Crypto Token Talk Hosts All-Female, All-Star Panel for Record-Breaking Turn-out of Women at a Crypto Meetup

Nikki Del Principe
Oct 24, 2019 · 4 min read
From Left: Co-Founder, Partner, and Smart Contract Developer at Upstate Interactive LLC Kseniya Lifanova; Partnerships & Marketing Lead at Unstoppable Domains Zayi Reyes; Founder and CTO at Trailyn Ventures Barbara Bickham; Co-Founder & CEO of Sense.Chat Crystal Rose; Founder and CEO of Crypto Blockchain Plug Najah Roberts; Crypto Token Talk Host and CEO of Melrose PR Kelley Weaver.

Shattering the record for number of women to attend a crypto meetup, Crypto Token Talk Host Kelley Weaver brought together an all-star panel of women in the crypto to discuss “The Power of Bitcoin: the global impact of blockchain technology.”

Panelists included Co-Founder & CEO of Sense.Chat Crystal Rose, Founder and CEO of Crypto Blockchain Plug Najah Roberts, Founder and CTO at Trailyn Ventures Barbara Bickham, Partnerships & Marketing Lead at Unstoppable Domains Zayi Reyes, and Co-Founder, Partner, and Smart Contract Developer at Upstate Interactive LLC Kseniya Lifanova.

For the full interview, listen to the episode. Here are some highlights from the discussion:

Crystal Rose, Co-Founder & CEO of Sense.Chat, spoke to the history of blockchain-based software development. “Bitcoin is not an application software,” she said, making the point that the invention of Ethereum created an explosion of growth because it allowed anyone to create a token. Because of Ethereum, we now have a scalable structure that allows for actual, downloadable applications, she explained.

Rose went on to discuss the importance of data privacy and Sense.Chat’s aim to bring value back to people. Especially in light of the Facebook-Cambridge Analytica scandal and a myriad of data hacks, people are beginning to appreciate the value of their personal information and how we are sacrificing privacy for convenience when we use Facebook, Google, and other major tech platforms. “There’s a fine line between prediction and influence,” said Rose, prompting guests of the event to consider the danger posed by mass data collection.

Najah Roberts, Founder and CEO of Crypto Blockchain Plug, said, “Cryptocurrencies are one of the ways we are going to close the wealth gap.” Roberts continued to sing the value of teaching kids about blockchain technology and cryptocurrency because “the children we educate now are the ones who will come up with the real use cases.”

When it came to hopes for the future, Roberts said, “My hope is that we all stay legit, that we all stay a community, [and] that we continue to do everything in good will,” underlining the importance of maintaining the scrappy and collaborative spirit that drew many innovators and enthusiasts to this sphere in the first place.

Barbara Bickham, Founder and CTO at Trailyn Ventures, delved into how blockchain technology can be leveraged to support more sustainable business practices. The transparent tracking capabilities enabled by blockchain technology could form the foundation for a carbon credit tracking and reward system, for example.

Bickham also spoke to the importance of educating young people, because “they are absolutely the future of what is happening,” she said, expressing that once people are aware of blockchain technology and its use cases, it’s far less intimidating to get involved.

Zayi Reyes, Partnerships & Marketing Lead at Unstoppable Domains, shared what first drew her to cryptocurrency was payments. Coming from Columbia, she has experienced the challenges of sending money from Western Union first-hand. “That hit close to home,” she said. “Seeing that with cryptocurrency you could send money across borders quickly.”

Reyes also spoke to the importance of usability and design. The first blockchain-based application she worked on was built by brilliant engineers. “The functionality was awesome, but the front-end was very difficult to understand,” she explained. Reyes also brought up the reality that blockchain projects have to do more in their marketing and communications to overcome misconceptions and create a more positive narrative.

Kseniya Lifanova, Co-Founder, Partner, and Smart Contract Developer at Upstate Interactive LLC, told guests that she first heard about blockchain in 2013, but it wasn’t until she read the book, The Internet of Money: A collection of talks by Andreas M. Antonopoulos, when she really got hooked by the capabilities of the technology. “It really made me understand the why of blockchain,” she said.

Lifanova went on to remind the audience that there are one billion people who don’t have a bank account, which dramatically constrains their involvement in the global economy and their potential to generate and retain value. Blockchain technology can change that by enabling p2p payments and a store of value that eliminates the need for banks and other mediating third parties entirely.

Finally, all the panelists weighed in on how to address the gender gap in the blockchain industry. “We need to be at schools, talking to girls, educating them about blockchain, and show them there are women in the space and we’re awesome,” said Lifanova to resounding applause. With a nod to the five other fantastically talented women on stage, Lifanova said, “As women, we’re here. We’re in the space. We’re working.”

Crypto Token Talk Host Kelley Weaver with baby Skye Weaver and Co-Founder & CEO of Sense.Chat Crystal Rose with baby Aurora.

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