– Closing out the conference, we have our
Women in Industry panel, a unique opportunity to hear from all women across the space ranging
from venture capital to software engineering to research to design. Please join me in welcoming panelists Aya
Miyaguchi, executive director at the Ethereum Foundation, Dovey Wan, managing director at
Danhua Capital, Awa Sun Yin, research director at the Interchain Foundation, Christine Chiang,
head of communications at Cosmos Academy and Tendermint, and Megan Maloney, investor at
General Catalyst. Please also join me in welcoming Sheila Warren,
head of blockchain and distributed ledger technologies at the World Economic Forum and
recently named LATTICE80 Top 100 People in Blockchain. She will be moderating this industry panel. – Thanks, Sarah. Hi, everyone. Am I on? – You’re not on. – Am I on now? Oh there we go. Hi, everyone, good afternoon. Thank you so much for joining us today. We’ve talked a lot today, it’s been a really
long and fascinating day, about the protocol layer, the technical layer, and so we’re gonna
go back up a level now and really talk to some of the leading minds in industry about
this technology, what it can do, what it’s doing, what it could do, what it’s not doing,
and I’ll dispense with some of the formalities in favor of really getting as much time as
possible with these women. So what I’ve asked them to do is just quickly
do an intro where they’re going to say their name, who they’re working for or with, what
got them hooked on this space, what was the catalyst that really sparked their interest
in distributed ledger technology, and something they’re working on right now that they’re
really excited about. So again, name, company, what got you into
this space, and something you’re working on right now that you’re really excited about. – Starting from me, okay Remind me if I skip
anything. – Of course. – Hello, everyone, my name is Aya Miyaguchi. I am the executive director of the Ethereum
Foundation. And then what was next? – What got you hooked in this space. – How I, yes. I’ve been actually in the industry for a while. I first got interested in Bitcoin when there
was no Ethereum back in 2011 and then I thought that this blockchain technology would be amazing
too, so my interest was reusing this technology for social impact in a specific area for financial
inclusion and especially making women more financially independent. That was my original interest. And then I got an opportunity to work on the
exchange. And I just joined the foundation recently. But I was always supporter of Ethereum and
the Ethereum Foundation for its vision. So what I’m working on right now is kind of
coordinating or making this decentralized structure of the community. Ethereum has a really amazing community in
the end. It’s all about the community and then let
the community members, including developers and researchers or other organizations to
support this ecosystem, that also technology itself is also collaborated. It’s open source. So I’m coordinating all their education effort,
research and development and also do more community activities, that’s what I’m working
on. – [Sheila] Great, thank you. – Hi, my name is Linda Lee and I work at Zcash
as a user experience researcher trying to make it easier to use for people. And what got me interested in blockchain technology
was initially the cool crypto, I have a masters degree in computer science from Berkeley so
this place is very special to me. Something that I am interested in doing is
to make Zcash, efficient, fast and easy to use. And that means just testing out as much of
the wallet and exchanges out there as I possibly can and learning along the way. – Hi everyone, my name’s Megan Maloney. I am an investor at General Catalyst which
is a venture capital firm. We actually invest across all technology,
the entire technology sector, but I have been specifically focusing on crypto and a couple
of other themes. What got me interested in this space is it’s
sort of a perfect synergy of two areas that I love which are economic theory and game
theory and as well as technology. And so I had heard about it, and I had some
friends who used to dabble in the space back in college, but it was actually when I started
coming into venture capital world and meeting with a lot of interesting teams where I started
getting very very deep in this space. What I’ve been working on now is actually
just hearing pitches every day. There’s a lot of activity in this space and
so I sit at the center of what I view as a lot of individuals working on similar problems
and trying to figure out how can I actually bring these communities together. So I’ve started putting together events at
our office as well as on conference builder sessions. How do you bring builders together? Investors are actually pretty collaborative
in this space as well, so there are a lot of ECE’s and the angels who talk about what
are some interesting projects we’ve seen? How can we be more collaborative in making
sure that these teams really get built and get the funding they need. So, that’s how I’m in this space. – Hi, I’m Christine, I go by the moniker Chjango
Unchained and I work for Cosmos as the communications lead, and I’m currently working on the Cosmos
Academy educational resource that teaches you how to use Cosmos technology stack. And I’m really excited about creating the
