MadeinFuture Series: Getting started in Blockchain and my vision for it
Whenever we start something new, personally and professionally we forget the point of origin. My passion for the blockchain takes the form of the windy road, and like many of us, what we envision isn’t created on a straight line.
It all started with a hack.
My friend introduced me to Coinbase, and I got hacked on the exchange when I tried to purchase the NEO coin on Bittrex. I called Bittrex customer support number, and the call got picked up by a hacker with an IP address in Ohio. He walked me through purchasing NEO, which included me logging into my Coinbase account. When the call went dead, I realized my funds were missing. I said to myself, “If this is happening to me, then it must be happening to others.” I started offering due diligence and online educational services in my business so that others wouldn’t get hacked.
The benefits of blockchain are endless.
I will begin with youth. In developing countries where 40% of the population is under the age of 25, the purchase and trade of cryptocurrency are driven by young people who have access to the internet, apps, and digital wallets to arm them with the digital currencies they need to purchase products and services.
Many of them attend hackathons and participate in online forums. For women, in places where they face political or religious discrimination and are unbanked, they now have means to become active members of a new economic order called blockchain. They can install a digital wallet to store assets for free.
They can go on apps like Pitch Investors Live, to connect with other business owners and investors who can fund their projects or make the necessary introductions. In parts of the world where startup capital is not an issue, like in Norway, Sweden, Denmark and Switzerland people are highly educated, but access to it is based on certain association. Having access to Pitch helps disseminate socio-economic barriers.
For investors, companies like blocktostock.io is building tools for investors of today to compare stock prices with crypto, and eventually purchase them on their platform. And there are many others.
There is much more work to be done.
For consumers to purchase products easily online with crypto, they need education on how to store the assets safely, and how to use the digital tools. Investors need tools to compare their stock investments to crypto, while accounting for volatility.
Globally, Dubai, Estonia, Austria, and Switzerland are receptive and have been integrating blockchain across industries. I recently applied for an e-citizenship because I envision myself embracing the future of digital businesses. Puerto Rico has become a crypto haven because of the tax breaks. Dubai has committed to full blockchain integration across industries by 2020. In China, many enterprises are announcing “no more cash.”
My vision is simple.
Only 5% of cryptocurrency users are women. The number of women starting blockchain companies or leading teams is very little. My goal is to increase women’s active participation in the growing blockchain industry and continue to inspire others to join me without becoming intimidated.
Just to give you an idea, by 2020 up to 65% of enterprises will utilize blockchain globally. This industry is highly creative, collaborative and modular meaning anyone who is armed with a curiosity can build applications on top of the blockchain.
The Current model of doing business is a corporate, centralized model that no longer is effective. Certainly, it does not inspire women and their needs. Just to give you an idea, between 2011 and 2013, companies with a female CEO received $1.5 billion in venture capital investment, while companies led by men received 34 times that amount. A study of 22,000 publicly traded companies found that an increase in leadership positions in a company for women of up to 30% led sto an increase of 15% of profitability.
What I found interesting is that in tech, female tech entrepreneurs on average generated 35% higher return on investment than men. Now image what is possible with the blockchain? Blockchain applies to organic food (beef exports), cannabis (pot dispensaries), prescription medication (opioids supply chain management), manufacturing (inventory and knockoffs), etc.
Thinking about this tech and the future requires bravery; the courage to expand our minds and the fortitude to embrace it.
Get in touch with me. I’d like to hear what blockchain projects you are working on. - Alice Hlidkova, Co-Founder of New Economies.