Last Updated on March 19, 2023
It’s no secret that Web3 is a male-dominated space. Blue-chip NFT projects such as Bored Ape Yacht Club and CryptoPunks are run by men. So are NFT marketplaces like OpenSea, Rarible and Nifty Gateway, as well as blockchain games like Axie Infinity and Splinterlands.
A female-themed NFT project, Fame Lady Squad – which claims to be “first-ever all female generative avatar collection on the Ethereum blockchain” – turned out to be run by men. The project was announced in July 2021 as an artist collective of three women, but their real identities were soon uncovered: they were three male programmers and developers from Russia. Following an outcry across NFT Twitter, the project was handed over to artist and collectors Danielle Davis and Ashley Smith in August.
According to a November report from analytics firm ArtTactic which covered 20 months of sales on Nifty Gateway, women made up only 15% of the artists on the marketplace while “male artists command 77% of total primary and secondary sales value at $258.3 million.”
However, in recent months, women-led NFT projects have been making waves as they champion women-empowerment and inclusivity for all. On International Women’s Day, we want to highlight some of the most influential women who have carved a niche in the Web3 and NFT space. Here are 11 of them you should follow
- Yam Karkai, co-founder and artist of World of Women
With World of Women (WoW) securing one high-profile partnership after another, Yam Karkai is fast becoming a big name in the NFT space. World of Women is not just an NFT project, but it’s also a community celebrating representation, inclusivity, and equal opportunities for all. On Mar 3, Yam Karkai graced the stage of Billboard’s Women in Music event after a collaboration for NFT magazine covers. Today, WoW announced a $25 million Foundation in partnership with The Sandbox, which will be funding emerging NFT creators and educational initiatives.
2. Paris Hilton, socialite and NFT enthusiast
Despite her controversial image in the past, Paris Hilton has managed to turn her brand into a multimillion dollar business and has been betting big on NFTs. She created her first NFT in 2019 which sold in March 2020 for charity. In April 2021, she launched her own NFT collection in collaboration with designer Blake Kathryn, with her 1/1 Iconic Crypto Queen art selling for $1.11 million. Paris Hilton is also an avid NFT collector, with more than 150 NFTs in her collection.
3. Randi Zuckerberg, NFT collector and Web3 investor
Not living in the shadow of her brother, Mark Zuckerberg, Randi Zuckerberg has made a name for herself in the Web3 space as an avid NFT collector and Web3 investor. She has recently announced HUG, a creator accelerator “championing a new breed of creators in web3”. Randi Zuckerberg had already been working with women-led projects such as Boss Beauties, Women Rise, Women and Weapons, and Curious Addys which will form groupHUG #0001 to help each other succeed in their NFT journeys. Even though there’s been a lot of press around Randi Zuckerberg debating whether the content she creates is cringe or not, her efforts in bringing awareness to the crypto and the NFT space is one of the reasons why she deserves a spot in this roundup.
4. Cathy Hackl, metaverse/Web3 strategist
A self-proclaimed “Godmother of the Metaverse”, Cathy Hackl is a globally recognised metaverse expert and tech futurist who has been helping brands and organisations better understand and enter the metaverse. She is the CEO of Futures Intelligence Group, a leading metaverse consultancy working with the world’s top brands on metaverse growth strategies, NFTs, gaming, virtual fashion, and a sought-after speaker on Web3 topics. She will be serving as the first-ever chair of the Metaverse Fashion Week held in Decentraland and a portrait of her is part of the Boss Beauties Role Models collection.
5. Reese Witherspoon, actress and NFT enthusiast
While she’s best known for acting, Reese Witherspoon has been supporting creators in the NFT space and encouraging more women to be part of the conversation. She has been collecting NFTs from women-led projects such as World of Women, Women Rise, Boss Beauties, Flower Girls, 1989 Sisters and more. Her media company, Hello Sunshine has recently inked a partnership deal with World of Women to expand its character universe.
6. Helen Hai, Head of Binance NFT and Charity
Before leading Binance’s NFT marketplace, Helen Hai was the crypto exchange’s head of Charity, where she raises Bitcoin for charities and partners like Mercy Corps, Unicef, Hope for Haiti, and most recently, Binance’s Ukraine Emergency Relief Fund. As head of Binance NFT and Charity, Helen Hai hopes to connect the crypto world to the real world through art and make the migration from the finance world to the crypto world easier.
7. Lisa Mayer, Boss Beauties founder and CEO
Lisa Mayer founded Boss Beauties in August 2021 after 10 years building e-commerce site, My Social Canvas. Since then, Boss Beauties has grown into a women-led global initiative that creates opportunities for girls and women through cutting-edge collaborations. Leading up to International Women’s Day, Boss Beauties has landed a number of high-profile partnerships with brands like Neiman Marcus, Barbie and Hugo Boss. Boss Beauties will host their inaugural International Women’s Day event at NEBULA in Midtown Manhattan, where the Boss Beauties Role Models collection will be unveiled today.
8. Maliha Abidi, founder of Women Rise NFT
At only 26 years old, Maliha Abidi created Women Rise for a good cause: to turn it into an organisation for social justice with women’s rights and girls’ education at its core. Launched in Nov 2021, Women Rise is now sold out. It has announced a partnership with Coinbase, Snapchat and Ledger to celebrate women in Web3. Women Rise has ambitions to build the first school in the metaverse for millions of children out of school. It has also made donations to the Malala Fund and various organisations supporting gender equality, girls’ education and mental health in marginalised societies.
9. Varvara Alay, artist and creator of Flower Girls NFT
An illustrator and teacher, Vavara Alay founded the Flower Girls NFT project to give to charity and support NFTs made by children. Not only is she creating NFT art, she is also buying and spotlighting pieces of art that benefit charitable initiatives. In February, The Flower Girls donated more than $400,000 across children’s charities. Flower Girls has recently partnered with Dolphin Entertainment to further promote its charitable initiatives and expand its brand across all lifestyle and entertainment verticals
10. Yogita Khatri, senior reporter at The Block
Before joining The Block as senior reporter, Yogita Khatri worked for Coindesk and The Economic Times. Whenever there’s a big story in the crypto space, she’s there to report it. She covers all things crypto, NFTs and Web3.
11. Gardi Rigby, host, partnership & friends manager at Bit.Country Metaverse.Network
Gardi Rigby has amassed a vast knowledge of crypto since 2017. She is partnership & friends manager at Metaverse.Network, where she is responsible for talking with metaverse launchers, community owners and brands as well as processing partnership applications. In addition, Gardi hosts the Metaverse News on Bit.Country’s YouTube Channel. Prior to Bit.Country and Metaverse.Network, Gardi was Business Development Manager at Aimy Software and Area Manager at AI Tayer Group in Dubai
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