Cosmos launch video which is going to come soon when we launch our main net. And my, I first walked into the rabbit hole
of what is money? What is Federal Reserve? You know, where does money come from? And then, you know, surfaced from that conspiracy
and then found Bitcoin as the solution. That was the ah-ha moment. And I was a Bitcoin maximalist and now I’m
Cosmos maximalist. – Hey everyone, my name is Awa Sun Yin. I am from Barcelona. And yeah, right now, I just joined ICF, which
is same as the Ethereum Foundation, but for Cosmos. My role is as a research director. What got me interested in blockchain, hmm. So, 2014, I did an exchange to Montreal. Back then I wasn’t 21 at first, and needed
an ID to go to drink in the U.S. whenever. So by that time, I looked into different alternatives
and I decided to just buy some Bitcoin to buy a fake ID. And that was my very first interaction with
blockchain technology. But of course, back then, 2014, I didn’t really
know that much about blockchain. Officially I’ve been working in the space
for two years, ever since I started researching about anonymity and privacy. Yeah, so my role at the ICF is currently I’m
working specifically to, I’m collecting data and then try to provide this objective picture
of where we are now as an ecosystem. So I need to find out, I am finding out, where
is the research going on, or are there problems and limitations that we are currently facing,
be it Bitcoin, be it Ethereum, be it Cosmos, and then what kind of research we need to
perform or are currently done to solve those problems, in an objective way. So, once that is done I’ll probably upper
source that, and after that it’s gonna be about finding researchers, developers who
are keen on working to solve these kind of problems. – Thank you everyone. So I think in line with the Gartner Hype Cycle
of Technology Adoption there tends to be this phase you go through when you really get into
the space where you become a massive evangelist for it. You’re up at night thinking about use cases
and you’re so excited for every single thing this technology could possibly do, and then
you get to this, what I call blockchain pragmatism where you kind of say, okay, here’s what it
is, here’s what it does, here’s what it’s good for, what it’s best for, et cetera. But I think there’s still an awful lot of
people in these sort of lay person community let’s call it, who are very hyped about this
technology. And we’re certainly seeing a lot of media
attention that remains on it, particularly on Bitcoin and Ethereum. So my question for the panel and for any of
you really is, why do you think we’re not seeing that transformative effect, the wide
spread adoption of this technology that was promised? Whether in the white paper in terms of the
currency space, or just as a general matter. What do you think is a barrier to adoption
of this technology? Is it the tech’s not quite ready, some people
say? Is it the psychology of society is not quite
ready for decentralization, what do you think are the reasons there? Anybody. – The infrastructure’s not ready yet. And we’re, you know, everyone’s scrambling
to build everything at the protocol layer, but then really to get anything to the end
user we really need to lay down the foundations right and securely, so we’re not there yet. – Do these work? – Oooh, – Okay. – We each get our own. I agree that the infrastructure is not quite
ready yet, but although I’m a huge privacy advocate, I feel like sometimes the space
is very polarizing and it says, you know, down with the government, down with banks,
and there are some people who work for banks and some people who like banks. And I feel like I want to get this, I want
to get digital currency to a place where it is just the most convenient thing to use,
it is the easiest thing to use, it has lower fees and you’re gonna use it just because
it’s there, not necessarily because we’re attacking your personal identity. And I also think that the shift from centralization
to decentralization, the psychology of it, combined with the volatility of the price
with crypto currency and the regulation that makes them a security is just kind of making
everything go a little bit slowly. – Yeah, I would just add one thing. So if we remember what the first use case
of Bitcoin was, if you read the paper, it was a peer to peer payment system, right? And I think what happens, and a lot of times
when we’re building technology is that our utopia or our use case sorta runs ahead of
what it actually takes to build out the infrastructure. So to this panel’s point, bitcoin’s actually
turned into probably a store of value because the infrastructure wasn’t ready for it. So scalability, custody, there are so many
building blocks that need to come about. And I think really really good teams are working
on these problems right now. I think you’ll see a lot of things coming
out to the main net in sort of Q3, Q4 this year and even into next year. But we just have to be patient. It doesn’t happen over night. It’s been what? 10 years since the paper came out, and we’re
still talking about the base level stuff here. So, it’s gonna take a little bit of time. – I think it’s a combination of everything
they said, but one is definitely the infrastructure problem, that that’s the reason why I decided
to support Ethereum, because the product that I was supporting on the social impact side,
