Women, Baby Boomers, and Diversity in Cryptocurrency and Emerging Technologies

January 21, 2018

This is my first article written on behalf of Blockchain Technology Research Innovations Corporation (BTRIC), so a short introduction is in order. My name is Terri Lei Beideman, and I’m the Chairwoman of the Board of Trustees of BTRIC. BTRIC is a 501(c)(3) organization that is focused on making good ideas into outstanding investment-grade businesses. Our mission also includes broader, industry-wide initiatives, one of which is to increase the diversity — in gender, age, and national origin — in the emerging technology field. That’s the subject of today’s article.

Why Emerging Technologies Energize Me

As a member of the Baby Boomer generation, I am struck by the power that emerging technologies, such as blockchain, have to fundamentally change society. I was born in 1955, before people ventured into outer space, even before humanity had launched its first artificial satellite. I have watched technology shape an ever increasing part of our lives, mostly in ways that are beneficial. Furthermore, I have observed the feedback loop that technologies creates: technology “v.now” enables tech “v.next”. The rate of human progress is accelerating rapidly, and technologies have converged to enable much of our world to be decentralized in a way that restores power to the people (or even gives power to the people that they never had before). This is exciting, and I’m so fortunate to be here to witness this transformation taking place. As compared to my former job, this is very exciting to me — a real chance to make a big difference.

New Field For Me, but I See Many of the Same Issues

Though familiar to me as I’ll explain, I was struck when I saw this posted on Twitter:

MyEtherWallet Twitter Demographics

You’re right, this is freaking absurd!

MyEtherWallet is the most popular (and dare I say the best) Ethereum web wallet. To see that only 16% of their Twitter followers are women is concerning. I don’t know how many followers they had back when this chart was captured in October, but today they have 67.8k followers. Assuming the trend is the same, that’s just under eleven thousand women that follow MEW’s Twitter.

Before founding BTRIC, I spent most of my professional life as an advocate for the U.S. seafood industry. This is also a field that is dominated by men: fishermen, seafood dealers, equipment manufacturing firms, etc. The unusual thing, though, about working in fisheries advocacy, is that the management side is much more evenly distributed (male and female), at least here in the United States. As Chair of the Marine Fisheries Advisory Committee that advises the Secretary of Commerce, I get to interact with many of these women. They’re really great people, and women really do bring a different perspective to the table when it comes to seeking solutions to difficult challenges. Not necessarily “better” or “worse”, but different. That diversity of thought is important.

Diversity is a Type of Decentralization

Especially in fast-developing fields such as cryptocurrency and emerging technologies, it’s vitally important to increase the number of women that use the technologies as well as the number of women that participate in the projects and businesses that we are building. This problem isn’t unique to the field — the STEM problem in our schools is well-known. BTRIC is going to work with other women in the field to promote diversity of users as well as project members. You can’t change the world with an 84/16% ratio. You’ll only get so far. BTRIC is going to be a part of improving on this problem.

The other thing that stands out about the MEW screen shot above is the number of users, only 67.8k. Ethereum is available throughout much of the world, to people of all ages and backgrounds. There’s just under 7.5 billion people on the planet, we have so much room to grow. One of the areas where I believe we can make a real impact is in people of my generation, which are a huge demographic. Fortunately, we’re living longer too!

Topics like cryptocurrency and augmented reality might be foreign topics to many in my generation today, but believe me, we figured out smartphones! We will figure out emerging technologies too. Work to educate the public, especially in my generation, is a priority for me at BTRIC — and it will bring big benefits to the field. Equally important, work to bring these technologies to the developing world, where many are unbanked and often the household finances are managed by women, is also vitally important. See how this all fits together?

Support Our Organization’s Launch

BTRIC has ambitious plans, but that’s what we do. We create things that haven’t existed, and that need to exist. Right now, we’re raising funds for our launch, and I request that you consider joining with others as a Founding Donor of BTRIC. It’s tax-deductible, and you get BFD Tokens — which will reward holders with each project that completes our Project Incubation Program. I think it’s a pretty good proposition. It’s the chance for the forward-thinkers out there to join together with us to make big things happen. Take a look for yourself: https://www.btric.org. Send me an email if you have any questions. Let’s get to work!

Terri Lei Beideman is the Chairwoman of the Board of Trustees of Blockchain Technology Research Innovations Corporation, a 501(c)(3) non-profit charitable organization that is devoted to fostering emerging technologies, through business incubation and other initiatives, that decentralize the control structures that have entrenched global systems for centuries. BTRIC is proud to have earned GuideStar’s Platinum Seal of Transparency — their highest level of recognition. Contributions to BTRIC may be tax-deductible to the extent permitted by law. Contact your tax advisor for more information. Visit BTRIC’s website at https://www.btric.org. Terri can be reached by email at terri.beideman@btric.org.

About the author Terri Beideman

Terri Lei Beideman is the Chairwoman of the Board of Trustees of BTRIC. Terri can be reached by email at terri.beideman@btric.org.

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