Who run the world? Girls! And it’s no different in the Web3 space. Women are the backbone of this emerging tech, from running communities to developing worldwide advances, and so much more. But what does it really mean to be a woman in Web3? Well, I got to have a special conversation with Brenda Gentry, aka Cryptomom, who champions diversity and education in the space. Not to mention, she is one of the main reasons why I got into Web3.
Brenda was introduced to Web3 by way of her daughter and thought leader Cynthia Gentry. Since then, she has been able to work on groundbreaking projects like BundleBets, a decentralized sports betting platform; retire her parents; and gain financial freedom. Her mission is to “enable others to achieve financial independence using this new internet also known as Web3.” Brenda also tells REVOLT, “Blockchain technology is beneficial to our community because it is accessible and open-source, providing everyone with an equal opportunity to participate.”
The dedicated trailblazer believes that Web3 is important because it “decentralizes access to almost every aspect of life, not just cutting-edge financial instruments, but nearly all facets of culture and society, from art with NFTs to even real estate! Web3 levels the playing field for marginalized players who, for whatever reason, didn’t have access to fully participate in these industries.”
In the rest of our exclusive interview below, we dive deeper into the world of Web3 from a Black woman’s point of view. Read up!
What is it like to be a woman in Web3?
It’s an empowering experience for me! I have a fantastic community of women who are also pioneers in this field, and I collaborate closely with my daughters.
How does being a Black woman in the space differ?
In my opinion, the Black experience encompasses various nuances in every aspect of life. My objective is to help make financial freedom accessible to everyone, and given my sensitivity to the financial challenges that are distinct to the African American community, I am confident that I can particularly address and empower more people in my community, and this is why I approach Web3 differently.
What obstacles did you have to overcome?
One main obstacle that is still ongoing is access to funding. Minority founders like myself are still facing challenges from [venture capitalists], which is crazy because some VCs are willing to fund project founders that have failed several times, like the 3AC hedge fund founders who recently acquired more funding after losing billions in investor funds last year. Meanwhile, Black founders only raised 1 percent of all VC funds in 2022.
Why was it important to get your whole family involved?
Introducing my family to Web3 was of utmost importance to me because being an early adopter of new technology can offer substantial benefits. As we have observed in the past, minorities have been left behind during the tech boom, and we also lag behind in STEM education. Hence, it is critical to embrace new technologies like blockchain and AI at an early stage.
How can someone get into Web3 as a consumer?
The simplest way to get into Web3 as a consumer is to find a Web3 project that you believe in and invest in it. Whether it be a DeFi protocol like the one I started or an NFT community that has artwork that speaks to you, there really is no “wrong” way to get into Web3 as a consumer — as long as you’re self-motivated by passion instead of entering because someone is forcing you to invest your money in a specific project.
How can someone get into Web3 for a career change?
First, I would advice that one starts by identifying an activity that they are passionate about and then seeking out individuals who share your interests or researching projects that align with your particular area of expertise. You can then reach out to these communities and inquire about potential opportunities to assist or participate. It may be necessary to try several different opportunities before finding one that resonates with you.
Where do you see Web3 going?
The sky is the limit for what Web3 can do and what changes it can make on a large scale. My aspiration is to facilitate financial education that encompasses a thorough comprehension of Web3 and its heightened security risks, as the knowledge disparity is increasingly widening with each passing day. I envision that more people will acquire this knowledge to harness the full potential of Web3.
What do you say to the naysayers who insist it’s all a scam?
They said the same thing about the internet, but I would argue that every new technology is prone to attracting both good and bad characters. Web3 is a product of two industries, finance and technology, which as we know has some of the most brilliant minds globally. Therefore, it is not surprising that some bad actors might attempt to tarnish the industry’s reputation by scamming people. However, this does not diminish the brilliance of this space.
How has Web3 been affected by the current state of the market?
It’s weeding out people as we speak; the builders are still building and the money-grabbers are long gone. This is why some of us don’t mind bear markets — they have a way of revealing cracks in the foundation, which was what we saw happening last year.
What would you like to see change?
I would love to see way more collaboration in this space.
How do you build a community in Web3?
I build community by being my true authentic self; everything else falls into place.