In the technology-dominated world we are living in right now, the buzz words are web3 and cryptocurrency. As per a survey by BlockFi, an interest-earning platform, nearly one in three American women say that they are planning to purchase cryptocurrencies in 2022.
Famous women leading the web3 revolution
Over the previous number of years, and notably in the course of the pandemic, cryptocurrency has gone from an area of interest curiosity to a great alternative. The issue is that a lot of the crypto and web3 success tales the media tends to repeat are from males who have been already wealthy.
Here, we have come up with a Women’s Day special story that is all about the women creating an impact in web3 and breaking the bias. This includes women forming communities to educate women, women VCs in Web3, women founders in web3, women c-level executives in web3, NFT and crypto firms.
Web3 learning community founders
Led by Brit Morin, a former Googler and the founder of women’s media brand Brit + Co, BFF is a community that is designed to teach women how to get in on the crypto boom. It has a 14,000 members in just a month reportedly and Morin also co-founded this new community for the “crypto curious” with a list of 50-plus celebrities.
Another group, launched in 2018, is Black Women in Crypto, which aims to welcome more black women into the crypto space. There are also women-focused NFT collections such as Boss Beauties, WomenRise, and Crypto Coven.
Based in New York, Maggie Love, the founder at SheFi is passionate about doing meaningful work, positively impacting and empowering others, constantly learning, and connecting people, ideas and technology together for a common good.
Another notable personality is Justine Humenansky of Rabbit Hole, which is guiding the next wave of people through web3 while helping crypto networks find and engage the best users for their community or protocol. It will be the best place to find talent and discover work in web3.
Web3 startup founders
New York-based Flori Marquez has spent her career managing alternative lending products. Graduated from Cornell University with a major in pre-law and a minor in economics, Flori co-founded BlockFi, which is a retail-focused, interest-earning platform. With four offices and 65 employees, BlockFi serves over 60,000 accounts globally, managing nearly $500 million in assets.
Binance is the largest cryptocurrency exchange in the world that is operating in nearly 180 countries and transacting over $2 billion in average daily trading volume. Its co-founder Yi He is also its CMO and has played a major stance in the evolving regulatory landscape. While the crypto industry worldwide is male-dominated, Binance stands out with its managerial team that comprises at least 35% women. At Binance, Yi He also oversees the venture investment arm and all marketing efforts, including online marketing operations management, social media management, PR management and branding management.
Another women entrepreneur in the cryptocurrency industry is Bakkt. It is a regulated, global ecosystem designed to enable custody, markets and use cases for digital assets such as cryptocurrency or Bitcoin. Kelly L. Loeffler is an American businesswoman and politician, who served as a United States senator for Georgia from 2020 to 2021.
Being the CEO and co-founder of Bakkt, Kelly is responsible for establishing the strategy and team, as well as the regulatory, financial and operational performance of the company. In late 2019, Kelly L. Loeffler was elected as one of the board of directors of the Atlanta-based company.
The NEAR Foundation is a Swiss non-profit that oversees the governance and development of the NEAR blockchain. Now, it announced the appointment of Marieke Flament as its CEO. The former global CMO at Circle will bring years of experience to scaling the brand and delivering on NEAR’s mass adoption promise.
Born in France, Flament trained as a computer engineer and has worked across the globe in a diverse range of companies from the luxury giant LVMH of Louis Vuitton fame to Boston Consulting Group, Expedia’s Hotels.com, crypto giant Circle and more recently Mettle by Natwest.
Beryl Li was Consultant at Unionbank of the Philippines’ innovation arm, UBX, where she product owned its investment platform to auction off foreclosed assets and to offer real estate-backed digital assets.
Yield Guild Games aka YGG is a play-to-earn gaming guild, bringing players together to earn via NFT games. The company brings players together and let them earn bia blockchain-based economies. It is touted to be the trendsetters of the new world in the metaverse.
Women leading metaverse
The CEO and co-founder of Everyrealm, Janine Yori works with the company to create innovative and addictive social spaces that are futuristic and interactive like video games but still familiar to a mainstream audience, by invoking real-world architecture, culture, and events. Everyrealm is developing this interactive content across many genres, including sports, education, fashion, gaming, art, and social experiences–all designed to draw users to the metaverse.
