Pankova added, “Until it’s so user friendly that my grandma can use it, it’s not going to go mainstream. What is the point of having a digital wallet, if we have to mess around with a password that we have to write down somewhere? We should develop a product that is really easy to use. When we have better regulation, it will happen.”
It is always great to see successful women leading panels around tech, and particularly less mainstream topics, like blockchain and crypto. As this is a monthly event, I look forward to repeating the experience next time.