The current makeup of the blockchain industry is at odds with the very principles that decentralized technology is based on—openness, democratic access, transparency. Look no further than “Crypto Twitter” — a microcosm of the industry. Those that are shouting the loudest about the advantages of decentralized technology are male.
In order for decentralized technology to accelerate adoption and fulfill its true vision, there should be no perceived hierarchy governing who participates. It is important to highlight the work of the remarkable women behind today’s emerging decentralized technologies.
Vivi Lin, Partner at Octopus Network, is an award-winning TV personality, crypto influencer and media advisor. She works as a spokesperson for Octopus Network, a Web 3.0 infrastructure; a columnist for Financial Times China and media advisor for various blockchain projects. Prior to that, she was a bilingual TV presenter and producer for Reuters Financial TV and China’s National TV, global partner for China’s top crypto media Mars Finance.
Women Love Tech talked to Vivi about how she navigates working in a male-dominated industry and the initiatives Octopus Network is working on to provide open tech.
Tell us about your job and how you got into tech.
Vivi: I am currently working as a partner for Octopus Network, a Web3 infrastructure in the NEAR Protocol, helping with media and branding strategy. I am also a major advocate for Web3, working on a new show “Web3 Demystified with Vivi Lin,” aimed at sharing the stories of builders and innovations in the space to a wider audience.
I come from a business journalism background having been working in global networks, such as Reuters Financial TV, as a TV presenter and producer for years. I decided to move to Silicon Valley to start a show on innovation which is how I got into the tech community as a storyteller. I’ve interviewed various tech founders and venture capital investors for my show “Vivi in the Valley.” When crypto became part of the driving force for innovation during the previous crypto bull market in 2017, I stumbled into the space and went down the rabbit hole.
Are you one of the few females at your job and if so, what’s that like?
Vivi: The tech space, crypto included, is definitely is male-dominated. Most of the developers and engineers are male, while female colleagues are more media or marketing focused. In the several projects that I’ve worked on, I have been almost the only female partner on the executive team. However, I see the situation improving as more women are coming to the tech space, especially in the Web3 era. I’ve found women to generally be more communicative and collaborative, which is greatly needed in the crypto space.
What does the future metaverse look like?
Vivi: My idea of the future metaverse is a parallel world compared to the real world that will keep evolving. However, I don’t think it will replace the real world as Mark Zuckerberg has predicted.
Apart from the immersive 3D VR or AR or XR experiences, I envision the future metaverse will be built on the blockchain as an important feature of Web3.
Imagine a world where you could live a second life and have your own avatar(s) and each avatar is an NFT belonging to just you, and you own your data which unlocks many possibilities. You could work and play and even fall in love in that metaverse, yet there’s a channel or bridge to connect the virtual assets to the real world, so that we, as humans, could live in a more balanced way.
The future metaverse is actually up to us to build.
How is Web3 building the foundation for this world?
Vivi: Even though Web3 might refer to cutting-edge technology, its roots stretch back to philosophies that support freedom, autonomy, sovereignty, privacy, and open society, before the internet even existed.
Web3 refers to decentralized applications running on blockchains, with lower transaction costs and faster transaction speeds, that are owned by the user community rather than profit extracting corporations. Web3 aspires to return value to the real creators of the internet, its users — to us.
By comparison, Web2 platforms, the ones we use every day on the internet, like Google, Facebook, Amazon, etc. They have served their part in creating a connected world for us through social media and portals. But the downsides are obvious as well – these platforms own our data, and in the era of digital gold, we’ve become the products. The big platform’s goals are only to maximize shareholder value and extract as much profit as they can from users. But Web3, we own our data and that unlocks the possibility for a freer, more open, more secure, and more equitable next-generation internet.
If there are three things we need to update ourselves with in the changing landscape, what are they?
Vivi: Web3 may sound amazing, but there are still some major obstacles keeping mainstream people from entering the space.
First, we need to achieve mass adoption. That’s probably the reason why the likes of Elon Musk and Jack Dorsey joked about not seeing any real applications of Web3. Mass adoption takes time and it will happen on many levels, especially for infrastructure. For example, Octopus Network is one project that aims to achieve mass adoption of Web3 by helping applications build appchains.
Second, decentralized autonomous organizations, or DAOs, will become an important tool or way for Web3 governance. For example, creators could use DAOs to manage their community with ease in the Web3 era, so that they don’t have to depend on big platforms that would take a large cut from their profits or spend huge marketing fees trying to attract their audience. You only need 100 true fans to bootstrap.
Lastly, we need to be aware of the paradigm change from Web2 to Web3, keep an open mind, and have a growth mindset. Don’t be intimidated by the tech lingo. Try some Web3 new applications, watch out for the risks, explore the crypto wallets, and just have fun. The earlier you get into the space, the more advantages you’ll have.