Women leaders in blockchain

11 Apr 2019 09:00h - 10:45h

Event report


The moderator of the session, Ms Gloria Kimbwala (Founder & CEO of Shule) briefly explained what blockchain technology is and the importance of it. She prompted the panellists to discuss how they use blockchain technology to ensure quality education, promote inclusive and sustainable economic growth, empower women and girls, and conserve the ocean.

Ms Rhiannon Payne, (Founder & CEO of Sea Form Media & Technology) explained some incentives in using blockchain technology. It can create trust and transparency between parties by allowing information to be available. Smart contracts are beneficial because they have regulatory standards. She also listed a few use cases in areas that can benefit from this technology such as the music industry, selling legal cannabis, and cryptocurrencies. She touched on the company PrefLogic which uses blockchain technology to create security tokens which are backed by real assets as a way to democratise capital formation. She also mentioned the work of DLT.DEV which creates a low-cost customisable technology packages for companies that want to build a product with blockchain technology by using a design first approach, as they believe every business in the future will need a form of artificial intelligence (AI) or blockchain technology. The last company she mentioned was TeamDistro, whose goal is to empower innovation globally and make it more accessible by training, team building, and resource sharing on blockchain.

Prof Lindsay Nuon, (Founder & CEO of Women of Color in Blockchain, Inc) stated there is a large economic opportunity for companies, and innovators to get involved. There are social and technological components that have not been matched since the emergence of the Internet. She stressed the importance of underrepresented communities to voice their opinions and needs because this can shape how the technology is used. This also matters because they can shed light on which transactions take place, so that they are able to make a choice if this ecosystem can still benefiting them. It can also improve security – there have been some wallets that have been hacked however, blockchain has yet to be manipulated which allows for smart contracts to be secure, so there are not risk factors as this industry evolves. To reduce any risks that may come with blockchain technology, clear and measurable success criteria must be established, knowledge gaps closed, a multidisciplinary approach to strengthen perspectives adopted, and a clear engagement plan formulated. Nuon’s call to action was to engage in your community, form partnerships to create solutions, and be a part of the BUIDLBoston hack-a-thon.

Ms Simona Pop, (Co-Founder of Bounties Network Switch) discussed using blockchain technology and benefits the sustainable development goals (SDGs). This technology can provide new opportunities to find sustainable alternatives, secure data such as access to medical records in another country, and transparent funding. Funds can be traced to ensure they are going where directed. Her company has been applying bounties in certain projects such as protecting the oceans, this project rewards people with cryptocurrency if they provide verifiable proof of a cleanup.

Ms Vanessa Slavich, (Partner at Celo) introduced her company Celo, which is an open platform that makes financial tools accessible to anyone with a mobile phone and focuses on the SDG 1, poverty. By using cryptocurrencies it allows money to be programmable, allowing people and communities to solve their specific needs. An example was with refugees in Tanzania that used a voucher that allowed them to send back remittances to their home country with low transaction fees. Accessibility to financial tools can also change an ecology. For example, a town in Brazil was able to combine local unmet needs with an under-utilised source. There was a programme in place that allowed people who collected trash from the street to earn bus tokens, overtime, the citizens used their earned bus tokens to find jobs, travel back and forth, and eventually the tokens were used in some stores as well. Therefore, it became a local currency. As a result, the town’s wage grew to three times higher than the average national wage.


By Jainee Feliz-Cabrera