This week, we interview Astha Sharma, who is the Technical Lead for Girls in Technology, an organization in Nepal that helps women develop their careers in technical fields. Read below to find out how Astha came to blockchain and her recommendations for women in the cryptocurrency space.
BitIRA: Describe your background and journey to getting involved with blockchain. How did you find out about this technology, and what makes you interested in it?
Astha Sharma: Basically, I like to define myself as a blockchain and crypto-enthusiast. After graduating as an Electronics and Communication engineer, I got connected with a software company named Bitsbeat IT Solution, one of Nepal’s leading blockchain based startup companies, where I began to research the huge possibilities of blockchain. Since the company already had a team working on the blockchain, my interest in this field only grew further. As a part of knowledge sharing on blockchain and cryptocurrency at Bitsbeat, Blockstuffs was created.
Blockstuffs is a platform that features a blockchain related A-Z glossary along with the latest cryptocurrency and blockchain news and various blogs related to the crypto world.
BitIRA: How did “Girls in Technology” come about, and what is its mission? Do you have any future plans regarding cryptocurrency and blockchain technology?
Astha: Girls in Technology is a common platform dedicated to women where students, professionals, and beginners of technology background come together and share their knowledge and ideas. The main goal of Girls In Technology is focused on bringing/producing the skills required for girls/women that will help them develop their career in technology.
Within the vision of bringing more girls into the ICT sector and making them aware about the vast scope of technology, it was formed on March 28, 2015, with a team of seven girls. GIT welcomes every new idea, workshops ideas, and holds events that would cherish and empower technology skill sets. Our main motive is to help the standard of technology prosper in the present context of Nepal. We will work towards expanding the adoption of technology.
It is always questionable and doubtful to adopt new technologies. It’s the same case with blockchain and cryptocurrency. With its limitless possibilities and equally challenging research, Nepal is proud to be implementing this technology at this early day of the blockchain. Girls in Technology would definitely want to be part of the change and assist people in order to convince them that blockchain technology makes our lives easier and smarter. We are planning to contribute to the technology soon in the days to come.
BitIRA: What do you think are the main challenges that women face in the cryptocurrency industry today?
Astha: The challenges faced by women in the cryptocurrency industry and any technical industry are similar. There have been a lot of common misconceptions that cryptocurrency is a game for men. However, hundreds of women have shown tremendous interest and have been a part of the community trying to lead the way of the blockchain technology.
Blockchain being a new technology, it’s quite difficult to integrate it into the existing system. Especially with corporations and government, it is quite challenging. Lack of proper connection building while making a decision causes a lot of trouble. This is one of the most commonly faced challenges not only by women but by everyone.
Another big challenge is the lack of confidence and comfort in doing whatever they believe in. Women really need to trust their voice as women tend to take more risks.
BitIRA: What advice would you give to women who are just entering (or thinking of entering) the blockchain/cryptocurrency space?
Astha: Every great innovation takes a certain amount of time before it gets widely adopted and blockchain technology is the most significant invention since the internet and electricity. I would like to encourage all the women to do the research as the concept of blockchain is a little difficult to grasp simply by reading a news article or hearing from a friend. I would like to suggest not to run after those speculations and have the adequate knowledge on what you are going to dive into.
Unlike other fields, this field lacks professionals as its implementation is still being explored in every aspect. While the blockchain technology might take a certain time to blossom, have a lot of patience because blockchain and cryptocurrency are here to stay.