be able to actually work without the infrastructure issues so all that. But also at the same time, when there is innovation
there’s always this huge pressure. I’ve been going through this forever since
I joined this industry, talking to regulators and explaining this to media. And combination of fear that comes from the
conventional world but also at the same time lack of education. Which we need to do better. So I think I just have to keep doing it. Yeah, the same thing, but I think we’re making
little progress in getting there. Including the infrastructure solution also,
it’s getting there too. – I do think it’s funny that we often compare
blockchain or distributed ledger to the internet, that’s like one of the common analogies you
see is what year of the internet are we in, et cetera. And the difference, I think a key difference
is that with the internet, you didn’t have the internet already so there was a little
more time to get into the infrastructure and it was a bit more ready for things like email,
et cetera by the time the application layer really began being built. Whereas here, we’re really kinda operating
in parallel. And there’s all of this build going on in
the application layer if you wanna call it that, at the same time as we’re still working
out the kinks at the protocol level. So, with that, that kinda pivots to my next
question which is, there is, what’s the polite word? There is a plethora of white papers every
day. You could spend your entire day, never sleep,
and just read white papers all day long. And I’m curious as people who do this in various
capacities in your day jobs, is there a phrase or an idea or a concept that when you see
it in a white paper, you kind of do your like eye rolling, like oh god, I gotta now recommit
to reading this thing? You know, ’cause it’s just, it’s like you’re,
it’s just a phrase that to you signals like, ohhh, this is not, this is not where I was
hoping this was going. Is there something like that that you can
identify that seems to be thematic? It doesn’t have to be white paper, it could
actually be like any sort of media or anything that’s kind of discussed about a new idea
in this space. I’m looking at the funder first. – Go first. So it’s just the question around what is it
that maybe, – [Sheila] Just a signal that you’re like
ohhh no. – Oh, okay. Some people have actually pasted their picture
multiple times and said that I’m the full team. I mean there are interesting things that come
through on white paper so you actually have to read, read the whole thing. That’s the first thing. So actually just on the concept of white papers,
that has been a fundamental change in how we view companies, right, so the ICO funding
mechanism in some ways has the potential to disintermediate at least part of the venture
capital industry. And it provides access to founders, direct
access to capital for founders. And so when we are inundated, I wouldn’t say
inundated, but receiving a lot of white papers, the question becomes what’s your core thesis? This is how we’re viewing it at General Catalyst,
what’s our core thesis as a firm and where do we wanna spend our time, right? Because we can be spending hours and weekends
and days reading white papers. So what we usually do start with is, first
is team, to be quite frank. It is still the case that, well what’s different
about it is these are going to be consensus algorithmic driven mechanisms, but usually
there is, a lot of teams are approaching like the Vitalic approach where someone’s driving
it and building out the community. So the second piece is actually the community
itself. You can, before even looking at the white
paper, a lot of teams actually send, you know this is how many telegram users we have, this
is how many people are on our Slack channel and the reason that’s important is because
at least at the protocol layer, you are going to have to have a lot of developers working
on your, either building on your platform or actually working on just the underlying
protocol because it’s open source, right? So, even if you’ve a really great idea and
no one’s building on it, that becomes less interesting. And the third thing is actually some teams
do accompany their white papers with decks. So, you can sort of, I was actually thinking
about Tezos the other day because if you remember, Tezos had a really long technical white paper,
and then there was a positioning paper as well. And there’s been a couple of teams who have
taken that approach, so it really depends on where you are in the process, but a team
will usually have like a shortened version and then a longer white paper. – [Sheila] I like the tweet storm myself. I can just quickly get what I need and, Wan,
yes please. – Does the work? Does this work? Yeah, it does. Just is a little bit like on the edge, but
is there anyone here who’s doing data science machine learning, could you raise your hands. Okay, no, okay, I thought there would be more. But very interesting opportunity or thing
that I’m personally trying to purge at the ICF level is build a classifier that basically
filters papers. So collect all the papers and then get the
raw data, so all the content and then basically try to classify is this worth reading instead
of, yeah, is this marketing material, is this research, so try to go for automated ways
of pursuing data as opposed to having to go through all this data manually because it’s
