Unblock women

Call for more women in cryptocurrency scene

• Abheeti Kathryn Pass and Amy-Rose Goodey are the creators of podcast Crypto Clothesline. Photo by Molly Schmidt.

Perth tech podder Abheeti Kathryn Pass has put out the call for more women to jump into technologies like cryptocurrencies.

She makes the call through her podcast Crypto Clothesline, hoping this will encourage more women to get involved in the ‘cryptosphere’.

She says industry
after-parties in the heavily male-dominated blockchain and cryptocurrency scene were taking place in strip clubs until recently.

“Some strip joints even had sex workers with their QR codes – a digital bar code – tattooed on their breasts or buttocks so instead of putting $50 down their bra, men could pay with their Bitcoin or their cryptocurrency wallet,” Ms Pass says.

Crypto Clothesline co-host Amy-Rose Goodey says “It’s hard to be a woman at blockchain events because there’s like five of us out of 200, and you’re immediately assumed to be dumb.

“We’re creating a soft space for women to land, because when you first jump in, you don’t have a lot of places to go that aren’t masculine dominated, swearing and sexist.”

According to research about 95 per cent of the world’s Bitcoin community are men, despite a study by National Australia Bank revealing that “more women than men say they are solely responsible for making financial decisions for their households.”

Ms Pass says many women are afraid of talking about tech and finance, so (in their podcast) they host accessible conversations with prominent women, and sometimes men, in the tech industry.

“Women are saying, ‘I can control the family budget, I can micro-manage a family, I can multi-skill til the cows come home, but you want me to talk about investment? Nah’”, she says.

“So with our podcast we say, ‘Hey girls, you’ve got the capability like any other person on the planet’.”

The pair met about seven years ago when Ms Goodey took her daughter to Ms Pass’ family daycare, and they bonded over their love of crypto.

Juggling different time zones and young children, the women record their weekly podcast, which includes an interview with an industry guest, like Perth councillor Jemma Green.

Ms Green is the cofounder and chair of Power Ledger, a company that uses blockchain technology to enable the transition to a low cost, low carbon energy market, with the potential for peer-to-peer energy trading.

She says the early pioneers in computer science were women, and it’s time to bring more female role models into the scene.

In 2016 she launched Power Ledger, just seven weeks after giving birth to her first child.

Her second child is now three-months-old, but she’s not slowing down and the company is launching projects in renewable energy and blockchain all over the world.

She says she went to 25 meetings with her daughter in tow and works with her son in a bouncer on her desk.

“Although I’m working, I don’t want my kids to be separate from my life,” she says. “I’m breastfeeding now. Women have babies, throw them over their shoulder and continue.”

Ms Goodey says there’s no reason for women not to get involved in the future of
digital currency.

“Even if bitcoin and cryptocurrencies aren’t the future of currency…we just need to step up and own it.

“We need to teach our daughters it’s okay to be computer programmers, it’s okay to be a developer, it’s okay to be brave.”

If you want to know more, you can go along to a Women in Blockchain Perth event, or you can listen to their podcast at
http://www.cryptoclothesline.com

by MOLLY SCHMIDT

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