How Aussie women are breaking ground in the blockchain sector

For a long time the tech sector has been dominated by white men. Manels (male only panels) were commonplace at conferences, more male-led startups received venture capital funding and there were a lot more visible male success stories. But when it comes to blockchain, an emerging group of female entrepreneurs are leading the way, not just in Australia, but globally.

While cryptocurrency may still have a skew towards males, if you think about a successful Australian blockchain startup, the chances are it has a female co-founder.

Last month Queenslander Leanne Kemp’s blockchain startup Everledger, was named by the World Economic Forum as one of the 61 most promising technology pioneers of 2018.

Kemp, a serial entrepreneur with multiple exits under her belt, founded the business in April 2015 as a way to track the provenance of diamonds, identify diamonds and follow their ownership history.

Civic Ledger co-founder Katrina Donaghy is one of the women in Australia building a successful blockchain startup.

Supplied

Having moved to London in 2014 to explore the use of bitcoin and blockchain, she tells The Australian Financial Review she’d been surprised to find large financial institutions already employing cryptographers and working with blockchain around transactions.

Advertisement

Kemp knew blockchain could be applied to provenance and now Everledger has 2.2 million diamonds on its blockchain which have been tracked from the mine to the retailer. She has also expanded into other products, adding other gem stones to the blockchain, as well as things like art, wine, watches, jewellery and even resources such as cobalt and lithium.

“There’s an important role to be had in re-innovating existing products in markets to bring transparency and provenance and then also the tracking of their second lives. You can find out where something goes after it’s retired and what happens to the core components, which is so important when there is a war on waste,” she says.

“We have a responsibility as next generation technologists to underpin how this technology will form and inform all of us in our roles as citizens of the planet.”

In March Everledger closed a $US10.4 million funding round, led by the Canadian arm of Fidelity Investments and GMP Securities. It also had participation from Vickers Ventures Partners, Graphene Venture Capital, and previous investors Rakuten, FPV, Fenbushi, and Bloomberg Beta.

Leanne Kemp's firm Everledger was recognised by the World Economic Forum as one of the tech pioneers for 2018.
Leanne Kemp’s firm Everledger was recognised by the World Economic Forum as one of the tech pioneers for 2018.

Supplied

The funding provided Everledger with expansion capital, helping it open an office in mumbai, India. It also has offices in Sydney, Brisbane, Singapore and the US.

The startup now has 60 staff and while the average percentage of women working in a technology company in Australia is usually between 28-31 per cent, Everledger has 44 per cent women in both leadership and technical roles in the company.

“Culturally as an organisation we consider diversity as part of our DNA,” Kemp says.

“While blockchain might be a newly-named technology, the reality is it’s a combination of existing technical competencies. We need people that are great data scientists, who understand governance, who are cryptographers… and AI experts. When you combine this together in a novel way, it becomes enlivened.”

Gracie Wong co-founded Liven alongside her brother William Wong.
Gracie Wong co-founded Liven alongside her brother William Wong.

Wesley Nel

Kemp is just one of many Australian women kicking goals in the blockchain industry.

In February Square Peg Capital invested $5.5 million into supply chain finance blockchain start-up AgriDigital, co-founded and led by entrepreneur Emma Weston, while blockchain energy trading pioneer Power Ledger raised $34 million in its initial coin offering last year and is co-founded and chaired by Dr Jemma Green.

Ruth Hatherley’s blockchain startup Moneycatcha also scored a deal with HSBC last year to trial its two products – Homechain, a home loan processing platform, and Regchain, a regulatory compliance tool.

Civic Ledger

In February Square Peg Capital invested $5.5 million into supply chain finance blockchain start-up AgriDigital, ...
In February Square Peg Capital invested $5.5 million into supply chain finance blockchain start-up AgriDigital, co-founded and led by entrepreneur Emma Weston.

Peter Braig

Katrina Donaghy’s public sector blockchain start-up Civic Ledger was also named last month as the emerging fintech organisation of the year at the annual fintech industry awards.

Ms Donaghy, who began her career working in government before shifting to water utilities and then the not-for-profit sector, says she discovered blockchain in October 2015 and scored a deal with the Queensland government prior to launching Civic Ledger, which uses smart contract and blockchain technology to build tools for people to engage with government.

