In the male-dominant blockchain industry, two women have risen to the top
At the 2018 North American Bitcoin Conference, only three of the 88 speakers were female. Blockchain had a diversity problem. Rosa Shores, co-founder and CEO of BlockSpaces, and Macrina Kgil, CFO of Blockchain.com, are two women at the forefront of this exciting, still male-dominated space.
BlockSpaces is a Florida based company that provides blockchain integration software for connecting applications and data. The core team aligns innovative blockchain expertise with decades of enterprise software and infrastructure experience. With a wide range of technology partnerships and industry associations, BlockSpaces is known as a trusted source and market leader in blockchain integration. Over the past 12 months, BlockSpaces revenue grew by 40% and customers increased twenty-fold. In January, the company announced the close of a $5.75 million venture seed round.
Blockchain.com got its start as an early pioneer of key infrastructure for the bitcoin community. First, with a Blockchain Explorer that enabled anyone to not only examine transactions and study the blockchain, but an API that enabled companies to build on Bitcoin. There are 81M wallets created on the site and around 1/3rd of the bitcoin network transactions are via blockchain.
Macrina Kgil, CFO of blockchain.com
Macrina is a proven financial leader, having served as CFO for two multi-billion dollar companies prior to her current role as Chief Financial Officer of Blockchain.com. Under her steady hand and efficient management style, she time and again built agile teams who enable high growth businesses to achieve successful exits.
“I’ve always been passionate about being able to give financial services access to the average person,” says Kgil. “I have been fortunate enough to be able to open a bank account, credit card, and mortgage without too much difficulty. But that is not the norm for most people globally. Borrowing just $2,000 for everyday emergencies is truly a luxury for many people. With crypto, people can transfer money in an instant.”
The greatest challenge Kgil has faced is that people are only just learning what crypto is and how blockchain works. “It's not about ‘getting rich quick,’ but fundamentally changing commerce for the first time in over a thousand years,” she says. “Imagine explaining this new way of doing business to different countries with all different financial rules! It sure has been a wild ride.”
To people looking to tap into their life purpose, Kgil offers this advice. “Be curious. Dive deep into topics to understand them. Think about what you want to spend your time each morning when you wake up.”
Rosa Shores, co-founders & CEO of BlockSpace
Shores had been trying for months to get an investor for her startup BlockSpaces, but she kept getting turned down. She noticed the only investors she was talking to were men, and thought if she could try a woman investor, things would be different. She then found a Forbes article listing a number of female investors and sent out a cold pitch. Within a few weeks, Ali Rosenthal with Leadout Capital had sent over $1 million for the BlockSpaces seed round.
The greatest challenge Shores faces is being so early to this space. “Even the most savvy, informed enthusiasts are in a constant state of study and research. You have to be very comfortable with the unknown,” she says.
This problem is compounded for her as a woman in emerging tech. The blockchain space is both highly technical and male dominated. “I don’t feel the sexism is overt or even intentional, but it manifests as learned stereotypes that have substantial funding consequences for startups,” says Shores. “It makes competing on an equal playing field tough. That is why it’s so important to attract more women into venture capital right along with attracting more women into tech and blockchain.”
There is need of more women in the space of blockchain to make this universe more diverse and we hope this article inspires lot of women and encourage them to join this space.
Until next time.....
Written By- Shriyansh Jain