The largest blockchain-focused event to ever take place in Austin during SXSW saw female industry experts take center stage, in a big step toward greater diversity in a sector often criticized for its male-dominated ‘bro culture.’ The CryptoFriends Crypto Summit in Austin, Texas was a smash hit, with hundreds of leading crypto experts, investors and enthusiasts gathered for two days of formal content and informal networking. The entire first day, dubbed ‘New Girls on the Block,’ featured women-only speakers and panels.
A range of critical topics was covered, from regulation and governance to investment strategy, ICO marketing tips and the use of blockchain technology for social good. The event featured over 25 female speakers, including Salome Parulava, Lori Corpuz, Cecile Baird, Emmie Chang, Evgenia Ovcharenko and Adryenn Ashley.
Daria Arefieva, CryptoFriends CEO, comments, “There’s been a lot said about ‘bro culture’ in blockchain and the tone of some events has set a poor example. But our Crypto Summit attracted a huge amount of high caliber male and female attendees from the industry, which proves that if you give women a platform, people want to hear from them. We’re so proud to have created this opportunity for talented men and women in the sector to build smart connections and we hope other conference organizers will join us in giving diversity a chance.”
Day two was kicked off with a keynote from Jeremy Gardner, before several startups pitched their ICO projects in an on-stage contest, in front of an expert panel of crypto investors, for the chance to win thousands of dollars’ worth of premium listing space on ICO Bench. First place was awarded to Swytch.io, which tracks and rewards the production of clean, renewable energy on the blockchain. Polyswarm, a decentralized anti-virus marketplace, and Photon, an open, decentralized compute marketplace took home second and third place.
The conference was concluded with a live recording of the Bad Crypto podcast before the venue was converted into the setting for a giant crypto party that attracted over one thousand revelers.
Eric Benz; a veteran of the fintech and blockchain industry for many years now adds, ‘Blockchain has been featured at SXSW in years past but 2018 is definitely the crypto coming out party, as it dominated the entire show. We will see future events showcase more crypto companies as the space continues to grow. We look forward to using this momentum for our next installment of our ICO Hypethon, which will take place at the Malta Blockchain Summit early June.