As seen in Forbes: Meet The Woman Advising The World's Top Blockchain Companies

Written by Lisa Winning at Forbes Magazine.

March 2, 2018 - The blockchain landscape is commanding an increasing amount of attention. With more first-time companies and applications vying for ICOs, interest in the long-term viabilities of technologies based on the blockchain is also growing.

One of the questions many blockchain developers and entrepreneurs must answer to investors who may be intrigued, but skeptical, regarding the actual potential use of their blockchain solution is scalability, and inclusion. Luckily for entrepreneurs eager to make an impact in this space, more resources are popping up to help burgeoning ventures to hone their applications and refine their unique value propositions in the field.

I recently chatted with Tiffany Madison, one of the founding partners at DecentraNet, a full-service blockchain advisory, to learn more about the consultancy’s offerings and why the blockchain space needs guidance now more than ever. As a woman at the forefront of a growing company in the blockchain, Madison’s insights not only cover where blockchain as a whole needs to go, but also, how the vertical can transform into a more diverse and inclusive industry.

Lisa Winning: Do you feel there is a gender equality gap in blockchain and if so why?

Tiffany Madison: Like the broader tech industry, there is a gender equality gap in blockchain technology. I think this is attributed to the fact that in the initial days of crypto, the earliest voices advocating widespread adoption of privacy-enhancing cryptography (as a facilitator for social and political change), were mostly male. That is changing.

Speaking only for myself: while there is certainly a disparity between men and women in this space, I think the industry is rapidly evolving into a culture of inclusion. In my experience, the community is comprised of highly conscientious individuals that sincerely strive to include women and all underrepresented groups in the industry. These efforts will naturally continue to attract more female involvement. This is important to me. I have three nieces and a four-month-old daughter. I want as many opportunities open for them in this world, and want to only be a part of cultures that would actively welcome them.

Winning: How can we get more women into blockchain?

Madison: 1) Create new opportunities: As the blockchain industry is transitioning from its newborn phase into infancy, new opportunities are emerging for women. Until recently, most of the positions in this space targeted technologists, a niche underrepresented with women. While we still have work to do, more women are entering STEM and technology-related fields than ever. As the industry continues to grow, positions where women often shine become more in demand, especially operations, marketing, public relations, content development, and media. Further, over the next decade, many industries where women dominate will be disrupted by blockchain, creating a catalyst for their interest.

2) Offer a platform: I also think industry events are a very public way of demonstrating support for inclusion and diversity. Event organizers and leaders can play a very important role by continuing to foster an inclusive culture welcoming to all. At d10e, we specifically sought female moderators to mediate all-male panels. Our emcee, still to this day, is the very talented young woman, Naomi Brockwell, also known as Bitcoin Girl. The result was that more women leaders felt empowered by their roles as early adopters and thought leaders, and more inclined to speak at future events. When DecentraNet hosts events, we promote inclusion by seeking out as many talented and diverse presenters as possible.

3) Focus on cryptocurrency adoption first: In my experience, interest in cryptocurrency almost always leads to interest in the power of blockchain technologies. Estimates currently place that 5 to 7 percent of all cryptocurrency users are women, making the industry a highly male-dominated one.I think this will change in the next 5-10 years. As cryptocurrency investment platforms, including wallets and exchanges, continue to become less cumbersome and more user-friendly, many women that do not consider themselves technical, but financially savvy, are apt to become interested.

Winning: How did DecentraNet begin?

Madison: In early 2016, crypto was in a unique place. Technologists were waking up to the revolutionary applications of blockchain technology. While many had fantastic ideas, extensive experience and impressive credentials, many also had little business savvy. One of our founders, Matt McKibbin, had already started several blockchain companies and a popular DC Bitcoin meetup during his first three years in crypto. Matt saw the need for business-minded advisors early on. He was routinely sought out to consult on various projects as few professional blockchain-knowledgeable organizations understood how to scale startups into thriving companies.

Matt teamed up with Ted Moskovitz and Benji Rabhan, two accomplished entrepreneurs from the software world, and promptly recruited our other co-founders. Intrigued by the potentials of blockchain and the startups at the forefront of developing the technology, we quickly identified the gap for professional services and DecentraNet was born.

Winning: What's the goal of DecentraNet?

