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Gracy Chen Spearheads Gender Equality in Crypto with Bitget Blockchain4Her Initiative

Last Updated March 8, 2024 8:25 AM
Teuta Franjkovic
Last Updated March 8, 2024 8:25 AM
By Teuta Franjkovic
Verified by Peter Henn

Gr Key Takeaways

  • Gracy Chen emphasizes the importance of enhancing women’s participation in the cryptocurrency industry.
  • Chen’s work extends beyond traditional business roles, engaging in strategic partnerships with notable figures.
  • Under Chen’s guidance, Bitget is tackling the challenges women face in the crypto space, notably through its Blockchain4Her initiative.

On International Women’s Day, it’s time to spotlight leaders who are making a significant impact in traditionally male-dominated fields.

One such figure is Gracy Chen, the Managing Director at the Bitget cryptocurrency exchange.

Championing Gender Equality Within the Digital Finance Sphere

Chen was honored as a Global Shaper by the World Economic Forum in 2015. She stands as an advocate for diversity and inclusion within the tech and crypto industries. She works to enhance women’s participation through educational programs and support for female-led startups.

Her efforts extend beyond the boardroom. She helped create partnerships with stars such as Lionel Messi as well as a collaboration with the Juventus football team. These alliances aim to bolster digital literacy, with a focus on empowering women and youth in Latin America. Also, her role as a judge on TV show “Killer Whales” showcases her commitment to innovation in blockchain technology.


CCN spoke with Chen, talking about her experience and how women can have an impact on the world of crypto.

CCN: Can you share your journey to becoming the Managing Director at Bitget? How have your experiences have shaped your leadership style?

Gracy Chen: I believe any executive role, whether at a small startup or a big international company, demands a diverse experience spanning various roles and domains. 

Before my journey with Bitget, I gained seven years of experience running two fintech and VR startups. I also held a management position at the unicorn company Accumulus. I also had successful experience in funding as a startup executive and as an investor. 

Some might know me as a former TV host — this early career experience brought me a lot of interesting and important connections, including Tom Hiddleston and Michelle Yeoh and business leaders such as Tim Draper. It was through these that I was first introduced to the captivating world of cryptocurrencies, back in 2014.

User-Centricity and Women’s Power Fuel Growth

CCN: What strategies have been key to your success at Bitget?

Gracy Chen: Let’s be real, none of this would have been possible without our incredible team. They’re the real MVPs, making magic happen behind the scenes.

At Bitget, we keep enhancing our products and services and believe women’s mindset, accumen and power can not only augment the company’s capabilities mentally but also financially. Their perspectives and participation help optimize business planning and product design and spur innovation and changes. This is because women sometimes trade and invest differently, demonstrating a sense of empathy for the challenges and dilemmas faced by the group.

CCN: As a strong advocate for women’s empowerment in the crypto industry, what challenges do you believe women face, and how is Bitget working to overcome these obstacles?

Gracy Chen: While I’m glad to see how digital technologies and blockchain inclusivity are growing, there are still strong stereotypes and low inclusivity when it comes to growing businesses. Bitget’s  research  found that, in 2022 and the first three quarters of 2023, female-led blockchain startups secured only 6.34% of the overall funding. The main reason behind this is that many investors still prefer male-founded companies over female ones.

To overcome this gap, we launched the Blockchain4Her initiative  aimed at promoting gender diversity and inclusivity in the blockchain industry, with a $10 million commitment. The program includes educational courses, mentorship, and financial support, as well as an ambassador program already joined by notable women in crypto.

In my opinion, with an increase in the number of startups with female founders, investors will be keen on viewing them as less volatile, compared to the current situation — that’s something we are only happy to spend our time and resources on. 

Diversity & Inclusion Key to Innovation and Capturing New Markets

CCN: How do you envision the role of diversity and inclusion in fostering innovation and growth within the crypto space?

Gracy Chen: I think adaptability and embracing diverse perspectives are crucial for achieving global success in today’s crypto space. With a significant influx of new users this year, it’s paramount for companies to seize this opportunity and cater to these burgeoning markets worldwide.

One effective strategy to perfect a product is by establishing localized teams capable of tailoring the offering to each region’s unique needs and preferences. This approach extends beyond cultural nuances; it’s perplexing to still encounter gender disparity in this industry.

Just evaluating it from a business standpoint — the rate of crypto ownership by women has surged  from 18% a year ago to 29% at the start of 2024, which is great. Still, that’s not an ideal number, I think, but looking back at the history, we already know it will grow. Winning this sector over ahead of time will be a huge advantage. 

We are not just paying attention to female users due to a holiday, there’s a lot we want to do for this sector in the future.  

CCN: Could you elaborate on the initiatives you has undertaken to promote the involvement of women and underrepresented groups in cryptocurrency and blockchain technology?

Gracy Chen: Yes, we did undertake a couple of initiatives. The most important one was the launch of the incubation and support fund with a $10 million commitment to invest in women-led startups and the launch of programs specifically tailored for female entrepreneurs.

CCN: In light of your recognition as a Global Shaper by the World Economic Forum, how do you leverage this platform to advocate for gender equality in the tech industry?

Gracy Chen: That’s a great question because allocating funds is a great initiative for change but if just throwing money at problems was a viable option, we would be living in a completely different world today.

We have two additional, rather more social, initiatives centered around the female and younger groups of users — Blockchain4Her & Blockchain4Youth. 

The idea behind the initiatives isn’t that different from the concept of a novice copy trader who looks for industry veterans to learn from. We have invited industry leaders to join as ambassadors for the Blockchain4Her program, supporting gender diversity in blockchain. Ambassadors will advocate, engage, and drive positive changes, fostering an inclusive environment.

I think if you want to drive the change forward, you need to start with the younger generations as well. So, last year, we pledged another $10 million to young talent. The Blockchain4Youth Initiative will provide courses through Bitget Academy and host university lectures on Web3. The platform will also incubate projects by young entrepreneurs and host hackathons for those under 30 to identify the most promising leaders. 

CCN: Looking forward, what are your goals for further promoting gender diversity within its team and the wider crypto community?

Gracy Chen: We aim to transcend mere localization by tailoring product development to meet the diverse needs of a global user base. I firmly believe women will soon comprise half of this user demographic. Achieving this milestone sooner requires three key strategies.

  • Fostering teams that understand the female users’ needs and problems — aka hiring more female professionals.
  • Contributing to the rise of female-led Web3 companies.
  • Making the most user-friendly crypto product on the market — for any gender, in any corner of the world. 

CCN: Finally, what advice would you give to women aspiring to make their mark in the cryptocurrency and blockchain industry?

Gracy Chen: Focus more on the opportunities we already have rather than those that we lack. Take advantage of them and network the shit out of your community. I know we throw this word around a lot in this business, but there’s a reason for it! 

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