Based in Canada, Krista Kim, a contemporary digital artis and founder of the Techism movement Mars House has grabbed a spot in this list. As a leader in technology, she has been shedding light on the meditative and transcendent experience of digital art since 2012. The Mars House project was designed in 2020 and was entirely created as a 3D digital file rendered in Unreal Engine, which is software commonly used to create video games. Kim notes that Mars House can be experienced in virtual reality but the house could also be experienced through augmented reality (AR) environment in apps such as SuperWorld in future.
As the founder of both 3D Robe, a 3D design agency, and neuno, a marketplace for fashion NFTs and digital wearables, Natalie Johnson from Italy works with the mission to harness the full potential of fashion technology. The company is paving the way towards sustainability in fashion through innovation, thereby moving the industry towards better and more circular models of distribution. With neuno, it is possibe to create an account and virtually try on multi branded outfits, buy digital fashion items and start building a 3D wardrobe and even wear those 3D items as gaming skins.
Yet another female passionate entrepreneur with multiple successful startups in her portfolio is Gizem Mishi McDuff from the US. Mishi focused on 3D design, and quickly became one of the world’s foremost 3D design modeling experts, within a span of 2 years with Blueberry Entertainment Inc, which focuses on developing 3D models of high-end fashion for virtual communities.
On International Women’s Day today, AllBright has launched ‘AllBright Meta’, a brand new ecosystem for women in the metaverse. The launch is the next iteration of the AllBright journey that started with physical locations in Bloomsbury, Mayfair and Los Angeles. After its expansion to Web 2.0, it is now, entering Web3.
AllBright is addressing the lack of female representation in the world of NFTs. Founders Debbie and Anna are truly passionate about educating their members on the investment opportunities in NFTs.
Debbie Wosskow is the co-founder of AllBright. She is a multi-exit British entrepreneur, recognised as one of the most prominent in the UK. She’s known for successfully launching and scaling businesses in the areas of digital disruption, the sharing economy and female empowerment. The other co-founder of AllBright, Anna Jones is a British business woman and entrepreneur who lives in London. She is a Members Club and community that celebrates and connects women at work.
Specialising in data
A notable addition to this list of female entrepreneurs is Danah Boyd, a researcher focused on grounding decision-making through empirical knowledge. She works at the intersection of technology and society. She founded a research institute – Data & Society that provides space for researchers. Currently, she is a Partner Researcher at Microsoft Research.
Women investors leading the space
Apart from founders, there are several women investors who pumped funds into the web3 startups that redefine the future of the internet and related technologies.
Arianna Simpson is a General Partner at Andreessen Horowitz where she invests in crypto. Prior to joining Andreessen Horowitz, Arianna founded Autonomous Partners, an investment fund focused on cryptocurrencies and digital assets. In 2015, she helped launch Crystal Towers Capital, an early-stage fund investing primarily in YC companies.
Last year, Andreessen Horowitz added the high-profile partner to its team to help deploy its $2.2 billion cryptocurrency fund. She focuses on investing in web3 startups and technologies.
Randi Zuckerberg is an entrepreneur, who got into tech for her brother Mark Zuckerberg’s company. She launched an accelerator called Big Hug that aims to elevate female creators with funding and mentorship. Currently, Randi works with over 20 early and mid-stage companies as an investor and advisor and she sits on the board of directors for The Motley Fool and Life360.
Women at C-levels
While founders do play a major role, companies also need to have a focused executive team. Here, we have listed a couple of women executives operating these companies.
CEOs in charge of the biggest metaverse platforms so far including Fortnite, Roblox, Sandbox, Decentraland, and Meta are all white men. However, there are at least two of those companies with a woman in the COO role. Discord, widely thought to be at the leading edge of social networking, is one of them. While has a white man at the wheel, it has a female head of engineering, Prachi Gupta. She enjoys prototyping ideas and conceptualise, design, and deliver impactful software.
Cathy Hackl is a globally recognised metaverse/ web 3.0 strategist, tech futurist, and sought-after business executive. She has a deep expertise working in metaverse-related fields with companies like HTC VIVE, Magic Leap, and Amazon Web Services. Also, she actively invests her money and time in helping move the nascent web 3.0 industry forward.
San Francisco-based Avenir combines savings and investing seamlessly to help people grow wealth on their balances. It enables people to earn high yield on their money. Having graduated from New York University, Fadumo Osman helps the growth at Avenir that is better than traditional banks.