Madison: As the blockchain professional space has exploded, our team has become more attracted to social impact projects, and that interest is now enshrined in our mission statement: Leveraging Blockchain Technology to Solve the World’s Greatest Challenges.

We support teams improving the world at scale. Our current focus is on healthcare, education, good governance, financial inclusion, and clean energy. After seven years in this space, we have a fantastic network of partners and advisors. That we are willing to refer some projects out to our larger network, rather than taking all opportunities ourselves, has been essential to our success. Our clients know that if we don’t have the bandwidth for the job, we are in a unique position to connect them to top-performers that will.

Winning: How did you get involved in blockchain, and why are you passionate about it?

Madison: In 2014, I took a position as Vice President of Coin Congress, a cryptocurrency-focused event series founded by Brock Pierce. After the summer 2015 event in San Francisco, I realized the cryptocurrency event space had become an echo chamber of hard-core evangelists. The same voices and faces attended at every event and covered the same discussion topics every time, all geared toward people that already understood Bitcoin. To grow, crypto needed representation in new industries and more voices promoting Bitcoin and blockchain technology. Those industry innovators just needed an invitation.

Pierce challenged and empowered me to create a new event that could unite all of the makers, dreamers, and crazy ones whether they were in crypto or not. My partners at the time, Matt McKibbin, Meg Gilliland and Jake Tozier, created and launched d10e: the first event focused on decentralization in four disruptive industries: fintech, disruptive technology, the sharing economy, and the future of work. Our idea was simple: unite all of the inspiring people creating the world of tomorrow.

The experience of running d10e and watching so many industries embrace the concept of decentralization affirmed my view that the real hero of Satoshi’s vision was the blockchain. I’m passionate about this technology because, like the Internet, it has the power to liberate humanity and revolutionize the institutions that should serve us.

Winning: Who are some of the companies you consult and which ones are you most excited about? Which industries are these companies disrupting?

Madison: We have so many interesting projects that it’s really hard to choose just one. Our 2018 focus is social impact, and ImpactPPA is one of the most exciting social impact organizations to watch. ImpactPPA is an Ethereum-based decentralized energy platform that will transform the global energy finance industry. Distributed, renewable energy solutions bring electrical generation directly to the point of use, thereby eliminating bottlenecks created by NGOs and government agencies that have traditionally controlled energy financing. In 2018, the the technology exists now to solve this problem for millions of good people living in the dark. ImpactPPA aims to do this in places that need the help the most.

From our companies that are not singularly focused on social good, but have sheer disruptive potential, I’m excited about DeedCoin. Through blockchain technology, the real estate industry can be decentralized and streamlined. DeedCoin will accomplish this first by leveraging two popular startup ideas: lowering broker commissions and integrating cryptocurrencies into real estate. Their goal is to dramatically reduce brokerage overhead for homebuyers, many of which are struggling to become homeowners while balancing other financial obligations, by letting buyers and sellers pay agents partly with their own cryptocurrency tokens. The founders, Matthew Herrick and Charles Wismer, are really on to something special.

Winning: What's the future of blockchain and where do you see it going in the next 5, 10 years?

Madison: Blockchain technology will be incorporated into every industry. Those that do not evolve will be less capable of competing, and eventually suffer the market consequences. Just as nearly every business today uses the Internet, companies over the next decade will embrace blockchain technology. My co-founder, Ted Moskovitz, often responds to this question with a very simple answer: What competitive business wouldn’t want greater data security, less transaction fees, greater transparency, and many of the other features of this technology?

You can read the full article by Lisa Winning at Forbes. You can tweet @LisaWinning

    As seen in CoinReview: 24 Women in Blockchain/Crypto You Should Be Following

    I was recently featured on CoinReview's list, 24 Women in Blockchain/Crypto You Should Be Following! I'm honored to be featured alongside such stellar women in this ecosystem! You can read the full article here.

    February 22, 2018: When it comes to cryptocurrency, women are a vast minority. While we are not assessing blame to anyone for this or pointing fingers at anyone, the stats do not lie. Based on the analytics from this site alone for 2017, 91.58% of visitors were male, while only 8.42% were females. Also, when looking at the speaker line up from the recent North American Bitcoin Conference, out of the 88 speakers, only three were females. That is less than 4%!