She says the majority of successful blockchain startups in Australia, which have real products and solutions, have been co-founded by women.

“If you just look at the companies that have done ICOs, there are very few women, but if you look at the ones that have been built based on customer validation and actually have sales, well most of the good blockchain companies that are still around were co-founded by women in the early days,” Ms Donaghy said.

Donaghy's Civic Ledger was also named last month as the emerging fintech organisation of the year at the annual fintech ...
Donaghy’s Civic Ledger was also named last month as the emerging fintech organisation of the year at the annual fintech industry awards.

Supplied

“I set up Brisbane Women in Blockchain in 2017 and I have nearly 430 people in my meet-up. We get told all the time that we [as women] don’t exist in the sector, but we get tired of that. We’re building really powerful businesses and we work on problems that are suitable for blockchain technology and that’s why we’re successful.”

Ms Donaghy, whose company is currently working with IP Australia to digitise the IP registry and have it built on the blockchain, said there were also many women involved in the blockchain community from other backgrounds such as Hannah Glass at King & Wood Mallesons, Claire Wivell Plater from The Fold Legal, Dr Philippa Ryan at the University of Technology Sydney and Dr Lucy Cameron from Data61, as well as Miss Blockchain Akasha Indream.

Global perspective

Despite the strong representation of women in blockchain, this is not mirrored in cryptocurrency. Globally, women make up just 8.5 per cent of cryptocurrency traders, according to data from Bitcoin.com. But this may change as the sector matures, as the data revealed there was no gender split in bitcoin traders.

Equally, at global blockchain or cryptocurrency conferences there is often still a lack of diversity, both in terms of gender and race.

In 2015 a blockchain summit at Richard Branson’s Necker Island featured just one woman out of 37 participants.

But this is changing. There are now Women in Blockchain global conference and recognisable female leaders in the sector internationally.

In February New Yorker Amber Baldet quit her role as the blockchain program lead at JPMorgan Chase to start her own venture Clovyr, and even the blockchain division at major tech giant IBM is led by two women – Bridget van Kralingen and Marie Wieck.

Globally, women make up just 8.5 per cent of cryptocurrency traders, according to data from Bitcoin.com.
Globally, women make up just 8.5 per cent of cryptocurrency traders, according to data from Bitcoin.com.

LUKE MACGREGOR

In 2014 Grace Wong co-founded dining rewards app Liven with her brother William, which this year expanded into blockchain by creating a token called LivenCoin. It will be able to be used to pay for food and beverages at popular restaurants around Australia by December this year and already has the support of renowned chains like Gelato Messina. Last year Ms Wong spent months travelling to different international blockchain events late last year before making a play in the sector.

She said she was often one of only a few women at the events, but this made her stand out and she was able to use it to her advantage.

“I get noticed by so many people and then they become interested in our project… but I am seeing more women start to come up in the space,” she said.

“This is something females can be passionate about and interested in. It’s all about a trustless, secure system and traceability. This kind of concept where no one can interfere and there’s no middlemen, resonates with females more than the internet era did.”

Be the first to comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.


*


Privacy Policy

WideBitcoin.com is committed to safeguarding your privacy. Contact us at if you have any questions or problems regarding the use of your Personal Data and we will gladly assist you.

By using this site or/and our services, you consent to the Processing of your Personal Data as described in this Privacy Policy.

Table of Contents

  1. Definitions used in this Policy
  2. Data protection principles we follow
  3. What rights do you have regarding your Personal Data
  4. What Personal Data we gather about you
  5. How we use your Personal Data
  6. Who else has access to your Personal Data
  7. How we secure your data
  8. Information about cookies
  9. Contact information

Definitions

Personal Data – any information relating to an identified or identifiable natural person.
Processing – any operation or set of operations which is performed on Personal Data or on sets of Personal Data.
Data subject – a natural person whose Personal Data is being Processed.
Child – a natural person under 16 years of age.
We/us (either capitalized or not)

Data Protection Principles

We promise to follow the following data protection principles:

  • Processing is lawful, fair, transparent. Our Processing activities have lawful grounds. We always consider your rights before Processing Personal Data. We will provide you information regarding Processing upon request.
  • Processing is limited to the purpose. Our Processing activities fit the purpose for which Personal Data was gathered.
  • Processing is done with minimal data. We only gather and Process the minimal amount of Personal Data required for any purpose.
  • Processing is limited with a time period. We will not store your personal data for longer than needed.
  • We will do our best to ensure the accuracy of data.
  • We will do our best to ensure the integrity and confidentiality of data.