just a lot of time. It’s just the opportunity cause is really
high. And a lot of times like if you start reading
it, you won’t really understand it unless you spend some time in it, because of the
language, because of the topic and all those kind of things. So, data science people, or whoever is into
machine learning I would definitely go for this kind of automated processes. – I don’t even start reading white papers
until I see that there’s code in the GitHub, and then I can better evaluate whether or
not they’re actually serious about building something out whether they have competency
to build something out. Because it’s one thing to write something
at a really high level and be able to sell something really well, it’s another thing
to just like demonstrate it by doing through code. And so, you know, if their code is open source
then you could very easily evaluate like which ones know what they’re doing versus which
ones don’t. And they’re just like selling you. – And I do think it’s dizzying when you start,
as I think someone mentioned on the first panel today. And then throughout the day, there’s just
so much information. But when you get into it you will realize
that it really isn’t, it’s not that hard to differentiate at the sort of a binary level,
like what is worth more engagement investment of your time, and what maybe isn’t. If you wanna get granular, like if you’re
funding for example, that’s obviously a much different interrogation of a particular protocol
or white paper or token or whatever it is. But most of us are not in that space. And so I actually think that I found it very
intimidating at first when I, just the sheer volume of things you could do in this space
in terms of reading. But it’s not that hard to differentiate. So I don’t know if anybody else wants to comment. – You can screen most of them like with very
basic question like some of the stuff that they mentioned but also like starting with,
if it’s for an ICO, like starting with, does this even need talking? A lot of products out there do not sound like
they actually need blockchain or talking so, – So we actually issued today from the World
Economic Forum, a toolkit designed to really help focus on use cases that need, actually
need ledger as opposed to ones that could use ledger and that’s fine, or ones that really
should just put the ledger down, like walk away, you really just don’t need it. And the goal there is to get people who are
business leaders to really, who are not technical, who are not ever going to be able to engage
in conversations like the ones that we were having today. Or really have the time of the desire to do
so. But to be able to understand like what is
the point of this, what is it for and really kind of what is it not for as well. And the goal is to kind of burst them at this
bubble and stop some of this like hyped activity that I think is leading to things like my
next question which is about regulation. So, one of the reasons you’re seeing a lot
of regulation, it’s not just the volatility of the currency, at least that’s what the
regulators that I talk to all the time claim, it’s also just that there’s such a boom in
things like white papers or activity or ICO’s like all these other things that are going
on in this space and they consider that alarming. Which I think is a very reasonable, I think,
frankly, reaction if one is a regulator. So, but I’m curious just from, ’cause again
we have a diversity of views on the panel for in terms of background and industry. Regulation, pro or con? Like do you think that this is having a good
effect, like in the terms of the chilling effect on the space? Do you think that this is too much too soon? And I’m talking specifically even about today
when we heard a senior regulator basically said that Ethereum and XRP are securities
and they just behave like securities and who are we kidding? Which was a pretty, pretty significant thing
to have be said by such a senior person. So any thoughts on regulation? – Oh my gosh, I’d have to spend like a half
day for that. Like you saw my name on that. I actually have a good example because I’ve
been talking to especially Japanese regulators and Japan is, as you know, probably known
as a crypto friendly country. Which I, I think I’m partially responsible
for that, or maybe more than partially. But, originally Japan decided not to regulate
that space, when I first reached out to the government and the people there. And then the market was still like there was
no crypto industry in Japan. Like right after Mt. Gox collapse there, the
Mt. Gox just happened to be in Japan, but no one was using Bitcoin within Japan. So that was a smart decision and then after
a while the industry became a little bit bigger and for especially business like an exchange
for, for them to be able to work with other financial institutions, they were, the other
financial institutions were not really comfortable working with any crypto companies without
the space being regulated. So that kinds opened up, oh the new regulations
actually started from last year, helped to bring the industry to the next level, that’s
one thing. But at the same time, I think it all depends
on how they make decisions for everything. Like when they drafted this original draft,
that was like a long time ago. And then it takes a while to become the regulations