    Although one of the bases of cryptocurrency that drives usage is anonymity, the space is still one that can benefit from a diverse audience. Science proves that men and women's brains operate differently. Offering different perspectives on issues, especially those in the cryptocurrency space, are what keeps the industry evolving and moving forward to benefit all. It is important to encourage women to become active in the cryptocurrency space and lead by example. With that being said, here are five pioneering women in the cryptocurrency space that everyone should be following.

    1) Preethi Kasireedy

    Twitter: @iam_preethi

    Preethi is a Blockchain Engineer and alum of CoinBase, Goldman Sachs, and Andreessen Horowitz. She recently decided to break away from Silicon Valley and move to LA to explore her own ventures. She chronicles her journey with her 50,000 followers through her Medium account, @preethikasireddy, as well as through her 40,000 followers on Twitter. Preethi shares her knowledge of Blockchain development, as well as, showcasing to her audience that there is more to crypto then just the investment side. She is a leader not only for women in crypto but also for women in tech.

    2) Linda Xie

    Twitter: @ljxie

    Linda Xie is the co-founder of Scalar Capital, an investment management firm, and also a former Project Manager at CoinBase. Linda shares her cryptocurrency investment knowledge with her 14,000 followers on Medium (@linda.xie), and her 31,000 followers on Twitter. She provides insight on investing in major coins and altcoins alike. She excels at breaking down the specifics with altcoins and making them easily digestible for those new to the cryptocurrency space.

    3) Tiffany Hayden

    Twitter: @haydentiff

    Tiffany Hayden describes herself in her Twitter bio as “feminine and strong”. She currently serves as the Community Manager at Edge Secure, a multi-asset Blockchain wallet. Tiffany discovered Bitcoin in 2012 and saw the many social benefits of it. She is a member of several Bitcoin educational groups and is active in the Fintech community. She has consistently ranked as one of the Top 100 Blockchain Influencers. She shares her knowledge on Ripple, Bitcoin Cash, and Bitcoin with her 59,000 Twitter followers.

    4) Tricia Martinez

    Twitter: @triciatita

    Back in October of 2017, we featured Tricia Martinez in an interview. Tricia is the CEO and Founder of Wala and of the Dala Token. Wala is a mobile financial platform that works to provide a way for people to reach financial prosperity without the use of a bank. As a behavioral economist, Tricia has spent her career helping those who are underserved in the financial market around the globe. That is where her inspiration for Wala and the Dala Utility Token came from. Tricia shares her journey with Wala and the Dala Token with her followers on her Twitter account.

    5) Laura Shin

    Twitter: @laurashin

    Laura Shin is a Forbes Senior Editor focusing on Bitcoin, Ethereum, crypto, ICOs, and Blockchain. She is also the host of the Unchained Podcast. In her podcast, she chats with leaders in various fields on the impact of blockchain technology on their specific field. This includes healthcare, financial services, government, among many other fields. Laura shares just about everything relating to cryptocurrency from investing to technology with her 76,000 Twitter Followers.

    6) Arianna Simpson

    Twitter: @AriannaSimpson

    Arianna Simpson is an early stage investor with 40 investments to date. In her Twitter bio, she states that she was “into crypto before it was cool”. She shares her crypto knowledge through her website, AriannaSimpson.com. Arianna has been named as one of the “Top 40 Women of Bitcoin”, as well as, being featured in the New York Times, CoinDesk, Popular Science, and Women 2.0 among others. With 23,000 Twitter Followers, Arianna is certainly one to follow for crypto investment advice and strategies.

    7) Kathryn Haun

    Twitter: @katie_haun

    As a Lecturer in Management at Stanford University, Kathryn “Katie” Haun, focuses on the intersection of regulation and technology especially in regards to cryptocurrency. She hopes to educate students on the importance of issues they will face in founding, scaling, and operating companies in emerging fields. In addition to her role at Stanford, Katie is also on the Board of Directors at CoinBase where she chairs its Audit and Risk Committees. Katie shares her crypto regulatory insights to her over 5,000 followers on Twitter.

