Boss Lady

Female fintech leader spearheads push to create cool but useful products


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The world of financial technology (fintech) has largely been dominated by men, with financial services and the creation of innovative technology two of the most male-centric global industries (finance and technology), it is not a wonder that it is also largely run by men.

A recent rundown of fintech company founders by FinTech 50 shows that only five percent are females, with 118 men and six women included in the lineup. It is not easy to penetrate the FinTech industry and stay in it. However, there are some women whose talents and interest lies in fintech, and they cannot be stopped from fulfilling their dreams. Ella Qiang is one of these women.

“I’ve always been interested in commerce since little. Growing up in the 90s in China has given me a unique pair of lens to experience rapid economic growth as the society transitioned from a planned economy to a market economy. I wanted to learn more about how a free market economy works, how business decisions are made, and how different tools are designed to enable more efficient commerce,” Qiang related.

To pursue her interest, Qiang decided to study Finance at Indiana University, and earn her MBA at the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA). She has begun her career in traditional finance and has worked both in the U.S. and China in the fields of banking, project finance and corporate finance. But these were not enough to quench her thirst for growth. Having learned firsthand about the inadequacies of traditional finance systems, Qiang has been on the lookout for solutions. And she found it in blockchain technology, which has stirred up a newfound passion.

“I was fascinated by the concepts of a programmable internet-native value transfer mechanism that does not require trusted middlemen. Having worked in the banking sector, I knew how inefficient the siloed legacy systems were, how valuable temper-proof and interoperable data was, and I became very excited about the potential of blockchain technology to vastly increase commercial efficiency,” Qiang said.

“Shortly after business school, I joined the Stellar Development Foundation, leading partnerships in Asia Pacific (APAC) to drive adoption of their blockchain solution in the payments and international remittances industry. As I learned more about the economic incentive mechanism of a blockchain system, I started to re-appreciate the genius design of Bitcoin, its vision as a peer-to-peer electronic cash system, and proof-of-work,” Qiang added.

Although many are still in the dark about the benefits of blockchain technology, awareness about it is increasing simultaneous to the growing popularity of digital currencies, pioneered by Bitcoin, which is actually the first functional application of blockchain technology. FinTech is but one of the industries that serves to benefit from the many applications and platforms that can be built on blockchain technology; and Qiang has decided she wants to be at the center of it all.

“As I went deeper into the Bitcoin rabbit hole, it became a natural path for me to support the BSV philosophy during the 2018 hard fork event, as I believed it was the version that closely represented the Bitcoin in my vision. It gave me flashbacks of the transition from a planned economy (artificially limited block size) to a free market economy where transaction capacity is determined by network participants’ own economics. Having been in the business development role speaking to company executives about blockchain solutions also made me certain that only a scalable and stable base layer chain would ever be considered by serious businesses as part of the backbone of their IT stacks,” Qiang explained.

Qiang pours her time and skills into this newfound passion, self-educating herself while working on projects that would become essential to the BSV ecosystem, such as super wallet and marketplace RelayX, BSV-centric digital asset exchange FloatSV, and developer bootcamp CambrianSV. Qiang has redirected all her energy into doing something she loves and believes in. And it is not surprising that she has found a new home in Bitcoin Association, Switzerland-based global industry organization that pushes the enterprise adoption of the BSV blockchain, as a regional manager for Southeast Asia.

“I enjoy getting my hands dirty building and launching new products. Bitcoin Association has provided me with a great platform to contribute to the overall BSV ecosystem while learning new knowledge every single day, and keeping close pulse on novel product developments in the network. My professional goal is to build and continue building something cool that I’m proud of and will leave an impact on others’ lives,” Qiang revealed.

“I’m grateful to be surrounded by so many talented and ambitious entrepreneurs who are passionate about building something cool, something different, something that provides true value. In the process of engaging and supporting such a smart group of people. I’m also excited to explore new ideas and add value to the product side of things in the future,” Qiang added.

Qiang is well on her way of achieving her dream of creating next-generation products and services in a male-dominated industry. She is a prime example of how women strive to establish themselves and secure their rightful place within industries that are known to be monopolized by men.

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