For all its innovative prowess and potential, the cryptocurrency and digital assets industry remains significantly male-dominated with women players, investors, and leaders being grossly underrepresented. This is further exacerbated as the Global Crypto Index reports that more than 95% of the sector is populated by male investors and the workforce.
A survey also reports that as of December 2021, only five (or 4.13 percent of the total) of the 121 leading crypto companies across the globe, were led by women founders.
Despite this, and against all odds, a number of women have consistently shattered glass ceilings and broken stereotypes by not only excelling but also consistently thriving in the male-peopled crypto space over the years. From blockchain developers and entrepreneurs to investors and thought leaders, these women are helping to shape the future of finance by leveraging the innovative power of blockchain technology.
In addition to investing in cryptocurrency, women are also actively advocating for the expansion of the crypto industry to include more female representation. Let us examine some of these drivers of change, and spotlight their remarkable achievements in striving for a more equitable, and inclusive crypto industry for all, especially within the African continent. Whether you are a seasoned crypto enthusiast or a beginner in the invigorating sector, these women are sure to inspire you with their knowledge and proven industry expertise.
Sonya is the founder of Blockchain Academy; Co-founder/Director of Bitcoin Events; and Co-founder/COO of Xago. In South Africa, Sonya was among the first women to work in the blockchain industry, as she founded Bitcoin Payments, a BitPay Affiliate partner in 2013. This platform enabled South African online merchants to accept bitcoin as a form of payment for their products and services.
She later went on to co-found Bitcoin Events, a business that organizes the ‘Blockchain Africa Conferences’ and the ‘Crypto Fest’, two of the top cryptocurrency and blockchain events in the Southern African region. In 2015, Sonya launched the Bitcoin Academy, which was later renamed the Blockchain Academy, after realizing the need for education in the blockchain and cryptocurrency industry. She is also the co-founder of Xago, a business situated in Cape Town that provides a cryptocurrency exchange, payment gateway, and payment platform for XRP.
Yaliwe Soko is the Ecosystems Lead at cLabs, South Africa. She is also the Chairwoman of the United Africa Blockchain Association (UABA), the founder of Essence Crypto Consultants, as well as the founder of United Africa Women in Blockchain.
She started working as a freelance Bitcoin and cryptocurrency consultant for an online investment firm after learning about blockchain technology in 2016. Afterward, she received the Devcon V Queen title in 2019 as a result of the Ethereum Devcon Scholarship program’s recognition of her superior learning abilities. Yaliwe is also deeply committed to technology education and the promotion of financial inclusion for Africans. She has produced and published a number of learner guides and videos for blockchain and cryptocurrency newbies on YouTube in her capacity as a training facilitator.
Yaliwe Soko is passionate about leading the charge in promoting Africa’s embrace of emerging technologies.
Chidubem is a communications manager at Binance, the leading blockchain ecosystem behind the world’s largest cryptocurrency exchange, currently overseeing continent-wide communications and media relations across Africa.
She is passionate about empowering African communities through education and financial inclusion, leveraging blockchain technology as a tool. When not working, Chidubem lends her voice, time, and resources to the advocacy of women’s rights, volunteering at organizations aimed at promoting equality for women.
Karla is the founder of a Nigerian B2B cryptocurrency asset management company, cryptosmartnow.io, and a cross-chain NFT platform called QLIP NFT. She is a crypto entrepreneur, educator, and mentor. She is passionate about gaining and transferring her knowledge of the blockchain industry to beginners and enthusiasts seeking avenues for wealth creation as well as financial inclusion. Karla started exploring blockchain technology in 2016 and has since undergone extensive research to help others comprehend it, including Algorand, Bitcoin, Ethereum, and EOS.
In 2019, she was recognized as an ambassador at Algorand-a proof-of-stake blockchain cryptocurrency protocol. In her capacity as an Algorand ambassador, she leveraged the platform as an avenue to mentor over 300 people about blockchain and cryptocurrencies. She also developed and founded the BITSAVE platform to teach people how to combat inflation by saving in digital currencies. Karla is currently writing a book on the foundations of cryptocurrencies and leveraging Blockchain technology to address issues.
Roselyn Mwangi is a blockchain strategy consultant and economist. She is the co-founder and director of Azuri Blockchain Consultants Ltd, an Africa-based advisory company that works with companies in emerging technologies. She has headed the Kenyan Women in Blockchain Chapter since 2017 and served as the Chairperson of the Blockchain Association of Kenya from 2019 to 2020. In addition, she is a certified member of the Kenya Institute of Directors.
In all, these women are achieving undeniably significant strides in ensuring the advancement of innovation, education, and adoption of crypto in Africa to achieve financial inclusion for all and the global community, as well as Africa’s ecosystem is beginning to recognize the valuable and pioneering mindsets that African women possess.