to be effective. In the meantime, the industry moves really
quick. And now they have to care about oh, there’s
ICO, there’s hacking, and then what are we going to do with this? So they have to be very smart, but I hope
they will be to make smart decision. Like not to, I always advise that they shouldn’t
really make any decision too quick. Because most of the time when this ICO hype,
and then there’s like, you can get freaked out just by watching that now. Because that’s, this is very temporary stage. And so I think the important thing is for
them to actually be calm and then watch it for a while. It’s really not easy for them because they
hear all different story. It’s mainly bad stories, always bad stories. And that’s important for them. And then for us, it’s more, it’s important
for us to tell them actually there are good stories and good products out there happening
and you should actually know that in order to support them in the future, to actually
make the innovation happen. And also create this social impact happen. They have to, they can’t really limit the
potential too much by putting too strict regulations. – I would like to provide a perspective on
the situation in Europe. I don’t know much about how, in the U.S. I
don’t know much except for compliance and KYC rules, but in Europe currently, last month
the European Commission released in the press something about what the last discussion was
about cryptocurrencies regulations. And the take was that currently cryptocurrencies
are believed to be anonymous, pseudo-anonymous, more likely. Due to the lack of transparency it’s hard
to regulate them. At the same time how do we prevent cryptocurrencies
from being used for illicit activities or these kind of things, which is really relevant
and which is mandatory for any members of the European Union to deal with. But at the same time, the finished like, the
speech was about, the speech was about how Europe can regulate this without having to
stop the growth of their space. So enabling the adoption in a way that we
can at the same time make sure it is not used for not the right purposes. But at the same time foster this kind of growth. And I think, I don’t know how it is like in
the U.S. But I think the arguments who are open to
the idea of you know, let’s just try to regulate in a favorable way, but let’s think about
who makes decisions. Who are the regulators? What is their background? Do they understand the technology? In a lot of cases they would probably go with
the best of their knowledge and I do remember there was another press release we thought
before this one which it said that the only way we can make sure that this, you know,
that cryptocurrency is not used for the wrong purposes is to basically collect all data
of all the users in a centralized way. And I think regulators especially, they would
need people who are working with the tech who are working this ecosystem, to basically
teach them that there are ways to do this and without having to give away the privacy
of the users. And I think it’s not only about this. It’s also only about they need to understand
how this actually works, what is the, what the actual implications, how do they affect
core ID users? Where are their face and where are they using. So yeah, I think it needs a lot of help from
people who are building this ecosystem and then if anyone here has any kind of connections
to regulators or these kinds of things, and you know about the tech, and you, I think
you should definitely try to put your help in there. That would be really good. – So, I can talk about what’s happening from
a regulatory perspective, at least what I’ve been seeing. In no way am I a securities lawyer, this is
not advice, all that good stuff. So when the SCC came out with the 80 subpoenas,
it was 80 or so teams that got subpoenaed back in February, what I saw on the venture
side was a lot of people started declining meetings. So here’s the potential issue with regulation
in the environment we’re in right now. It’s that we don’t really have clarity. What we have are a lot of questions. And so, what I do know is that the SCC, DOJ,
FINRA, there’s all these regulatory bodies that are basically trying to figure out what
cryptocurrencies are, right? Is it a commodity? Is it a security? Is it a utility token? I think it’s not a utility token, because
as we were just talking about, people can’t really use it for anything right now, right? So maybe next year some of these projects
actually will be utility tokens, but as they stand, they are releasing tokens on exchanges,
people are trading them and they’re not necessarily being used for anything exactly today. So how do you regulate that when there might
be a potential use case in the future? But at least today, it’s essentially trading
between two parties. I talk to a lot of teams who are more at the,
I call it the picks and shovels layer, so think custody solutions, exchanges, et cetera. The way that they’re approaching it is actually
having very very targeted discussions with the SCC to just get them up to speed on what
they’re building and then these regulatory bodies will probably come out with some guidance
in the future, but that has put some strain on the funding side just because if you are
going out to raise money, even at the protocol layer, you have to decide what type of investors
