The State of Women in Crypto and Blockchain: Lauren Slade
Today in our ongoing series about women in blockchain and cryptocurrency, we caught up with Lauren Slade. A leader in the global tech industry and an advocate of decentralizing, Slade organizes events, providing women with networking opportunities with others involved in blockchain. She educates others on distributed systems and transacting with cryptocurrencies, and brings her background in peer-to-peer service providing apps to the blockchain world, which she believes can solve problems in a way that maintains the self-goverance of P2P communities and transactions.
Slade's latest project is promoting Decentralized Art Shows, where she is project lead and co-founder. The shows aim to be unofficial afterparties to several leading crypto and blockchain conferences—the next show is tomorrow, at the Bitcoin, Ethereum and Blockchain SuperConference in Dallas—and provide "an interactive experience where artists of all mediums can accept cryptocurrencies for their creations," according to Slade.
Slade shares her insights on inclusion, education, blockchain applications, art, and opportunities for women.
What is your background, and what do you do now in the crypto and blockchain world?
I have been a community organizer and come from a startup operations background. I am an advocate for the right to privacy and personal self governance.
Current contributing efforts go toward educating peers on the benefits of distributed systems and how to use them. I have a strong background in P2P applications and I believe that blockchain technology is the humble disruptor of our time. Solving social problems, such as trust or reputation, without any third party—truly supporting P2P self-governed communities.
With inclusive urgency, I am driven to support all peers from any background to adopt revolutionary technologies through ways that anyone can relate and understand.
My current full-time initiative is to see Decentralized Art Shows have 20 events in 20 cities. We strategically align our art shows to be the unofficial after parties to top crypto, Bitcoin, and blockchain conferences around the world. We host pop-up micro economies where artists accept cryptocurrencies for their creations.
What do you think are some of the most interesting developments in blockchain, and what do you think are some opportunities for growth or things to watch today?
From popular demand it is exciting to see how decentralized exchanges progress. Atomic swaps and cross chain transactions are also needed and quite interesting.
So far Litecoin, Decred, and VertCoin have had success with atomic swaps.
(I'm looking forward) to seeing Web 3 come together. DApps (decentralized apps) will have to have much better forward-facing designs than an application look from the Oregon Trail times. Not only are more smart contract developers needed, but programmers with great understanding of UX/UI (user interface and user experience) is a huge demand as well. Keep an eye out for Blockgeeks if you want to learn more on building smart contracts.
Is there an opportunity for women to get into this industry in ways that they haven’t in the past in these areas? Is there still work that needs to be done to get more women involved, and if so, what?
There are many opportunities in blockchain for applied focus and committed determination. I think women can undoubtedly pioneer new areas of innovation.
Men can be in alliance with women in tech by supporting inclusiveness, choosing to only sit on panels with a balance of expert women professionals on the panel as well.
Women who are actively seeking opportunities should make time (in the already 75-hour workweek) for allowing visibility on themselves and the value they are creating. To get more ladies involved, women want to see a relatable example. We need to take time to be mentors and role models.
Is it an equal playing field? Do women have access to the same opportunities and information, and how can they best make their mark in blockchain?
Today at large, women have greater access to resources and opportunities in technology than generations previous.
Cypherpunks pioneered inclusiveness in championing privacy for everyone. This movement of building open communities with anonymous systems absolutely broke barriers to entry points for women into tech.
To learn more about Lauren Slade's current project, visit www.decentralizedartshows.com.