Ladies on the Lounge: Women to the Front! on Crypto Clothesline
Welcome to this week’s Crypto Clothesline episode where you can tune into a friendly loungeroom chat between a group of women who were speakers, presenters, moderators and contributors at BLOCKConscious in Brisbane, 2018.
We didn’t have all the women that we wanted to have here, but we’ve got a pretty juicy, gorgeous bunch and we we’re really, really excited to make sure that we spoke to all the women who were here speaking, participating, contributing at BLOCKConscious because it’s about bringing consciousness and blockchain projects together and we cannot do that without women.
Karen Cohen: I’m Karen and I’m from the Blockchain Centre
Lisa Pace-Renata: I’m Lisa. I’m one half of the Self-Love Sisters
JP Parker: I’m JP: troublemaker at large
Abheeti Kathryn Pass: I’m Abheeti and I’m part of Crypto Clothesline, also Crypto and Kids and WhereToShopWithCrypto.com
Jolene Oxborrow: My name’s Jo and I work on a new project called Dolla
Amy-Rose Goodey: I’m Amy-Rose and I’m from all those signs: Crypto Clothesline, Crypto and Kids, and Crypto Blackboard.
Kelly Slattery: Kelly: the other half of the Self-Love Sisters.
How Has It Been For You Here As A Woman At Block Conscious?
Kelly: It has been fantastic. I just mentioned earlier coming out to the event, I was thinking what to wear in a BLOCKConscious environment. I knew it was going to be a long day, so I had my sneakers on, but had my high heels when I was ready to present… Turned out I didn’t bother going with the high heels because I was just so comfortable in this space, which is something that I didn’t expect.
Jo: I was a little nervous. I’m feeling new to the crypto space. I’ve been working for about six months, and I’m still learning.
“Meeting the ladies here has been like a warm blanket.”
I can’t describe it any other way. There are a lot of men who’ve been amazing also.
JP: What I’ve noticed is the sort of ‘elevation of perspective and energy’ that the collective of women that are here have brought, because it’s deeply technical and we’re in a very sort-of ‘engineering phase’ and all of us are bringing it back to the human factor, almost universally. That has just been beautiful for me.
Kelly: And kind of what JP was saying here because what we feel outside of here is that blockchain and cryptocurrency is very male-dominated. And the statistics back that. I found that being here as a collective has softened the environment. I think being able to take that out into the world confidently is going to be quite awesome for us.
Karen: I think being a woman in this space and we’re all relatively new, right? So we’re afraid to sound stupid. Afraid to sound… we don’t have to up-one each other. And what’s been beautiful in these panels and in these female-led discussions, is that the touch of humanity over technology. The overlay of feelings and emotions whilst understanding the technology, but not having to prove that we know the technology I think that’s what I really got from wonderful supportive women in this space.
Abheeti: One of the things that I noticed was the sense that when we’re in the panel, I was listening to these really beautiful responses and it’s not taking anything away from the responses, but some of them felt really highly in the intellectual realm. Like they were really based in logic and it was really clear that it was, um, sort of academic conversations. I was feeling this little hammer of self-attack in my own conditioned female brain going, “Oh, what can I say that’s really clever?”
Lisa: Can I throw in a quote? And it’s not demeaning or anything, but there’s a quote that says:
“To teach a man is to teach a man. To teach a woman is to teach a generation.”
And I think that is what I feel about cryptocurrency, and especially what you’re doing with children. We can go out there and teach a generation. I don’t know if it’s that men keep it to themselves, but it’s that… We are powerful, is what it is.
Amy-Rose: As soon as you said education, I got really excited! I feel like there’s a gap and I feel if we don’t educate women, there’s going to be a lack of women in the space. And if we don’t make a soft space to land at every event, then we’re going to miss out on sharing this information.
I think that if each of us can go out and be educators ourselves, every single one of us women, and… I don’t know, not “MLM-it’, but just like, “Hey, guess what girlfriend? Here’s something amazing…”. I think that’s what’s happening at this event, like in the audience and it felt like it was like 50/50 when we’re watching that. Amazing Garrett (LoPorto: the guy with the mug!)