you want in your ICO or whatever mechanism that you’re using to fund raise, right? So, if you’re not going after accredited investors,
are you willing to sacrifice that and potentially be targeted by regulators in the future? And what I will say about the subpoenas, those
are requests for information, right? It doesn’t mean that the SCC has actually
prosecuted anyone or gone after these teams from an arrest point of view, but anyone that’s
really been on, there’s a gray area right now, and then there’s some areas that you
know that these projects were scams. I wouldn’t be surprised if some projects got
hit pretty hard. I know there’ve been a couple of actually,
that regulatory bodies have gone after. So it’s something that we’re like in a wait
and see, looking for clarity. – Yeah, I think for me personally, I am okay
with regulation. I mean, I’m not in love with it, and even
being okay with it, isn’t a popular opinion. But I just feel like at my brother’s coworking
space before they used to have free beer on Fridays until one guy got super smashed every
Friday and now they don’t have free beer. And I feel like we used to have a very cool,
exciting way to fund things very easily and then now some people are not building anything
with it and stealing people’s money, so we don’t deserve it anymore I guess. – [Sheila] Sometimes you can’t have nice things. – I know and personally, I’m happy to abide
by all these tax rules when I have crypto. And personally, Zcash, we’re happy to play
by the rules because our innovation is in our technology not in our funding structure,
so we’re just gonna keep doing good work. – The way that I see that regulators could
work with the technology today is through the blockchain technology that we’re building
at Cosmos. Because we have something called, the Cosmos
SDK which is a blockchain framework that you can write and go, and we have plug and play
modules and one of those things is just a compliance module. You could build like a KYC AML module. So if regulators want to regulate they can. With blockchain technology. – And you can also do it privately. Without having to give away personal information. – One thing I do think is really interesting
is this interplay and again, I think this is where we really diverge from the internet
and where that analogy falls apart is that, you know, there is this interaction between
the funding structure that is being, the funding structures rather that are being used for
development, the development layer. And we’re still, by the way, as we noted,
developing in this sort of protocol based foundation layer. It’s not just applications being funded. So we’re not the ICO model is not just a substitute
for traditional VC. It’s actually really thinking about the deep
deep foundations of the infrastructure being built for everyone else to build in going
forward. So we’re in this weird place where the regulation
is interacting with the, presumably with the funding protocol, but it has implications
for what could actually be built based on what kind of funding structure various individuals
for whatever reason are able to access, right? And I think that this is a really important
thing that doesn’t get enough air time, frankly. Because I think that when you look at the
sheer diversity of engagement by regulators around the world, which we talked about a
little bit here, Japan, versus China is an obviously example. Even Korea, looking at the European Union
and the U.S., which is relatively crypto unfriendly frankly compared to many other jurisdictions. And you think about where people are building. Like where they’re having to set up companies
and what that actually means and what kinds of people are able to do that. Like what kinds of people are actually able
to set up a Swiss foundation which was a very popular model last year, not so much now. Like who was able to actually access that
kind of structure? So how much are we actually holding to the
integrity of the promise of this technology around decentralization when the way that
we’re thinking about the ecosystem in which it’s being built is to some extent a little
bit limiting and kind of puts the onus or the ability on certain kinds of individuals. Oftentimes those who are wealthy and have
access. So again, I appreciate the responses. I think it’s really interesting and I think
that I personally, again, I’m not, I’m not out of, I don’t not favor regulation, I mean
I’m a lawyer but training so you know, there you go, but I also think, you know, say what
you will. But I also think that to the extent that regulation
is about porting in principles that we agree on, like ethical principles like fraud prevention
or you know, security, these kinds of things, right? Things that we just think are good as a general
matter that we can kinda get consensus, ha ha, you know, around being good things. To the extent that we’re kinda taking some
of those ideas and trying to bake them into the regulation. I think that’s actually a good thing. I think it gives us the structure in which
we can actually feel confident that, you know, wouldn’t it be, there’d be something to be
said, and you could argue this one way or the other, that if every white paper that
was issued had as a baseline protocol layer, like a baseline built into it, just some sort
of structure that did ensure true decentralization and/or equity and inclusion, right? If you could do that, if that had to come
