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Miami’s Bitcoin Conference Left a Trail of Harassment


Now, although there are a variety of women-focused crypto areas, Odeniran says ladies are nonetheless underrepresented. “I’ve been in spaces where I’m the only Black person, or the only woman, or the only Black woman,” she says. Odeniran says ladies want these areas to become involved, but additionally for solidarity. Spaces the place ladies are outnumbered can really feel unique, or worse: unsafe.

After Siegel found {that a} convention organizer had engaged with the harassing tweets, she acquired a pal to lift the difficulty as soon as once more with an acquaintance who labored for the convention. This time, she acquired a response. “I apologize that this occurred at our event,” wrote Justin Doochin, the top of occasions for BTC Inc., “but without this person’s name or email, we have no way of identifying them and preventing them from attending future events.” Siegel wrote again to say that @bitcoin_fuckboi had posted various selfies to his account, together with with outstanding Bitcoin personalities, through the occasion. She additionally remembered he rode the mechanical bull on the convention, which would chop it right down to only a few dozen doable attendees.

Meanwhile, David Bailey—the CEO of Bitcoin Inc., the group that runs the Bitcoin convention—responded to the incident on Twitter. @Chairforce, he wrote, had been “seriously reprimanded but everyone makes mistakes and I’m not firing them for it.” As for the convention itself, he wrote, “26,000 people attended, don’t let a few bad apples color the community.” One lady replied to recommend that girls would possibly really feel extra secure if that they had readability concerning the convention’s code of conduct. “We have that already,” Bailey responded. (Organizers of the Bitcoin convention declined to reply my questions on the way it handles harassment or violations of its harassment coverage.)

For Siegel, there’s no approach to undo the harm of the harassment she skilled on Twitter. But she nonetheless needs the organizers to take accountability for what occurred whereas she was there. “People are underestimating how scary it is to have a conference tell you that if something happens, there will be no course of action,” she says. “The kind of misogynistic joking that you might see on Twitter takes a completely different form when you’re standing in the same room as that man.”

After the convention ended, others started to talk up concerning the normalization of misogyny in Bitcoin circles. “In the name of 100 million bitcoiners, I’d like to formally apologize for the thousand or so loud bullies who think harassing women IRL is commendable,” one individual tweeted. “Those creeps do not represent us and we don’t like them.” Some individuals replied in solidarity; different replies had been much less encouraging. “Women is for fucking irl, not bullying, wtf bitcoinbros,” wrote a Twitter person referred to as @insiliconot. The tweet obtained 21 likes.

A weblog publish additionally circulated on Twitter, calling for an finish to “rape glorification, misogyny, and sexual harassment” throughout the Bitcoin neighborhood. The writer, Tom Maxwell, hosts a podcast about Bitcoin; he says he wrote the publish after he heard about what occurred to Siegel on the convention. He thought her harassment was unacceptable, but additionally not stunning. “It was like, here’s another example of this sort of thing going on,” he informed me. After he revealed his weblog, some individuals on Bitcoin Twitter replied and referred to as him “beta” or “a waste of space.” One individual informed him to kill himself.

Maxwell and different Bitcoin proponents are adamant that the toxicity of sure teams doesn’t signify the complete neighborhood. But it may be sufficient to drive some ladies out of the house altogether. The lady who discovered the AirTag in her purse throughout Bitcoin Week has since determined to go away a job within the business due to what she sees as toxicity in the neighborhood. Siegel, who entered the crypto house in 2017, says she had been wanting ahead to the neighborhood turning into extra various lately. “But I’m afraid that if we continue to lean into that culture, we’ll scare off these women who are getting involved,” she says. “We’re going to backtrack.”



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