Data Subject’s rights

The Data Subject has the following rights:

  1. Right to information – meaning you have to right to know whether your Personal Data is being processed; what data is gathered, from where it is obtained and why and by whom it is processed.
  2. Right to access – meaning you have the right to access the data collected from/about you. This includes your right to request and obtain a copy of your Personal Data gathered.
  3. Right to rectification – meaning you have the right to request rectification or erasure of your Personal Data that is inaccurate or incomplete.
  4. Right to erasure – meaning in certain circumstances you can request for your Personal Data to be erased from our records.
  5. Right to restrict processing – meaning where certain conditions apply, you have the right to restrict the Processing of your Personal Data.
  6. Right to object to processing – meaning in certain cases you have the right to object to Processing of your Personal Data, for example in the case of direct marketing.
  7. Right to object to automated Processing – meaning you have the right to object to automated Processing, including profiling; and not to be subject to a decision based solely on automated Processing. This right you can exercise whenever there is an outcome of the profiling that produces legal effects concerning or significantly affecting you.
  8. Right to data portability – you have the right to obtain your Personal Data in a machine-readable format or if it is feasible, as a direct transfer from one Processor to another.
  9. Right to lodge a complaint – in the event that we refuse your request under the Rights of Access, we will provide you with a reason as to why. If you are not satisfied with the way your request has been handled please contact us.
  10. Right for the help of supervisory authority – meaning you have the right for the help of a supervisory authority and the right for other legal remedies such as claiming damages.
  11. Right to withdraw consent – you have the right withdraw any given consent for Processing of your Personal Data.

Data we gather

Information you have provided us with
This might be your e-mail address, name, billing address, home address etc – mainly information that is necessary for delivering you a product/service or to enhance your customer experience with us. We save the information you provide us with in order for you to comment or perform other activities on the website. This information includes, for example, your name and e-mail address.

Information automatically collected about you
This includes information that is automatically stored by cookies and other session tools. For example, your shopping cart information, your IP address, your shopping history (if there is any) etc. This information is used to improve your customer experience. When you use our services or look at the contents of our website, your activities may be logged.

Information from our partners
We gather information from our trusted partners with confirmation that they have legal grounds to share that information with us. This is either information you have provided them directly with or that they have gathered about you on other legal grounds. See the list of our partners here.

Publicly available information
We might gather information about you that is publicly available.

How we use your Personal Data

We use your Personal Data in order to:

  • provide our service to you. This includes for example registering your account; providing you with other products and services that you have requested; providing you with promotional items at your request and communicating with you in relation to those products and services; communicating and interacting with you; and notifying you of changes to any services.
  • enhance your customer experience;
  • fulfil an obligation under law or contract;

We use your Personal Data on legitimate grounds and/or with your Consent.

On the grounds of entering into a contract or fulfilling contractual obligations, we Process your Personal Data for the following purposes:

  • to identify you;
  • to provide you a service or to send/offer you a product;
  • to communicate either for sales or invoicing;

On the ground of legitimate interest, we Process your Personal Data for the following purposes:

  • to send you personalized offers* (from us and/or our carefully selected partners);
  • to administer and analyse our client base (purchasing behaviour and history) in order to improve the quality, variety, and availability of products/ services offered/provided;
  • to conduct questionnaires concerning client satisfaction;

As long as you have not informed us otherwise, we consider offering you products/services that are similar or same to your purchasing history/browsing behaviour to be our legitimate interest.

With your consent we Process your Personal Data for the following purposes:

  • to send you newsletters and campaign offers (from us and/or our carefully selected partners);
  • for other purposes we have asked your consent for;

We Process your Personal Data in order to fulfil obligation rising from law and/or use your Personal Data for options provided by law. We reserve the right to anonymise Personal Data gathered and to use any such data. We will use data outside the scope of this Policy only when it is anonymised. We save your billing information and other information gathered about you for as long as needed for accounting purposes or other obligations deriving from law, but not longer than 1 year.