Abheeti: We were having this conversation with Anouk from Blockchain Centre as well: we’re not anti-men, we love what we’re doing and there’s a place for men too, but there’s a place for women. It’s not about us versus them, it’s not about fragmentation and that whole war of the sexes: not at all. It’s just like, “We’re here!”
We want to make sure that more women are actually aware that this is really important that they listen up to, because culturally speaking in terms of our conditioning we go: “Tech is boring…” or it’s just some new crap in the media, or whatever.
The exposure to that mass media and that understanding that, I’m just going to get on with my super busy day and all the hats we wear… That we actually need to sit up and listen, and actually be part of it because it’s that apathy that we spoke about last night in the panel as well. It’s actually going to be our undoing, again.
“I would say we’re in the moment of stepping into our leadership. It’s really where we…Stand in the light that we are.”
Kelly: For us, and I’m going to speak on behalf of Lisa, we see a shift in energy globally where the feminine is rising to balance the masculine. It’s not about overtaking, it’s not about undoing anything but it’s shifting into a new energy where we’re balanced and can move forward together, and build this beautiful harmonious environment that we can work together in. And, and that’s… exciting stuff!
Karen: I think the balance is really important because I think, you know, only 8% of crypto buyers are women, and that’s this year. Last year it was only 3% percent, so we’re seeing a big shift.
I think being around these projects, being a woman and bringing in operational and HR, and all those other things, while they’re thinking about technology and, and ideas. You can really balance some of these opportunities by bringing good business skills, and bringing a softer thought, and bringing an opportunity to sell these things to the other side of the market, which they’re not thinking about. We really are balancing it out.
Kelly: And there was an interesting perspective shared about how the women are the decision-makers with money in the household. So really, we need to know about this stuff because we’re the ones making those decisions!
Abheeti: Especially in light of the fact that, with cryptocurrency, on the Clothesline there are three basic myths that we wanted to smash. One was: you had to be male, two: that you had to be a tech-head and three: you had to be loaded…
So that was part of the ethos behind wanting to bring this… We wanted to create this chatty atmosphere because we actually want women to have good time and, just be themselves. It’s not about listening to highly technical stuff. I get my head around this.
Karen: One thing I’ve really noticed about, you know, the cryptocurrency and blockchain space, is that it’s incredibly welcoming, not just men but for women as well. And then you crossed that line and you become a believer and then an “understander…” You’re part of it you. I think it’s just sometimes it’s our own fear, or our own inability to bring more women into this space.
We all have a responsibility to bring our friends, tell them the stories, open their eyes… I love it when I go to a party and they go, “What do you mean you mine Bitcoin? What does that mean?”
You create it. There’s so much we can share. And then talking about the conscious level and talking about the responsibilities, it’s such an amazing journey…
“We have a responsibility once we’re in it, to grow it.”
Abheeti: And what about the fact that, okay, this particular conference is very heavily biased towards cryptocurrencies…
Which on that note, in terms of the family budget, if women just get to know that they can buy a fraction, you can buy like, $20 worth, you can buy 100 bucks’ worth. You don’t have to be a millionaire to get into it, but on the other hand, what about all the amazing humanitarian, heartfelt, heart-centred projects…
Amy-Rose: Well, I was actually speaking to Jo last night about…(I’ll just introduce you a little bit…). You’re a single mum, had your own business, a $1000 of your profits had to go to paying bank fees.
I’d love for you to share… In terms of bank fees, it disappeared from your profits…
Jo: I’ve had small businesses. The turnover wasn’t massive, and the margins are very small. On the first of every month you check your bank account the next day and at least a thousand dollars come out in merchant fees.
Um, which is I guess one of the reasons why I’m passionate about the project that I’m working for you. One of our things is one-cent transactions. So that thousand dollars a month that I was paying, which was a big deal for me. That’s just a small business, and that would have been reduced to a maximum of maybe $50 (with Dolla). That has such a high impact when you’re just scraping by to support your family.
That I guess is one of the reasons why I’m quite passionate about the project.
Amy-Rose: I just wanted to bring an awareness, that, if we can just get women to share their projects… There needs to be more women in projects. They’re onboard (women) and they can share with their friends and family why it’s changing the world, you know?
