A lot of energy and speculation has been put into discovering the identity of Satoshi Nakamoto, the author of the Bitcoin protocols. There have been many suggestions, the most plausible of them being, and the theory that is most widely circulated, that it wasn’t one person, but a group of creators, and not necessarily Japanese as the name suggests. That really could be deliberately misleading.
However, nobody has suggested that Satasho Nakamoto might be a woman until New York Congresswoman Carolyn Maloney put it in people’s heads at a ‘Women on the Block’ event last week.
In her speech, she stressed that, because the sector is notoriously male-dominated, many achievements by women were being diluted. Greek MEP Eva Kaili who announced that the progress of cryptocurrency and blockchain technology could be dramatically hampered by a lack of female representation echoed her statement.
Lea Lipovsek, CMO at crypto exchange platform Blocktrade.com, also stated that cryptocurrency has the potential to create career opportunities for millions of women and will eventually get rid of its ‘blockchain bros’ reputation.
She said: “A gender divide of around one in 20 like there is across cryptocurrency won’t be sustainable in the long run.So companies need to address that imbalance when taking on staff and focus primarily on knowledge instead of gender. I have faith in the ability of the industry to beat it. This is still relatively new tech with huge potential. That will bring so much innovation — and jobs as a result.”
Ms. Maloney may have had her tongue in her cheek, but her comment highlights a serious point about the male dominated tech industry. As Bitcoinist said in response to Maloney’s claim: “Most of us believe that men invented computers and the Internet, and almost everything else, in fact.”
But that isn’t the reality. Women like Ada Lovelace and Grace Hopper played an important role in the history of creating a digital world, but few people know their names.
Furthermore, an international Quartz survey of almost 400 venture-backed crypto and blockchain organisations founded between January 2012 and January 2018 showed that just over 8 percent of the founding teams were female.
Perhaps we will never know whether Satoshi Nakamoto is a woman or a man, or a group of people, and maybe it doesn’t matter, but creating a blockchain environment where women can make important contributions really could make a huge difference.