Blockchain is so hot right now. Coinschedule reported that 235 ICOs (initial coin offerings) debuted in 2017 alone. But do you really understand how the multiple Blockchain variations at play in today’s landscape work? An founding document behind the technology, Satoshi Nakamoto’s 2008 paper, contains sophisticated mathematical proofs that are probably incomprehensible to the average bitcoin buyer, never mind the general public.
That’s why it’s vital to find industry influencers who truly understand what they’re talking about. This means people who’ll help you sort out Blockchain, even if you’re lacking a Ph.D. in math or experience at writing code.
The influencers I’m about to suggest to help you with this sorting out are all female — with a reason. And that reason is that I find it so refreshing to see so many women jumping into the Blockchain universe, given the barriers to women in tech overall.
This helps creates diversity (welcome!) in that space and reassures all interested parties that the future of the internet will have more to offer than the traditional Silicon Valley archetype.
So, here are nine influencers I follow — again, all women — who have helped me understand Blockchain’s unique aspects, its trends’ future and the current state of cryptocurrency. They may do the same for you.
1. Christa Freeland, director of Partnerships, Nano Vision: This revolutionary healthcare startup uses microchips, cryptocurrency and AI to gather and analyze healthcare research data. Freeland has built key partnerships for the company’s Blockchain and data platforms.
She’s also a notable entrepreneur in her own right, having founded Switch Cowork, a platform that facilitates shared coworking spaces. Currently, she also serves as managing director of Powershift Group, a company that founds, funds and scales promising tech startups.
2. Elena Knysh, VP of Sales, SolidOpinion. This ICO company uses Blockchain cryptocurrency to incentivize quality customer engagement and allow content-smart ad placement by advertisers. SolidOpinion’s clients include the Chicago Tribune, the Baltimore Sun and Spil Games. Reading this white paper from SolidOpinion provides a great look into the ad space and how Blockchain will play a major role.
3. Anna Irrera, fintech correspondent, Reuters. She’s an experienced financial reporter with a close understanding of the Blockchain economy. Her articles consistently deliver breaking news and astute analysis.
4. Tamara McCleary, expert on marketing, branding and Blockchain. McCleary is the founder of Thulium, a hugely successful financial and technology branding firm. She was named one of Onalytica’s top 50 Blockchain influencers.
5. Elizabeth Stark, co-founder and CEO, Lightning. This company is responsible for a decentralized, scalable and fast system of Blockchain-based financial transactions. A former professor at Yale and Stanford, Stark anticipated, in an article published on Coin Telegraph, that the further decentralization of the Blockchain system is inevitable.
6. Meltem Demirors, director of development at blockchain advisory firm Digital Currency Group. Demirors manages a portfolio of 100 companies. She is also a Blockchain and technology lecturer at the MIT Media Lab and at the University of Oxford.
7. Diana Biggs, twice named one of the UK’s top 25 fintech Influencers by CityAM. CityAM is London’s first free daily newspaper. Biggs currently serves as industry engagement advisor for the University College London’s Centre for Blockchain Technologies and as HSBC’s head of business model innovation for the U.K. and Europe.
8. Neha Narula, director, the Digital Currency Initiative at the MIT Media Lab. Narula leads the Lab’s research on new digital currency and Blockchain applications. She’s delivered a Ted talk on “The Future of Money,” and is a member of the World Economic Forum’s Global Future Council on Blockchain 2016-2017.
9. Imogen Heap, Grammy-winning British artist. She’s the founder of artist and musician collective Mycelia, a group that explores how Blockchain technology can be used to disrupt the music economy ecosystem and ensures fair pay for artists. She practices what she preaches, having released her album, Tiny Human, on the blockchain Ethereum in 2015.
These nine women are pushing the Blockchain boundaries. They’re creating the dawn of wide adoption for this technology;and they’re helping to welcome Web 3.0, which is sure to usher in a much more diverse and decentralized internet age than we have today.