We might process your Personal Data for additional purposes that are not mentioned here, but are compatible with the original purpose for which the data was gathered. To do this, we will ensure that:

  • the link between purposes, context and nature of Personal Data is suitable for further Processing;
  • the further Processing would not harm your interests and
  • there would be appropriate safeguard for Processing.

We will inform you of any further Processing and purposes.

Who else can access your Personal Data

We do not share your Personal Data with strangers. Personal Data about you is in some cases provided to our trusted partners in order to either make providing the service to you possible or to enhance your customer experience. We share your data with:

Our processing partners:

  • facebook.com
  • google.com
  • bing.com
  • twitter.com
  • pinterest.com

Our business partners:

  • facebook.com
  • google.com
  • bing.com
  • twitter.com
  • pinterest.com

Connected third parties:

  • facebook.com
  • google.com
  • bing.com
  • twitter.com
  • pinterest.com

We only work with Processing partners who are able to ensure adequate level of protection to your Personal Data. We disclose your Personal Data to third parties or public officials when we are legally obliged to do so. We might disclose your Personal Data to third parties if you have consented to it or if there are other legal grounds for it.

How we secure your data

We do our best to keep your Personal Data safe. We use safe protocols for communication and transferring data (such as HTTPS). We use anonymising and pseudonymising where suitable. We monitor our systems for possible vulnerabilities and attacks.

Even though we try our best we can not guarantee the security of information. However, we promise to notify suitable authorities of data breaches. We will also notify you if there is a threat to your rights or interests. We will do everything we reasonably can to prevent security breaches and to assist authorities should any breaches occur.

If you have an account with us, note that you have to keep your username and password secret.

Children

We do not intend to collect or knowingly collect information from children. We do not target children with our services.

Cookies and other technologies we use

We use cookies and/or similar technologies to analyse customer behaviour, administer the website, track users’ movements, and to collect information about users. This is done in order to personalize and enhance your experience with us.

A cookie is a tiny text file stored on your computer. Cookies store information that is used to help make sites work. Only we can access the cookies created by our website. You can control your cookies at the browser level. Choosing to disable cookies may hinder your use of certain functions.

We use cookies for the following purposes:

  • Necessary cookies – these cookies are required for you to be able to use some important features on our website, such as logging in. These cookies don’t collect any personal information.
  • Functionality cookies – these cookies provide functionality that makes using our service more convenient and makes providing more personalised features possible. For example, they might remember your name and e-mail in comment forms so you don’t have to re-enter this information next time when commenting.
  • Analytics cookies – these cookies are used to track the use and performance of our website and services
  • Advertising cookies – these cookies are used to deliver advertisements that are relevant to you and to your interests. In addition, they are used to limit the number of times you see an advertisement. They are usually placed to the website by advertising networks with the website operator’s permission. These cookies remember that you have visited a website and this information is shared with other organisations such as advertisers. Often targeting or advertising cookies will be linked to site functionality provided by the other organisation.

You can remove cookies stored in your computer via your browser settings. Alternatively, you can control some 3rd party cookies by using a privacy enhancement platform such as optout.aboutads.info or youronlinechoices.com. For more information about cookies, visit allaboutcookies.org.

We use Google Analytics to measure traffic on our website. Google has their own Privacy Policy which you can review here. If you’d like to opt out of tracking by Google Analytics, visit the Google Analytics opt-out page.

Read more about cookies on our Cookie Policy

Contact Information

email: [email protected]

Changes to this Privacy Policy

We reserve the right to make change to this Privacy Policy.

You can configure your Internet browser, by changing its options, to stop accepting cookies completely or to prompt you before accepting a cookie from the website you visit. If you do not accept cookies, however, you may not be able to use all portions of the WideBitcoin Websites or all functionality of the Services.

Please note that disabling these technologies may interfere with the performance and features of the Services.

You may also disable cookies on the WideBitcoin Sites by modifying your settings here:

Visitor comments may be checked through an automated spam detection service.

Last Update: May 25, 2018