from an external source, I’m not sure that would be a bad thing. It’s something we’re all trying to achieve
in various ways. So I’ll pause there before I go off on my
other rant that I often do and ask another question which I think is really relevant
to this audience which is, there are so many points of access into this world. And we heard this morning from a bunch of
really amazing students who are really involved in this space and who all were very transparent
about they started off really with very little knowledge and were able to build very very
quickly. So what is advice that you all as professionals
would give to someone who may be a student, who’s just starting out, who isn’t necessarily
sure what they wanna do when they grow up in terms of like what kind of job they might
even want, but who’s just very interested in this space. What would be some just fundamental things
you would advise them to do? – Follow your bliss. If this is really your curiosity, then it’s
in no way an uphill battle to learn about everything there is to learn in this space. Then it’s just your passion and then if you
work towards it, you know, I started working for free at first just to get experience,
and then applied my strength and skills wherever I could. And then shared it publicly and then as long
as you get feedback that you are disseminating value, you will find a place in this space. – Yeah I would like to add to that, blockchain
or cryptography is not math, it’s just magic and the companies aren’t made of magic. We still have people who manage projects and
market and there’s HR, there’s software engineers that work on products with user interfaces. There’s cryptographers who do really mathy
things and if you want to contribute to the protocol layer, take a lot of math, I would
advise a very strong math background, I would say that a traditional computer science background
doesn’t give you quite enough math unless you specify very early on or double major,
so that is one piece of advice if you really want to be influencing the protocols at the
base layer. But I think just honing in on a skill that
you like, and knowing that you can just work at a blockchain company even if you’re not
directly working on protocols. I think just go for it, don’t be intimidated
and keep on trying and yeah, be useful. – Um, – Oh sorry, go ahead. Go ahead. – Okay, thank you. Since these are mostly for young women or
not? I think it’s just if anyone is ever interested
in this space, thinking that this is the space you can make most money, ’cause it sounds
like, I think it’s wrong. And especially when you’re young. I just followed my passion, and when I joined
the industry there was no women, there was very no women. But I think it’s, and I did Bitcoin value,
the value was nothing, and there wasn’t even Ethereum. But it just happened to be this space has
become like a little bit crazy. Like money place now, which I’m a little sad
about. But I think that intention is important. You should know what you’re passionate about
and then you should follow that passion. And the money should follow. And then especially when you’re young, you
should really respect your creativity and the freedom that you have and then go for
it. And then that’s how I got here. – So I already talked about this with high
schoolers before. So I have two things I would like to tell
people who are especially thinking of getting into this space. The first thing is to make sure you do your
research. So make sure that you do not develop in a
very early stage this kind of tunnel vision towards a specific implementation, a specific
technology. Make sure that you understand what the ecosystem
is as a whole, so you get the bigger picture first. And then you make a decision on where is it
that you think you’ll fit the best. But, while you figure this out, you’re gonna
realize that there are some holes, there are some problems that currently not being solved
yet. Where you, if you solve it, it’s basically
you become a very necessary person in the ecosystem. Which leads me to the second thing that I
told before, the young girls over there. It’s that in career, first of all, most of
the times you either will take, it’s likely for you to take like a bunch of tries until
you find the thing you actually like and you feel good about working on, because at the
end we spend like eight hours every, at least eight hours every day on the job. So it would be pretty sad if we just spend
that on something you don’t enjoy. But again, you only will find out until you
try it. But when you decide for something and then
you are, you have to understand how jobs like, how does, how do interview, job interviews
work? How does the job hunt thing work? And in a lot of cases it’s just about a situation
where there’s two parties and one of the parties has more bargaining power than the other one. And then sometimes it’s just you can’t really
fight against this bargaining power. In the case, for example large corporations. They know exactly what they’re looking for,
and they know that if you don’t take this, they will take somebody else and it’s actually
fine because they’ll probably just have a whole program and everything, but like a way
of fighting this kind of power imbalance is for example, making you yourself very unique. So if you have, and I think there’s like two
ways of going down. And speaking now for blockchain, it is either
