A Safe Space With Room for More Inclusion
(Source: cointelegraph.com)

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(Original link: cointelegraph.com)

Technology has become central to everyday life. From finding new ways to make money smarter to communicating with each other, humankind is reliant on technology companies to provide these services for us. But despite its great influence over modern life, tech still faces a diversity problem. While some progress is beginning to be made, a cursory glance across the C-level ranks of most companies shows a strong oversupply of straight white men. Emerging tech sectors have not historically been the most inclusive or open-minded, but projects such as LGBT Token, TransTech Social Enterprises and StartOut show that there is both representation and support for LGBTQ+ people in tech. Sponsored Links Nonetheless, it’s no secret that cryptocurrency’s unique nature and ideals can draw in a wide range of interested parties, many of whom have strong, and occasionally extreme, political beliefs. Despite this, crypto appears to be a welcoming place for LGBTQ+ people, according to industry leaders. Crypto is supportive of LGBTQ+ rights The global financial industry and many of the world’s most prominent tech hubs are not famed for their inclusivity. But for Sarah Jamie Lewis, the executive director of the Open Privacy Research Society, the disruptive nature of crypto and other emerging technologies has the power to destroy oppressive structures. Decentralization gives individuals and minority groups power that wouldn’t otherwise be available. For Paul McNeal, a self-described Bitcoin (BTC) evangelist and prominent Twitter commentator, the crypto sector has been supportive of LGBTQ+ rights: “Not once have I had anyone on Crypto Twitter or any other medium make an issue of my sexual orientation or LGBT issues. I’ve lived my life by treating others with respect and it’s been returned 10 fold.” Joe DiPasquale, the CEO of multistrategy blockchain and crypto fund BitBull Capital and one of the founders of StartOut — a nonprofit that empowers LGBTQ+ entrepreneurs in tech — echoed McNeal’s view that crypto is supportive of LGBTQ+ rights and emphasized that the technology’s impact on the way people govern themselves has an impact on social issues: “The crypto sector is more than supportive of LGBTQ+ rights — crypto is pioneering new forms of governance that can bring about advances in society more quickly,” adding: “From projects like Tezos which has developed more efficient ways to vote on-chain through delegates, to thought leaders who believe the blockchain and virtual nations can empower people and correct exploitation, many projects in the sector mirror the support that we see more generally from most forward-thinking technologists. While crypto is apolitical, Bitcoin itself bypasses the need for government control over money and central banks.” Claire Lovell, the associate director of product management at Gemini, also outlined her view to Cointelegraph that crypto supports LGBTQ+ rights and that the philosophy behind cryptocurrency has the potential to shift power away from centralized institutions and norms that had previously been impervious to change: “I do think the crypto sector is supportive of LGBTQ+ rights. The crypto ethos is to remove those existing power structures that would seek to limit the rights or privileges of people. Personally speaking, of the five years I’ve been working in this space, I have not once experienced any homophobia from other members of the community.” Empowerment While several experts have reported the crypto sector to be supportive of its LGBTQ+ members, some are skeptical about crypto’s purported ability to help minority groups in particular. McNeal explained to Cointelegraph that what crypto does best is create a level playing field rather than appeal to particular demographics: “I do not believe digital assets or Blockchain Technology does anything unique for the community than it does for any other demographic,” adding: “It has no respect for the person, it was and is created for all.” For BitBull’s DiPasquale, blockchain not only has the potential to change the way that people manage their finances but also to bring about political change. “There are already projects applying the blockchain to voting and creating communities through it,” DiPasquale explained, adding that this presents an opportunity for the LGBTQ+ community: “So, blockchain is already involved in enabling more people to vote. When we enable greater access and improve the diversity of those at the polling booth, we’ll empower the LGBTQ+ community as well.” According to a survey conducted by WNYC Studios, LGBTQ+ people have a worse financial outlook than their cisgender and heterosexual peers. More than half feel anxious about their finances, with up to 42% reporting that their financial prospects have caused them to feel depressed. A further 25% of LGBTQ+ respondents say that their sexual orientation has caused them to suffer financially. For Gemini’s Lovell, continued attempts to increase inclusivity could help LGBTQ+ ...