    8) Lily Katz

    Twitter: @LilyKatz

    Lily Katz is a reporter for Bloomberg covering cryptocurrency, fintech, and real estate. She covers everything in regards to crypto-related news for the media powerhouse, Bloomberg. In addition to reporting for Bloomberg, Lily has also been featured in several interviews where she shares her crypto knowledge. With over 3,000 Twitter followers, those wanting the latest news in regards to cryptocurrency should follow Lily.

    9) Meltem Demirors

    Twitter: @Melt_Dem

    Meltem Demirors serves as the Director of Digital Currency Group. In her position at Digital Currency Group, Meltem works as the “connective tissue” between the companies investors, corporate partners, subsidiaries, and portfolio companies. Meltem serves as an educator at MIT and is a Member of the Global Future Council on Blockchain at the World Economic Forum. She also has an MBA from the MIT Sloan School of Management and shares her insights on ICO's and crypto investing with her 44,000 Twitter followers.

    10) Amber Baldet

    Twitter: @amberbaldet

    Amber Baldet serves at the Blockchain Lead at JPMorgan and has been named one of the Most Influential in Blockchain in 2017 by CoinDesk. Additionally, she is ranked #31 on Fortune's 40 Under 40 for 2017. Amber highlights her accomplishments in the blockchain space and crypto space, as well as, shares some of her work on her website, AmberBaldet.com. With over 26,000 followers on Twitter, Amber shares a plethora of insight on blockchain and on life in general with her followers.

    11) Cherie Aimée

    Twitter: @xocherieaimee

    Cherie Aimée serves as the VP of Community Management for ShipChain. We've previously shared the mission of ShipChain and how they are utilizing blockchain technology to bring transparency to the transportation and logistics industry. In her role at ShipChain, Cherie uses her background in digital marketing to grow the brand. This had led ShipChain to be one of the fastest growing Telegram ICO groups and one of the largest with over 33,000 members. With nearly 26,000 followers on Twitter, Cherie shares all news relating to ShipChain in addition to providing inspiration to aspiring entrepreneurs.

    12) Perianne Boring

    Twitter: @PerianneDC

    Perianne Boring is the Founder and President of the Chamber of Digital Commerce, as well as, a Professor of Blockchain at Georgetown. The Chamber of Digital Commerce works to promote the acceptance and more use of digital assets and blockchain technology. Perianne has been named to CoinDesk's “10 Most Influential People in Blockchain 2016”, as well as, “Top Women in Bitcoin 2015”. Additionally, Perianne contributes to Forbes through her column, “The Beauty of Blockchain”. With nearly 20,00 followers on Twitter, Perianne shares her insights on blockchain technology and even gives followers an inside look at her job as a Blockchain Professor at Georgetown.

    13) Connie Gallippi

    Twitter: @conniegallipi

    Connie Gallippi is the Founder and Executive Director of BitGive. Through her organization, Connie hopes to revolutionize philanthropy through Bitcoin and blockchain. Connie founded BitGive in 2013, marking the first Bitcoin 501(c)(3) nonprofit. Connie is often asked to speak on topics including diversity and equal opportunity within the digital community. With nearly 10,000 followers, Connie often Tweets about issues relating to women and philanthropic issues both in and outside of the cryptocurrency space.

    14) Fahima Marissa Anwar

    Twitter: @FahimaAnwar

    Fahima Marissa Anwar is the Senior Director of Global Marketing and Communications at Dubtoken. Dubtoken is a multi-faceted utility token on the blockchains designed to empower those who are part of the Interactive Video and Experience Protocol. Fahima brings her marketing mindset to blockchain and shares her blockchain and marketing knowledge to her followers on Twitter.

    15) Elizabeth McCauley

    Twitter: @etmccauley

    As a board member of the Bitcoin Foundation and Code to Inspire, Elizabeth McCauley showcases her leadership in the crypto-space. In addition to her position with the Bitcoin Foundation, Elizabeth is also the Global Business Development Head for Coinsecure and works in Business Development for bridge21, both rising crypto-based companies. Elizabeth shares her thoughts on Bitcoin and cryptocurrency followers.

    16) Catherine Coley

    Twitter: @cryptocoley

    Catherine Coley is the Head of Investor Relations at Ripple, a blockchain based solution to global banking. She brings her Foreign Exchange Banking knowledge from positions at Silicon Valley Bank and Morgan Stanley to the crypto-space. Catherine is a graduate of the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hil and worked on international foreign exchange trading floors in Hong Kong and London. She often shares Ripple news with her followers.

