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The Myth Of No Women In Blockchain: Embarrassing Miami Conference Resists Tech Inclusion

With the rise of cryptocurrency, many are hoping to help usher in a new, more inclusive financial space, and women are starting to enter in greater numbers, but the field can still be largely dominated by men—and that doesn’t always make for a welcoming environment for women investors. A leading bitcoin conference, the North American Bitcoin Conference, is receiving criticism after 85 of its 88 scheduled presenters were men—mostly white men—and an evening “networking” event was held in a local strip club. The event set a “tone,” according to women attendees, that bled over into how men at the conference treated their women colleagues.

Read on and click through for more details; including feedback from women in bitcoin and blockchain, and a discussion of the importance of acknowledging and addressing this issue now if we want crypto and blockchain spaces to thrive and be truly inclusive—for women as well as men.

By Ebony Grimsley-Vaz

A recent bitcoin event that typically draws in experts from around the world also got attention for all the wrong reasons from those in attendance as well as others in the tech industry.

Last month in Miami, the London-based World Blockchain Forum Investments & ICOs held the North American Bitcoin Conference. The NABC is not the largest bitcoin event, but it is one that has grown over time, and people take note in the industry.

The three-day Miami conference promised more than 80 expert speakers for attendees to meet and learn from. When reviewing the agenda and the panelists selected, it was apparent the event was created for young white males. The North American Bitcoin Conference failed to diversify its offerings, didn’t include enough female panelists, lacked racial diversity, and held an after-party at a strip club.

The bitcoin conference had three female speakers and a handful of non-white men out of 80 speakers. Conference organizer Moe Levin, CEO of Keynote Events, received negative feedback before the event. Keynote an investor in tech startups.

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