We are living in a unique moment in history where women’s voices are now louder than ever before. And the cryptocurrency industry shouldn’t be an exception to the global trend. Women leaders in crypto can positively help this industry become a better version of itself, with higher transparency, and a stronger focus on customers.
Even though the industry is still dominated by men, a significant number of women have been making headway in this “Tech World”, leaving behind lots of preconceived concepts and strongly held fallacies.
With that in mind, we’ll be looking at women who will motivate you to invest in yourself and your future. These astounding ladies are thought leaders in the crypto space and are helping change the financial landscape for future generations.
If you need more reasons to invest in cryptocurrencies, here is a fun fact about the industry: crypto doesn’t care who you are.
Regardless of your race, sexual preferences, or profession, as long as you can log into your computer and press the right buttons, you can easily invest in profitable currencies, projects, and more.
This level of accessibility is one of the main things that made the industry such a breakthrough. It has no gatekeepers.
Without further ado, let’s skip to the main section and look at the 10 most influential women in the crypto space.
Top Women in Crypto
Elizabeth Stark (Co-founder, Lightning Labs)
Elizabeth Stark is the famed CEO and co-founder of Lightning, a platform designed for scalable and instant blockchain transactions. Better yet, the company has been able to ensure scalability at low costs, which has had a profound effect on the Blockchain game.
Before getting involved with the crypto space, Stark taught at both Yale and Stanford University. She’s also a resident entrepreneur at Stanford StartX. Ensure you follow her social media to learn more from her about the realm of cryptocurrencies.
Kathleen Breitman (Co-founder, Tezos)
$230,000,000. That is the amount that was poured into the cryptocurrency project co-founded by Kathleen Breitman in July 2018.
Back then, this was a record-setting number and according to Breitman who had developed most of the business protocols, she expected to raise around one-tenth of the amount. When she received the news, it literally floored her and she was later quoted saying, “I was literally prostrate with anxiety. It was bad.”
What’s more? A few months earlier, Breitman had left her cushy job as a senior strategy associate at R3, a company dedicated to creating a world where all of us can transact privately and directly using cryptocurrencies.
She had always admired entrepreneurs, so she decided to become one herself. She boldly set out to pursue an idea that she and Arthur Breitman, her husband, had been polishing and buffing for years, and well, the rest is history.
Meltem Demirors (Chief Strategy Officer, Coinshares)
Meltem Demirors has been termed the most outspoken and passionate advocate for the crypto revolution. Luckily, she is also savvy enough to ignore all the hype.
Even people who do not watch the crypto industry closely do understand that there seems to be a myriad of ways one can lose all their money in a split second, be it by unwittingly sending all you own to hackers, or even investing in sham blockchain startups.
That said, all this sad state of affairs hasn’t pushed Demirors away from the realm of cryptocurrency. In fact, it has had the opposite effect. It has pushed her to get invested in solving the problem.
Carolyn Reckhow (Head of Business Development and Strategy at Thesis)
Carolyn Reckhow was the director of operations at Consensus Systems (aka ConsenSys.) Consensus is a blockchain apps production studio known for building decentralized applications for the emerging Ethereum ecosystem.
Having earned a Masters in Social work focusing on Macro Practice from Boston University, Reckhow describes herself as a Macro Social Worker on the internet. That why she constantly shares news and updates as well as her own opinions on the industry.
Alena Vranova (Head of Strategy, Casa)
It is not often that you get to come across someone that spearheaded the hardware wallet revolution. Starting out as a corporate developer in the banking and insurance industries, Alena Vranova is a true testament to how anyone from any industry can get into cryptocurrency.
Leaving her respectful career and stable insurance job behind, Vranova couldn’t resist diving deeper into the realm of digital currencies.
As she would later recall, “All my colleagues back at the bank kept making fun of me. What kind of person in their right state of mind would leave such a great banking position and go to an industry filled with uncertainties? But I decided to go for Bitcoin anyway, and it was one of (if not) the best decision I’ve ever made in my life.”
While working at the insurance company, Vranova started feeling frustrated by the nature of centralized currencies, so she decided to study different geopolitical monetary systems. And when she came across Bitcoin, her 1st Eureka moment hit and she realized it was a far better alternative to the existing money systems.
This discovery of the Bitcoin universe is what finally led to what she is mostly known for today: the co-development of the Trezor wallet. Trezor has become the gold standard for hardware wallets in the crypto industry.
That said, Vranova is no longer with Trezor, but her burning desire to make cryptocurrencies accessible and safe remains unsatisfied. She is now working on a new security project called Casa.
Ani Itireleng (Founder, Satoshi Center)
Nicknamed the BitcoinLady, Ani Itireleng is pushing the boundaries of the cryptocurrency movement in Africa to new lengths.
She recently created Satoshi Centre, a Botswana marketplace used to make all Bitcoin transactions. She also built a cryptocurrency hub in the capital of Botswana known as El Viaje es infinito. This is intended to help teach these tech skills to any children willing to learn.
To top it off, Itireleng is the lead ambassador for Humaniq, a fundraising and charity platform that uses Blockchain technology to help ensure donation transparency.
Joyce Kim (Co-founder, Stellar)
Joyce Kim is the managing partner at Spark Change Capital and Executive Director at Stellar.
Take one look at her social networks and you’ll tell she’s passionate about the potential of cryptocurrencies on the global stage as tools of empowering those unbanked and tackling inequality at its grassroots.
An expert at what she does, Kim has also advised multiple blockchain-related ICOs and projects, and when she’s not working in the crypto space, she devotes pro-bono time as an attorney to help domestic violence victims and immigrant families.
Galia Benartzi (Co-founder, Bancor)
Galia Benartzi was born with disruption in her blood. Born to Israeli immigrant parents in Palo Alto, Benartzi had a front-row seat during the rise of the tech industry, so it comes as no surprise that she co-founded a social gaming company for smartphones named Mytopia immediately after graduating from Dartmouth.
In 2010, she and her partners decided to sell off the company, after which Benartzi went back to school to study international relations and economics at Johns Hopkins’ School of Advanced International Students in Bologna, Italy.
It was there that she learned of the problems facing the international financial system (issues like wide income gaps and unfair wealth distribution). When she was done with the program, Benartzi returned to Palo Alto just in time to hear about a mysterious new currency known as Bitcoin that was supposed to act as a non-governmental currency.
Having spent more than two years studying the inequalities of our current banking systems, she instantly knew that she had to join the crypto movement, and in 2017, she helped create Bancor, a non-profit foundation specializing in the conversion of cryptographic tokens.
Mihriban Ersin Tekmen (Co-founder, Colendi)
We should proudly acknowledge that this list includes a Turkish investment genius. Mihriban Ersin Tekmen is the Chief Operating Officer (COO) and co-founder at Colendi, a cross border decentralized credit scoring service using Blockchain tech to create a democratic and secure platform for the fintech realm. It’s transforming the definition of banking.
Tekmen also co-founded Fintechtime, the independent publication that offers analysis, insights, and latest news of the global fintech market.