    17) Tiffany Madison

    Twitter: @tiffanymadison

    Tiffany Madison is a Partner of DecentraNet. DecentraNet is a full-scale blockchain consulting firm. She describes herself as a Strategist, Advisor, Communicator, Consultant, and Writer. Some of her clients include Nano Vision, DAOstack, and Loci among others. Her company recently hosted CryptoHQ at the World Economic Forum in Davos. Tiffany shares her cryptocurrency insights and DecentraNet news to her nearly 10,000 followers.

    18) Tatiana Moroz

    Twitter: @queentatiana

    Tatiana Moroz is the founder of the rightfully named, “Tatiana Coin“. The “Tatiana Coin” is the first artist cryptocurrency coins and works to raise funds for artists or those with an audience looking to interact with supports. Tatiana herself is a singer-songwriter and a graduate of the Berklee College of Music. She merges her music with cryptocurrency and performs often at Bitcoin and cryptocurrency related events. Tatiana shares her journey through music and crypto with her 12,000 followers.

    19) Elizabeth Stark

     

    Twitter: @starkness

    Elizabeth Stark is the Co-Founder of Lightning Labs. Lightning Labs is an open protocol layer that utilizes blockchain technology and smart contracts to provide fast, cheap, and private transactions worldwide. Prior to her role at Lightning Labs, Elizabeth was a Professor at Stanford and Yale where she educated college students on peer-to-peer technology. Elizabeth shares her knowledge of blockchain and security to her followers.

    20) Aya Miyaguchi

    Twitter: @mi_ayako

    Aya Miyaguchi describes herself as a “Crypto OG” and as a Global Leader and Influencer in Blockchain Technology, Cryptocurrency, and FinTech. She currently serves as an Advisor for Kraken Digital Asset Exchange. She previously was the Managing Director and VP of Operations for the Japanese at Kraken. Aya shares her cryptocurrency knowledge and especially her meetups in the cryptocurrency community with her followers on Twitter.

    21) Caitlin Long

    Twitter: @CaitlinLong_

    Caitlin Long brings her 22 years of Wall Street knowledge to the blockchain sector. She is the former Chairwoman and President at Symbiont.io. Symbiont is a leader in the smart contracts platform for the financial sector utilizing blockchain technology. On her website, Caitlin-Long.com, Caitlin announced she recently left Symbiont to pursue other blockchain ventures. On her website and through her Twitter account she shares her musings on blockchain, Bitcoin, and the future of the industry.

    22) Marie-Antoinette Tichler

    Twitter: @C2CryptoQueen

    Back in November, we featured Marie-Antoinette Tichler, the Founder and CEO of C2Legacy, in an interview. C2Legacy is a digital/cryptocurrency asset management platform utilizing blockchain technology. Marie Antoinette utilized her background in building and educating underserved youth on technology, to build the C2Legacy platform. Marie-Antoinette is a vocal leader in the crypto space and shares her crypto knowledge, as well as, C2Legacy news and updates to her followers on Twitter.

     

    23) Carolyn Reckhow

    Twitter: @CReckhow

    Carolyn Reckhow is the Director of Operations at Consensus Systems (also known as ConsenSys). ConsenSys is a blockchain app production studio building decentralized applications for the emerging Ethereum ecosystem. She describes herself as the Macro Social Worker for the Internet, having earned a Master in Social Work focusing on Macro Practice from Boston University. Carolyn shares ConsenSys news and updates, as well as, her own thoughts and opinions on the crypto-space to her followers on Twitter.

    24) Dr. Julie Albright

    Twitter: @drjuliea

    Dr. Julie Albright describes herself as a digital sociologist. She currently works as a Lecturer in the Psychology of Interactive Media at the University of Southern California. Additionally, she is an Advisor at DNXCommunity. DNXCommunity is a Digital Nomad platform that is built on the Ethereum blockchain and is designed to provide a decentralized platform for the remote worker community. Dr. Julie Albright has been featured on the Today Show, CNN, and in the Wall Street Journal among other media outlets. She often Tweets and shares content with her nearly 20,000 followers relating to technology, including cryptocurrency, and its effect on human behavior.