Abheeti: But what about projects like KarmaPay? Yeah. So there’s a gorgeous man called Pete Winn and he has created this app, it’s in development, but they’re also testing it out at certain cafes and things. But there’s an app that you can download and at participating merchants, when you go to pay for coffee, the bank fees instead of going to the bankers. (I so want to use a ‘w’ in there…) they go to KarmaPay and KarmaPay redirects a portion of those fees to charities in alignment with their values, that are building schools in developing countries. Who doesn’t want to help develop the school in a developing country with money that you would have spent anyway.
Karen: I also really want to congratulate you on your presentation yesterday about teaching kids about crypto because I think, to your point about training, you know, my son, he loves to talk about cryptocurrency, but now I’m going to go home and get him a digital wallet and he’s going to get pocket money in crypto, because I just think that’s fantastic.
We’ll learn about where that money can go, and what it can do, and educating a whole other level… They’ll grow up thinking that “This is normal.”
It’s just a normal currency and I love that, that you guys doing that.
Abheeti: It’s such an interesting, universal thing too, because we spoke to Alexandra Tinsman of NEM in North America, and she said that her 13 year old just decided. He did all this research, he got himself some crypto. He sold out in the height of the boom, and then put himself through coding classes… Teaching other kids similar things. So it’s a collective, and you don’t think that the problems you’re experiencing other women are experiencing. Then when you actually talk about it, you realise that everyone has similar pain points. That’s why people can sell shit to us.
Lisa: Talking about children and the next generation rising up: I’ve got two grandchildren, 6 and 4. Both of them have an exodus wallet, and both of them have cryptocurrency in it. One of the things Kelly and I love to say to women, and about budgeting, is dollar-cost averaging. Every week you can just, (doesn’t matter where the market is) you just buy in at that market. And if their mother continues to buy in that market, by the time they even understand what money is, they’ve got already a foot in the door, so to say step up
Abheeti: Why do grandparents and grandchildren have such a great relationship? (Because they’ve got a common enemy.)
When you’ve got teenagers, it makes double sense…
JP: I’m way more into underlying Blockchain technology and its potential for the world, but I’m very appreciative of crypto being the lead. The thing about crypto, and with young people as well, you can’t get into the space without asking the question:
“What is money?”
That’s the red pill. You can’t escape this cultural overlay that sits so heavily on so many of us, because you can’t go down this rabbit hole without asking that question. Even if you’re 15 or 16 or 10, you will ask that question. It’s important.
Karen: Can you explain the concept of the red pill? JP?
JP: Yeah, so in the movie the Matrix, the option is given to the hero whether to take the blue pill, which would keep him in the illusion in which he presently lives, which is a completely controlled environment: very safe, very secure, very convenient, very deadening. Or, in the other hand, was the red pill, which is the truth: may not be pretty, but you get to be who you are and embrace your own gifts. So, he’s given the choice, you know, comfort and insecurity or freedom. Which one do you want? The red pill is that…
Karen: That’s become a bit of a symbol in this conference. People talk about the red pill, and the waking up of consciousness, and if we continue just to keep doing what we’re doing, something has to break, right? So we have to wake up.
JP: We’re at a potentially… an extinction level moment for the species. And this is why I too am passionate for women, for the women to come forward. As Garrett (LoPorto) said this morning, we can be most appreciative that technology has gotten us to the place where we are. It comes with a great number of blessings and we’re standing on the shoulders of giants, right?
And this interconnected world has been made possible by that, but it’s also kind of come to the end of its cycle and it’s starting to now syphon from the world more than it gives back. And we could, we could actually be allowing the overtaking of what I call the stupid virus. A stupid virus is one that kills the host, right? So, you don’t want that.
We need some healing to occur at this point. We’re at this moment, and when we step into our leadership, what we care about and return to our hearts: we have the option to turn the ship around and I think it will take all of us, men and women, to do this.
Amy-Rose: What I’m really excited about is, how as women, because like it or not, we’re at the head of the family in many ways. For me, when I got into the space I was like, it’s not just about cryptocurrency, it’s not just about blockchain, it’s actually bringing my daughter into the awareness, not just about money, but about technology and having control over the technology that will… (she’s 7 and) We’ve started doing python coding with this tutor girl online, like all the time, and we’re learning together as a mum and daughter about technology, because I’ve never done programming. I’ve never. It’s all new.
