8 Women Shaking Up the Crypto & Blockchain Space

5 mins
8 March 2021, 17:40 GMT+0000
Updated by Ana Alexandre
8 March 2021, 17:40 GMT+0000
In Brief
  • BeInCrypto brings into the spotlight eight influential women in the blockchain and crypto industry.
  • BIC tells about Lea Thomson, Susan Crew, Camila Russo, Elizabeth Kukka, Sofie Blakstad, Christina Lomazzo, Kavita Gupta, Alena Afanaseva.
  • 30% of BeInCrypto’s staff are women, a much higher proportion than other media companies in the industry.
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In celebration of International Women’s Day, BeInCrypto brings into the spotlight eight influential women in the blockchain and cryptocurrency industry.

Lea Thomson —  Founder, Girl Gone Crypto 

Lea Thompson is a cryptocurrency media consultant, who operates under the brand name “Girl Gone Crypto.” She specializes in helping to promote businesses working with crypto, through social media collaboration and video production. One of her stated core beliefs is “to change the conversation and make blockchain technology more approachable to everyday users.”

Profile photo of Lea Thompson
Source: LinkedIn

Thompson’s background is in sales, marketing, and high level relationship management in the tech industry. She also enjoys singing and playing a variety of instruments.

Ironically, it was through this hobby she discovered her passion for cryptocurrency. While thinking about uploading videos of her playing cover songs, she discovered the Steem platform. With Steem, users can earn crypto from their content. After quickly growing on the platform, she became fascinated by what cryptocurrencies were and how they worked. She currently has 68,200 followers on Twitter.

Susan Crew — Content Creator, Crypto Granny

Susan Crew operates the Crypto Granny YouTube channel. She has an extensive background in the finance industry, having worked at Citi, Investec and Commonwealth Bank. It is this professional experience that enables her videos to be particularly insightful and authoritative. 

Crypto Granny Predicts 2020 Boom. | Esoteric Trading Solutions
Source: Esoteric Trading Solutions

Crew offers videos educating users about trading techniques, initial coin offerings (ICOs), and crypto market analysis. Through these videos, she also demonstrates how digital assets are in many ways superior to other traditional assets. Her original tone and unique style as “Crypto Granny,” also set her apart. She currently has 19,000 subscribers on YouTube.

Camila Russo — CEO, The Defiant

Camila Russo is the founder and CEO of The Defiant. The online media company has become one of the leading platforms for information on the emerging market for decentralized finance (DeFi).

Russo has extensive experience writing about the financial sector, including an eight-year stint writing for Bloomberg. She has also written a book on Ethereum, and consults for businesses seeking to understand or integrate DeFi.

Last year, BeInCrypto spoke with Russo about her perspective on the growth of DeFi. Although, like in any boon, there is potential for scams, the more people experiment with DeFi, the more potential to create something valuable, she said.

A native Chilean, she also believes Latin America is already playing a relevant role in DeFi. She noted that “because of the history of inflation, exchange controls, and the mistrust of institutions, Latin Americans understand better than many the value of a parallel and independent financial system.”

Elizabeth Kukka — Executive Director, Ethereum Classic Labs

Elizabeth Kukka is the Executive Director at Ethereum Classic Labs. She brings valuable experience to the role, as she was previously Head of Operations at Plug & Play Tech Center, one of Silicon Valley’s earliest and most respected tech accelerators.

As Executive Director at ETC Labs, she manages the accelerator program for blockchain and crypto-focused startups, and is responsible for the accelerator’s overall operations, processes, workshops, networking, investment committee, and introductions. 

Profile photo of Elizabeth Kukka, MBA
Source: LinkedIn

Her more than ten years of experience and expertise as a mentor and coach in science, design thinking, product development, and operational management, has greatly enabled her in later roles.

She speaks regularly at international events about blockchain, Ethereum Classic, women in tech, interoperability, and crypto hedge fund investing. She also guides entrepreneurs working on social impact projects.

Sofie Blakstad — Founder and CEO, hiveonline

Sofie Blakstad is the founder and CEO of hiveonline. The distributed community finance platform is based on the blockchain and seeks to enable poor communities that lack access to any formal banking institutions. 

Source: LinkedIn

Throughout her banking career, Blakstad built five core banking systems and multiple payment systems. By doing so, she deduced that the future of finance would lie outside the banking sector.

Counterintuitively, she surmised that it would be found within communities that formal banking had never reached. Her inclusive solution allows women from some of the most disadvantaged countries in the world to participate in the economy.

Blakstad currently advises the United Nations (UN), Central Banks, and international NGOs on blockchain and cryptocurrency issues. She also writes research on approaches to sustainable blockchain, and is the author of “Fintech Revolution.”

Christina Lomazzo — Blockchain Lead, UNICEF

Christina Lomazzo is the Blockchain Lead for UNICEF. In her role, she leads a dedicated team of five to build blockchain and crypto products within the UN. She is especially qualified for this role, having previously co-founded Deloitte’s Public Sector Blockchain Practice in Canada.

Source: WEF

Lomazzo has already made an impact at the UN. She spearheaded the agency’s first CryptoFund, which has made 11 investments in blockchain and crypto companies to date.

As a founding member of the UNICEF Country Offices, she works around the world to leverage the transparency and efficiency of public blockchains. One such case is in Kazakhstan, where they are building a platform to manage vendor payments.

Lomazzo is also investigating ERC-20 tokens, and how they can be applied within the context of UNICEF’s work. One such effort is bringing universal connectivity to school communities around the world, in a more fair and transparent way.

Kavita Gupta — Founding Managing Partner at Delta Growth Fund L P

Kavita Gupta is a Founding Managing Partner at Delta Growth Fund L P. She is also a visiting scholar, lecturer, and founding member of the Distributed Trust Initiative at Stanford University. 

Profile photo of Kavita Gupta
Source: LinkedIn

Currently, Gupta is heading a $250 million growth stage at global blockchain fund Delta Growth Fund L P. Previously, she was the Founding Managing Partner of the VC-hedge fund at ConsenSys, which invested in next-gen blockchain technologies. In 2015, she received the UN Social Finance Innovator Award for helping fund the green bond team at the World Bank.

Alena Afanaseva — Co-founder and CEO, BeInCrypto

Alena Afanaseva is the CEO of BeInCrypto. She was among the original three founders of the cryptocurrency and blockchain news portal, which has now grown to over 100 employees worldwide.

Before establishing BeInCrypto, Afanaseva had 15 years of experience in the financial world, particularly in foreign exchange. Her previous roles included editor, financial analyst, as well as head of analytics. In 2016, she wrote her first Bitcoin analysis, and was “impressed by the simplicity and the beauty of the blockchain concept.”

Afanaseva said it was the speculative bubble of ICO mania circa 2017 that sparked her interest in creating a cryptocurrency news site. She not only thought this would be profitable, but also sorely needed in a market concentrated towards a few top websites.

BeInCrypto was founded in late-2018 to fulfill this demand. Afanaseva is proud to say that 30% of BeInCrypto’s staff are women, a much higher proportion than other media companies in the industry.


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