Blockchain not ‘Bloke-chain’: Celebrating Women in Crypto

IWD 2022 | An Interview with Elbaite CTO Samira and the Women of Elbaite

To celebrate International Women’s day Bethany and Jess sit down with Elbaite’s CTO Samira, and chat about her journey in the Crypto world, the effects the 2020 Pandemic had on the industry as well as how more Women are getting involved in Crypto. Elbaite is an 100% Aussie cryptocurrency exchange designed for safe, secure and simple trading. Elbaite is the only exchange where you can buy and sell crypto directly with your wallet, the crypto is never held on the exchange! 2022 is an exciting year for women in crypto, we are seeing more gender diversity in an industry that was once heavily male dominated. According to the FinTech Australia census of 2021, the number of female employees working in finance and tech has increased in 6% in the last year! At Elbaite we are proud to say that we are ahead of this curve with 50% of our team identifying as female, we believe that an inclusive and gender diverse environment makes for a more successful workplace.

How did you first get involved in crypto?

My first involvement with crypto was through Blockchain. I was in my final year of Uni and was working as an Electrical Engineer for a company that focused on renewable energy. While working for this company, I encountered a blockchain/crypto project that made renewable energy transactions between homes viable and it completely blew my mind! Coincidentally, my brother Mortaza, an active crypto investor became the victim of a crypto exchange hack. We began chatting and he said “hey, why don’t we create an exchange together that solves these problems?” and from there we created Elbaite, a peer to peer crypto exchange that can’t be hacked.

How much has the industry changed over the past 4 years since Elbaite started?

So much. Four years ago cryptocurrency was seen as a scam and peoples first reactions were “why are you getting into a scam!?” Now people are excited about opportunities and welcome conversations about crypto/defi.

Covid accelerated crypto into the mainstream. The pandemic created huge financial disruptions that greatly impacted traditional stocks. This caused many people to diversify their investment portfolios and get into crypto, creating a “Cryptoboom”. We are now in a place where we can have conversations about what this technology can actually do and talk about it in a more productive way.

Another huge change is the amount of women getting involved in the cryptocurrency world. In the earlier days there were very few women at crypto events, sometimes i was the only woman in attendance. Every year i am seeing more and more women at these events who are highly involved in crypto projects.

“Every year I am seeing more and more women at crypto events.”

~ Samira Tollo

Do you think there is a gender divide in the crypto-world?

Unfortunately, yes. Tech entrepreneurship has far less female representation than other industries, specifically within crypto. A lot of crypto project founders are male and this could stem from the fact that founding a crypto project requires a high level of understanding in both tech and finance, two traditionally male dominated industries.

This is rapidly changing. According to the FinTech Australia census of 2021, the number of female employees involved in FinTech industries has increased 6% in the past year, bringing the total to 35%. At Elbate we are proud to provide all genders equal opportunity, with 50% of our team Female identifying.

Why do you think an increasing number of women are entering the crypto market?

Women’s reasoning for being interested in crypto I suspect would be as diverse as the reasons that men are interested in crypto. The only difference being the timing. There is an increase in quality education now available as compared to one whitepaper being talked about over a couple of beers or through an online gaming session.

Mainstream education channels have allowed people outside of the “Bloke-chain” or “crypto-bros” circle to feel more comfortable to invest/create/experiment with crypto.

What role do you see women having in the future of crypto?

Cryptocurrency technology is still in its infancy and its position in government, legal and tax circles is still being developed. There are very few people who have knowledge in both government, legal, tax and cryptocurrencies.  

This is a great opportunity for people to bring in their diverse viewpoints to make sure that these large scale legislation actually cater for the wider audience. 

If you are a woman working in those departments you can make a huge impact by bringing your valuable and sought after crypto knowledge to the discussion and ensuring that the new legislation is representative of the wider population.

What career opportunities are available for women in Crypto?

Many companies are starting to realise that they are missing out on opportunities by not having diversity within their teams. There are opportunities available for any one of any gender or gender identity within the world of cryptocurrency.

Its is a great time for women to get involved in finance and technology. As the crypto industry continues to filter into mainstream society we are seeing an increase in female Crypto traders as well as tech employees. Whether you are thinking of entering the market as a trader or looking for a career in this exciting up and coming industry, the opportunities available for women are endless!

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