We got a chance to catch up with Elena Sinelnikova, the inspiring founder of CryptoChicks. This non-profit is all about empowering women in the blockchain world and has made waves in 56 countries! But that’s not all. Elena is also leading the charge at Metis.io, a Layer-2 blockchain that’s taking on high transaction fees and slow processing times on Ethereum. With over $50 million raised and a whopping 110,000 wallets in their network, they’re changing the game.
In our Q&A, Elena shared her incredible journey, the challenges she’s faced, and her big plans for the future. It’s a peek into the mind of someone determined to make the blockchain industry more inclusive and exciting.
1. Can you share with us the inspiring story of how CryptoChicks was born, from your early days navigating blockchain technology to its evolution into an international non-profit organization?
CryptoChicks was born out of a passion for the transformative potential of blockchain technology. Initially, I was captivated by the decentralized nature of blockchain and the promise it held. But as I navigated the space, I noticed the glaring gender disparity. With CryptoChicks, we aimed to create a platform to empower women and provide them with the necessary tools and knowledge to be leaders in the blockchain revolution.
2. As the co-founder of CryptoChicks, you’ve played a pivotal role in empowering women to embrace blockchain technology. Could you elaborate on the specific challenges that motivated you to create CryptoChicks and provide a platform for women in this space?
The primary challenge was the evident underrepresentation of women in blockchain. The tech world, in general, has seen gender disparities, but in the blockchain, it felt more pronounced. This gap isn’t just about numbers; it’s about diverse perspectives, talents, and innovation. CryptoChicks was our response to address this challenge.
3. CryptoChicks has grown remarkably, now spanning to 56 countries. Could you tell us about the most rewarding and impactful moments you’ve experienced while witnessing the growth and success of the organization on a global scale?
Witnessing our first international chapter open was surreal. Over the years, seeing women from diverse backgrounds come together, share experiences, and collaboratively innovate has been profoundly rewarding.
4. Building a non-profit from the ground up requires dedication and determination. What were the key factors that helped you transform CryptoChicks from a small initiative into a thriving international community?
Community, perseverance, and a clear vision have been our cornerstones. The support we’ve received from women around the world has been overwhelming. By providing consistent value through our programs and initiatives, we’ve been able to foster a dedicated global community.
5. The blockchain and cryptocurrency industry has traditionally been male-dominated. How does CryptoChicks contribute to bridging the gender gap in this field, and what strategies have been particularly effective in encouraging women to get involved?
We actively organize workshops, hackathons, and networking events tailored for women. These events are curated to provide a comfortable space for women to learn, innovate, and collaborate. Our mentorship programs have also been particularly effective in providing guidance to women entering the space.
6. From educational events to business development, CryptoChicks offers a wide range of programs. Could you highlight some of the most influential initiatives that have contributed to the professional growth of women in blockchain technology?
Our hackathons have been instrumental. They not only teach women about blockchain but also give them a platform to develop and present their ideas. This hands-on approach has been pivotal in the professional growth of many participants.
7. As a successful entrepreneur and leader, what advice do you have for women who are considering a career or investment opportunities in blockchain and cryptocurrencies, but might be hesitant due to the industry’s complexities?
Dive in with an open mind. The blockchain world is vast, but with passion and the right resources, it’s navigable. Always continue learning, and remember, every expert was once a beginner.
8. Collaboration and community often play crucial roles in fostering growth. How has CryptoChicks managed to create a supportive and inclusive environment that resonates with women across diverse cultures and backgrounds?
Our emphasis has always been on ‘community’. By organizing local chapters and promoting peer-to-peer interactions, we’ve created an ecosystem where every woman, regardless of her background, feels included and valued.
9. In the ever-evolving landscape of blockchain technology, what trends do you foresee that could significantly impact the way CryptoChicks operates and supports women in the coming years?
Decentralized finance (DeFi) and decentralized autonomous organizations (DAOs) are trends worth noting. These sectors will redefine traditional systems, and we aim to prepare our community to be at the forefront of these changes. We also know innovative projects like ZKM (https://zkm.io) that are working on securing all IoT devices as well as cloud computing via blockchain. Or Koris (koris.io) that is revolutionizing marketing and advertisement by streaming payments via blockchain directly to people that tweet about products.
10. Can you share a compelling success story of a woman whose life and career took a transformative turn thanks to her involvement with CryptoChicks?
We had a young girl Ananya who joined our CryptoChicks Hackathon when she was only 14 years old. Using our CryptoChicks education she learned how to develop a DApp on blockchain that protected the privacy of the genetic data samples for the scientific researches. She took first place in our hackathon and got a job offer from Microsoft right at the hackathon. She was also invited to be a keynote speaker to many blockchain conferences after that and won mulptipe Woman of the Year awards. Right now she is studying in Stanford. We have a lot of similar stories as so many women pivoted their careers, openned businesses, influenced other people lives after joining our community. For example, projects like Metis (https://metis.io), Koris (https://koris.io ), Nuvo (https://nuvosphere.io) are co-founded by our women.
11. Beyond its current achievements, what are your long-term visions and goals for CryptoChicks, and how do you plan to continue making a lasting impact on women’s participation in blockchain and tech industries?
We aim to establish a presence in every country, ensuring that every woman has access to blockchain education and resources. The dream is to see women leading blockchain innovations worldwide.
12. What personal lessons have you learned on your journey as a founder and leader of CryptoChicks, and how have these experiences shaped your perspective on entrepreneurship and women’s empowerment in the tech world?
Entrepreneurship is a rollercoaster, filled with highs and lows. But with every challenge, I’ve learned resilience. Women’s empowerment isn’t just a cause; it’s a necessity. The tech world, and by extension, the world at large, benefits when we have diverse voices leading the way.