you find out something, you develop a very technical skill that nobody else or like very
few people in earth are actually able to do. In the case of SMACK contracts, which have
been around for maybe three years, people who have been developing like for a year only,
they’re basically considered the experts in it because maybe there’s a fist full of other
people who have that much experience with it. So find those niches where you as technically,
can actually contribute that much to it. And then you can actually shift this power
and now you will be on this side instead. And another way would be that you decide that
you don’t wanna be that person who is so deep into one specific topic. Then maybe you come from a non-technical background
and maybe you come from something totally unrelated to computer science, but it’ll be
good for you to try to find those intersections. Because sometimes intersections is where there’s
more value. Now I foresee that there’s a lot of people
in computer science trying to attract people from economics because of this term cryptoeconomics
and sometimes that doesn’t work out because economists are not, they have their own way
of thinking and they’re not always keen on learning about the tech. So if you come from that side, something that’s
not regularly computer science, try to learn the tech. You don’t need to go really deep. You just need to learn enough so you can actually
leverage this part of the tech, for you the other side. Yeah, that was a bit long, sorry. – [Sheila] I think we have time for one final
comment. We’re unfortunately at time. Go ahead. – Really quickly. So I think the panel hit all really well. Something I get very jealous of from a college
student perspective is that you’re sitting in a sea of really smart people who share
mutual interest with you. So talk to people. Literally just go to meetups, maybe you organize
your own meetup and get people to start talking about what’s happening in the crypto space. You’ll find that online forums, Twitter, whatever
it is, are pretty scattered. The reason is it’s because as smart as we
all are, no one actually knows what’s going to be built 20 years from now, right? We know we’re building something really really
special, at least I believe that. And I really think that it’s actually important
to start attracting other people with different perspectives to this space. It can be intimidating, but I promise you,
if you just start talking about it, and throwing out ideas you might even wanna start building
something as opposed to joining a team. Like I would actually really really strongly
consider going online and start practicing in Solidity and just like build a smart contract. See what happens. Do you like it? Do you not? Maybe you wanna be more in game theory and
just think about what happens when you issue a token. How will other players start to react to that? I mean I’ve seen teams with economists, I’ve
seen teams with PhDs, I’ve seen teams with you know, college students. So it is such a green field, I wouldn’t be
intimidated by what you might see online. Just start talking to one another and use
your community on campus. – [Sheila] Right, thank you so much to everyone. We’ll be around for a little bit after too. Thank you. – All right, so we wanted to really give a
huge thanks to every single one of you who came out to the inaugural she256 conference
and really helped jumpstart this movement. We all hope you were able to come away with
some inspiration and insight and hopefully some invaluable connections as well. – We’d love to give a huge thank you to all
of the women who came here, took their time to share their knowledge and their work with
this space and with our wonderful audience. And we’d love to give a huge shout out to
all of our sponsors without whom this event would not have been possible. – Lastly, we’d love to thank our team, without
which we would have never even thought to pull this off. All of this came together in less than two
months and none of that could have been possible without all the countless hours and passion
shown by the following individuals. We wanna shout out Cliff Awn, and Annie Chin,
our logistics leads. Ria Savlo who made this entire scholarship
program possible. Nataliya Urakhchina, marketing lead, Katherine
Chang, our lead designer. Maggie Valentine, Elaine Kim and Natalie Yu,
the rest of our stellar design team. Vivian Wu for being a part of our scholarship
committee, Avinash Parvani and Avnit Sayini for being our sponsorship committee. Thank you and all the volunteers from Blockchain
at Berkeley who made this happen. Thank you. – This, yeah thank you guys. – Team that is right there. We’d love to give all of you a wonderful shout
out. We would not have had this event, it wouldn’t
have been possible without any of you. Thank you so so much. Thank you. – She256, this women in blockchain conference
is just the beginning of the long lasting mentality and movement, so we’re so excited
that you could join us today for the first inaugural event. And keep your eye out for future events happening. You can follow us on Twitter and Facebook,
also Instagram. We’ll be hosting some more events in the future. – Yeah, blockchain is a disruptive industry. So let’s disrupt the industry with more diversity. Thank you.

SHE256 2018: Panel #2, Closing – Women in the Industry
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