04 Jun Attendee Perspective: The Second Annual Blockchain Week NYC
By Lisa Borosh, Global Women in Blockchain Associate
Attendee Perspective: The Second Annual Blockchain Week NYC
In its second year, Blockchain Week NYC, powered by CoinDesk and the New York City Economic Development Corporation (NYCEDC), brought together industry leaders to collaborate and celebrate the thriving ecosystem of blockchain. Global Women in Blockchain (GWB) is pleased to feature Cleve Mesidor, Founder of LOGOS, who provides her perspective on the second annual Blockchain Week NYC and provides her take on the blockchain landscape.
Global Women in Blockchain: What was your overall impression of the second annual blockchain week NYC?
Cleve Mesidor: Blockchain Week NYC was amazing this year, particularly because of the dynamic array of events across the city.
Consensus’ agenda was robust with interesting programmatic tracks and compelling thoughtful leadership.
And I loved the many micro and targeted events that were curated by small crypto organizations.
GWB: Provide any insight on the ratio of women to men attendees at events you hosted or attended.
CM: I was happy to see more gender diversity in the programming at Consensus and it was empowering that many women’s groups opted to organize their own events to spotlight their contributions to advance the decentralized economy.
I co-hosted the Power Play BLunch to celebrate women of color in blockchain, which was sponsored by Coinbase. I had a blast at the Proof of Happy Hour co-hosted by Blockchain by Women and Kadena. And the NYC Blockchain Center’s All Things Blockchain Conference was riveting with its captivating panels, which included many female powerhouses.
But there is still much more to be done to ensure Blockchain Week NYC tells the whole story and its attendees reflect the true crypto ecosystem.
Women (including women of color) make up a significant portion of the current crypto community, building products and solutions on blockchain with minimal funding. And we will be the engine of the decentralized economy.
GWB: What are your top 3 takeaways from the week?
- I commend CoinDesk for deepening their partnership with the NYCEDC. This is an impactful collaboration that will help attract newbies to the crypto space and expand access to mainstream consumers.
- The Bermuda instillation at Consensus, led by Premier David Burt and the Business Development Agency, provided a great opportunity to sample the culture and learn more about how Bermuda has emerged as a crypto hub for enterprise growth.
- We need to be more intentional about creating programming that feature Millennials and Gen Z, the consumer base that will propel the crypto space to the global marketplace. I attended Black Blockchain NYC’s fireside chat with Bitmex CEO Arthur Hayes, which was sponsored by ConsenSys, and was overwhelmed by all the young blockchain enthusiasts at the packed event. Also, I am a mentor for Blockchains for Schools, a program to expose high school students to the blockchain space, and my experience has left me optimistic about the future of blockchain and cryptocurrency.
GWB: What can we expect to see from blockchain in the next quarter, year, and beyond?
CM: My focus is next year. Though I think there will be significant inroads at the state level in the U.S. that will have positive impact on the federal blockchain regulatory framework. And central banks across the globe and the International Monetary Fund may take favorable steps later this year.
2020 will be a pivotal year for the global economy and the crypto space. There are forecasts for a possible economic recession and the U.S. Presidential election will dominate public debate. The conversation about digital assets will explode, forcing the crypto community to face the very real barriers to mainstream adoption and shift focus away from wealthy consumers and investors to the general public.
GWB: What got you into blockchain?
CM: I first learned about bitcoin in 2013 when I was a presidential appointee in the Obama Administration. But what led me down the rabbit hole is the promise of blockchain technology and the economic revolution cryptocurrency has sparked. I love that the crypto movement is rooted in the belief that we can create a better world for everyone.
GWB: Who are your women blockchain leaders that you follow?
CM: It is a fallacy to say there are not many women or women of color in blockchain. That’s simply not true. Our footprint is deep but unfortunately our resources are scarce, and as a result, we are often eclipsed or go unnoticed. There are so many incredible women in this space that it’s hard for me to choose. But here are a diverse and inclusive few I admire:
|Professor Tonya Evans, University of NH School Of Law||Linda Xie, Scalar Capital||Vanessa Grellet, ConsenSys|
|Sandra Ro, Global Blockchain Business Council||Dawn Dickson, PopCom||Laura Shin, Unchained|
|Beatriz Ramos, Dada||Caitlin Long, Wyoming Blockchain Coalition||Rhonda Eldridge, Harness All Possibilities|
|Lindsay Nuon, Women of Color in Blockchain||Soona Amahaz, Token Daily|
|Jill Carlson, Open Money Initiative||Ariana Fowler, UNICEF|
GWB: What other blockchain conferences or events would you recommend?
CM: For people interested in the crypto space, I recommend taking time to discover the small, local crypto ecosystem emerging in your city or state. The big conferences are great but we need more people to do what Caitlin Long did in Wyoming and work with locals to grow the blockchain economy in your backyard. That will attract large conferences to your jurisdiction.
One conference I’m excited about is the Global Blockchain Business Council’s Blockchain Central, which will take place during UNGA September 18-27.
GWB: Are you attending any other blockchain conferences this year?
CM: I was honored to be selected as a delegate to the United Nations for the Blockchain for Impact Global Summit on June 4 in NYC. Also, I’m moderating a session on “Innovating Giving: How Blockchain is Impacting Philanthropy” in Miami on June 6. And, I will be a speaker at Chicago’s Second Annual Voice of Blockchain conference September 30-October 1.
Cleve Mesidor is Founder of LOGOS – a social network focusing on blockchain for disruptors and activists regardless of their movement or geography and without the nuisance of trolls or censorship.
Connect with Cleve on LinkedIn or @cmesi