CASH SLAVE II
EQUALITY IS DECENTRALIZED
This NFT, in partnership with Seneca Women and Nifty Gateway exploring the theme of equality, strikes a real chord for me. So much so, that I decided to explore this theme through my first ever self-portrait. As a woman, sometimes it is hard for us to stop and take stock. As an artist, creating an introspective artwork is not easy. I much prefer to explore my demons through my art, through mythological creatures and figures, set in pixelated urban environments. It feels easier to make the art that way. It feels very vulnerable to create an NFT of myself. Feeling that acute vulnerability, I decided to go all in and write about this subject too!
I have been a crypto artist for three years now and been very successful in my own right, changing my life from being a penniless artist to one of the most successful international female cryptoartists. This rags to riches journey through my career on the blockchain has completely changed my life and given my an independence to reach my full potential. Despite the many “tech bros” involved in the crypto scene, I have noticed that there are more and more women, like me, finding financial independence through the blockchain technology. I think there are three main reasons for this.
PEER-TO-PEER IS GENDERLESS
When I created my last Nifty Gateway project, ‘THE BITCOIN OGs”, I did a lot of research into the Bitcoin White Paper. In fact, I admit to even collaging it into every NFT for that collection. It is a very advanced paper and took me several reads (as well as all the footnotes) to grasp some of the concepts. I was trying to imagine a group of Bitcoin superheroes who invented Bitcoin and the blockchain. A key concept of the White Paper, which forms the basis of all of blockchain technology is that of “peer-to-peer” computing, which basically means that each computer or network can share information without a centralized computer. The whole system has been set up to be independent of any external factors. I thought a lot about this concept particularly when applied to the people involved with these networks and I realised that what was consistently being described was a genderless system. One’s gender was not even taken into account; it was simply irrelevant vis-à-vis the operation of the system, or in this case, the blockchain.
WEB3 = NO MIDDLE MAN
Taking the consideration of this even further, it struck me that even more than the system, the whole concept of decentralization had a much wider over-reaching application that the one technically being advanced in the paper. I am sure that this must have been the author’s intention but for a dot connector like me, it was mesmerising.
For the woman who had fought hard from a working-class background to become a lawyer and had faced prejudice in that field to the Web2 entrepreneur creating a business from home whilst bringing up children, I couldn’t ignore the idea that decentralization was offering a new path for so many. In fact, for women, it might actually be a path to equality.
One of the main barriers to women’s equality whether that is in the workplace, or as female entrepreneurs is the complete lack of understanding that women’s economic equality and ability to create wealth is not a female issue. It is well documented and researched as being a purely economic issue; one that affects the bottom line of corporations and countries alike. Part of the problem of trying to change this understanding, to be frank, is trying to change the understanding of what I like to call the “men in suits”. They are everywhere! From the boardroom to the bank to the supply chain, with Web2, women are beholden on the suits to make the decisions over our financial future.
Therefore, as this idea of decentralization started to take seed, I realised that with Web3, the middle man had gone, with the emphasis on the man! Now, I know that there are a lot of men that support women’s equality but I am talking here about the institutional Middle Man. With one fell swoop, he was gone. I look back at my first days of minting my artworks on platforms such as Known Origin and Super Rare as being a bit of an intrepid adventurer but one that is always looking over her shoulder. Back in those early days, I understood enough of the blockchain technology to know that it was a complete revolution. Digital art at last could be quantified and sold using this new incredible technology. As a woman who was struggling financially, that was all I needed to give me the green light to press on with creating and minting as much as I could. As soon as I started to sell in those early days of cryptoart, I just kept going. At last, here was a vehicle for my talent and ambition that was restrained only by my determination, not that of a shadowy Middle Man making a decision for me. As the years went by, my sales grew and grew and what started as a means of getting by for me and my children became a very profitable and successful career. Once I started working with Nifty Gateway and doing drops with that platform, that opened-up a whole new collector base and career opportunity and I have never looked back. My journey in cryptoart led me from poverty to wealth, however, I am lucky in that I always felt strong and powerful. However, I can say without any doubt that having the financial security of being able to provide well for my family without anyone else’s input is huge. And here we come to the nub of the issue. Does my story and financial success only affect my children and me? No. It affects the bottom line of my country through taxes, pure and simple.
EQUALITY IS DECENTRALIZED
This brings me to the last point. We know that in politics, economic, boards and the work-place, centralization ultimately brings things to a point of someone in authority, somewhere, making a decision. This subject is well written about and there is no doubt that women suffer from all sorts of equalities through centralized structures. However, the key area that I am focusing on is financial equality. My own story shows that through centralized structures, I suffered from inequalities as a lawyer and as an entrepreneur. It was only with the explosion of technology that is the blockchain that all that changed. At last, this decentralized system did not care if I was a woman or not. I did not have to apply to a “boys club” to be part of it. I just needed to tokenize. What a revolution! Under the Web 2 system, us women needed permission. With Web3 and a permissionless system, the shackles were off. The impact of this is truly remarkable and represents a huge paradigm shift in terms of women’s financial equality. If we do not need to ask permission, we are empowered. If we do not need to convince a board or governments that women’s financial equality is an economic issue not a female issue, we can go ahead and reach our financial goals without this restriction. For this reason, I truly believe that the way to ensure women’s financial equality will be through decentralization. We are still in such early days of this whole movement, that I think the impact on women’s wealth is still not understood. My example of rags to riches is going to be one of so many similar stories.
The future is Equality and the future is Decentralization.
The two are inextricably linked.