Female founders are flourishing in finance, especially within the cryptocurrency space. Remember their names and earmark their profiles as they rise within this fast-moving world
Men are twice as likely to invest in cryptocurrency as women worldwide, but in Hong Kong, the difference in participation among genders is negligible, according to the same survey by Visa. As the world of fintech and its associated jargon becomes more mainstream and widespread, Hongkongers rank among the world’s biggest investors in cryptocurrency; 18 per cent are active investors. Considering the city’s reputation as a financial hub that promotes ease of doing business, there’s little wonder citizens have embraced putting their money into new, fast-moving technologies. Investing in crypto involves risk, however, and, like the traditional stock market, requires careful planning and research to avoid getting burnt.
Leading the charge by promoting financial literacy, helping businesses understand crypto and running digital exchanges, these are six women to watch in the city’s fintech sphere.
Ryan rose to the attention of the finance world with Bitspark, a cryptocurrency transfer system, which landed her on Forbes’s 30 Under 30 list in 2018. Bitspark wound down its operations in early 2020, but don’t let that tarnish your image of her: Ryan quickly pivoted to both financial literacy and the NFT spaces. Later that year, she founded ProsperApp, the “TikTok of financial literacy” aimed at younger investors, and is currently preparing to launch Pulsr, a Web3 “visual search engine” already getting plenty of attention online.
After building a career in investment banking and wealth management, Gazmararian became an advisor to traditional financial institutions on the then-new and suspicious-looking cryptocurrency boom. Then, in 2021, she struck out on her own and founded The Token Bay, an early-stage venture fund for digital assets. A go-to for companies around the world looking to understand crypto, Gazmararian also founded Women in Crypto Hong Kong to demystify the sector and bring investors together.
Vivien Khoo and Lyndaine Demetilla
The co-founders of SatoshiWomen—a community named after the presumed pseudonym of the original creator of Bitcoin (also the name of Bitcoin’s smallest unit)—focus on empowering women to learn about cryptocurrency, and become confident in and enjoy the benefits of capitalising on digital assets. Together, Demetilla, chief of staff at Fusang, Asia’s first only fully-regulated digital securities exchange, and Khoo, who transitioned from investment banking to crypto, organise educational webinars on topics from NFTs to the metaverse to stablecoins (no clue either? This is why SatoshiWomen exists!).
You may have spotted the ostentatious adverts plastering MTR stations: the self-styled Bitcoin Queen isn’t here to play. Ng founded over-the-counter cryptocurrency trading platform Coiner, through which she also runs free investment classes for newcomers, after investing in Bitcoin herself changed her life. Unabashedly proud of her own gains in the space, she innately understands the lexicon of the industry and the speed with which it moves through waves of hype: catch her running NFT giveaways with rapper Doughboy, for starters.
Now for the basics...
Last month, Raven Tao launched Money Mind, a platform for financial literacy that shows how to get the basics right before getting into riskier and more complicated ventures, such as investing in the stock market or cryptocurrencies. With all the hype around investing, it can be tempting to leap in without being fully educated on risks involved or having a secure fintech foundation Tao’s approach to education leverages psychology to promote efficient knowledge retention, and she is an advocate for the mental health and empowerment benefits of being in control of money.
Read more about Raven:This New Online Course Will Teach You the Basics of Money
Tao’s online course covers five introductory concepts of financial literacy for beginners, applicable to everyone but targeting millennial women in particular based on Tao’s own experiences and pitfalls in money management. “I started working at 17,” Tao says. “I knew how to earn money, just not how to manage it. And that seems to be the gap. I want people to have confidence to manage their own money, especially women. I want people to be able to say, ‘Oh wow, I can’t believe I’ve been avoiding money this long. That was easier than I thought’.”
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