There’s a statistic, I don’t know exactly, but women are very good at language. We’re very good at speaking. So as programmers, as developers, we can actually do a really good job. And… if we’re perfectionists, we might actually do better than some of the programs that are out there.
Abheeti: Closing comments: what have we got to say in terms of where we’re heading, and how do we feel about… things?
Kelly: Feeling absolutely positive. I think being here this weekend has taken certainly Lisa and I to a new level of being ‘more bold’ and speaking about consciousness and crypto. Just having those two worlds…marry. That’s what we talk about in our book, but we kind of hide it under a bushel a bit.
Amy-Rose: Can you say the title the book?
Kelly: It’s called Love and Money: Embracing the New Economy. In wrapping up, certainly giving us the confidence to move forward and, and… In this forum, sticking out and really… not even the confidence but the obligation to share this with people.
Amy-Rose: This is my first conference-dash-summit: gathering with like-minded crypto and blockchain people, and I’m pleasantly surprised because all I heard was it was a bit of a… (not going to say rude words). It wasn’t very pleasant for women apparently, in different conferences, blockchain and crypto. So, I’m really, really happy and I feel like we’re trendsetters.
Jo: I went home last night and absolutely exhausted, you know, obviously as we all know, it’s been a full-on experience. I still couldn’t get straight to sleep because I was super excited about the experiences I’ve already had, and really motivated to move forward.
I want to educate myself more. I’m so excited to educate my daughters as well. Also, I was coming here more so expecting a real money-focused summit, and to experience different talks about environmental issues, and things that we can help, (in other areas) to make the world a better place. It’s really been heart-warming.
Karen: I want to thank this circle of women for making it so awesome, and I just want to encourage us to keep talking and not worry if we are going to sound ‘not as smart’ as some of these tech-head men. We just have to keep bringing it to the people, and making it real.
I get upset when people say I’m avoiding that conference because it was “…less than 50 percent women speakers…”, but that’s actually adding to the problem. Let’s just keep putting our hands up, let’s just keep speaking.
Anouk’s speaking at a conference in a couple of weeks and I said, “Let me come with you… You’ll say all the really techy stuff and I’ll make it sound like simple, and we’ll work together. It’d be a really good team.”
Abheeti: You’re the translator.
Karen: So as scary as it’s been, to get up and speak… It’s taken me nearly a year to be able to do it… Let’s all just keep doing it.
Lisa: So, mine… it’s probably along the lines of yours in that I think one of the greatest gifts that we have as women, is that we are normal.
Abheeti: “…and they’re not.”
Lisa: How are people that are really techy, and really corporate (they’ve got that feel about them) supposed to get to the people down here?
“We’re the bridge.”
We’re the bridge between that world and this world. BLOCKConsciousness is bringing that together – just sums up exactly what women do for the world. I’m very passionate about women.
JP: I would say that women open consciousness. We’re here to unblock it.
First of all, as someone who is an outsider, who is coming into Australia from outside… I came in from Bali and I wasn’t expecting to find what I found in Australia, in this space.
I walked into a party at a charity fundraiser on the West Coast and there were 450 people at it, and this electric energy, which is just wonderful. And now as I’ve come across to the other side of the country, I’m confirmed in my assessment initially, that’s something extremely special is going on here. So that uniqueness of this conference I think also was pretty uniquely Australian, in my experience, so far in the industry, there is something very amazing happening here.
I’m really delighted to see the welcoming, including women: the inclusiveness of this community in general. So, I just want to reflect on that and celebrate all of you for holding what you are holding.
Amy-Rose: Everyone at the conference has just been amazing.
Abheeti: I wanted to say, it was really reiterating what was said in the Crypto and Kids presentation. By getting the information through to women, not only are we effecting family household budgets and letting that small trickle feed of redirection of funds happen, and therefore potentially (no promises), but potentially empowering and future-proofing families financially.
We’re really sorry for those women that we wanted to have here, but we couldn’t get to communicate with them all.
Thank you all very, very much for being here. And… let’s do this again!
I also wanted to let you know that each and every one of these women in the room is available for speaking at your event.
Find out more:
Love and Money: Embracing the New Economy (Self-Love Sisters)