John Bensalhia talks to Bloomwater Capital’s founding partner & head of investor relations Veronica Mihai about gender and diversity inclusion in the blockchain space
Veronica Mihai’s interest in Blockchain and cryptocurrency (more specifically, Bitcoin) began about four years ago when she read Satoshi’s infamous whitepaper. “I liked the concept and the idealistic approach to managing and owning our personal wealth and the impact this can have on propagating equality financial inclusion.”
With a background in IT Management Consulting across a variety of industries in private and government institutions, Veronica co-founded Bloomwater Capital, a regulated cryptocurrency hedge fund, in early 2018.
“The company’s mission is to bring diversity to accredited investors portfolios through systematic trading of digital assets. Our core business model is high frequency trading in futures and spot market, with in-house built algorithmic strategies.”
Veronica’s interest in Blockchain is shared by many other women around the world. What’s important is to recognise the diversity in this field, and initiatives such as the Women in Blockchain Impact Group are helping to promote the cause.
“It all started with Akasha Indream, our Australian founder, and a handful of women from the US and UK,” explains Veronica. “It has expanded to what is today a community of over 600 women worldwide. These women are start-up and corporate founders, CEOs, CIOs, CTOs, software developers, cybersecurity managers, corporate board members, miners, traders, researchers, and much, much more.”
WIBI’s main vision is a reduction in the gender imbalance of cryptocurrency ownership and in blockchain start-ups, and to encourage the transition of women from the cryptocurrency space into the Blockchain space and vice versa.
“We use our platform as a tool where women encourage, educate and support other women interested in the space,” says Veronica. “We want to make a contribution in creating a world that is never again denied the genius of women, nor women denied the opportunity to fulfil their full human potential.”
Work to be done
I ask Veronica if she thinks that the tech world is more inclusive of gender and diversity today than it was ten years ago.
“In 2009, I was new to the tech world and fresh here in the UK – thus I was not aware so much of the landscape. If I look at statistical evidence, then I would say the industry has made few steps forward. However, there is a lot of work to be done,” she says.
“My company has recently become a member of the AIMA (The Alternative Investment Management Association) and we intend to adhere to HM Treasury’s Women in Finance Charter commitment as our business grows. My hope is that more and more companies take action and ensure a diverse work environment for everybody.”
Looking ahead, Veronica says that there is still much to do to achieve a greater inclusivity for gender and diversity.
“Considering 15 percent of engineering graduates are female in the UK, according to a UNESCO report, I would say we still have a long way to go before we meet gender and diversity goals. The blockchain industry is not any better, with just 14.5 percent of female team members in blockchain start-ups, of which 7 percent are in executive roles and 8 percent in advisory positions.
“The long-term future is to reach a point where this type of discussion is no longer relevant, where women are no longer the subject of comparison or research papers aiming at proving that companies are better off being inclusive of all genders and cultures.”