For a long time the tech sector has been dominated by white men. Manels (male only panels) were commonplace at conferences, more male-led startups received venture capital funding and there were a lot more visible male success stories.

But when it comes to blockchain, an emerging group of female entrepreneurs are leading the way, not just in Australia, but globally. While cryptocurrency may still have a skew towards males, if you think about a successful Australian blockchain startup, the chances are it has a female co-founder.

Last month Queenslander Leanne Kemp’s blockchain startup Everledger, was named by the World Economic Forum as one of the 61 most promising technology pioneers of 2018. Kemp, a serial entrepreneur with multiple exits under her belt, founded the business in April 2015 as a way to track the provenance of diamonds, identify diamonds and follow their ownership history.

Having moved to London in 2014 to explore the use of bitcoin and blockchain, she tells The Australian Financial Review she’d been surprised to find large financial institutions already employing cryptographers and working with blockchain around transactions. Kemp knew blockchain could be applied to provenance and now Everledger has 2.2 million diamonds on its blockchain which have been tracked from the mine to the retailer.

She has also expanded into other products, adding other gem stones to the blockchain, as well as things like art, wine, watches, jewellery and even resources such as cobalt and lithium. “There’s an important role to be had in re-innovating existing products in markets to bring transparency and provenance and then also the tracking of their second lives. Read more from…

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