Our next Women in Crypto feature comes from a robust background in strategic planning, business, and partnership development, and investing. Cecilia Li started her career in Paris, France, worked in Bejing, and in 2016 flew to the United States to begin her career in the investing and blockchain space. Cecilia is currently a core team member of OK Group, focusing on blockchain industry investments.
Cred sat down with Cecilia to talk about her background before blockchain, and what it is about the industry she finds so fascinating. Cecilia shares advice for women interested in blockchain and highlights key career growth opportunities for women in the industry. Finally, she shares what she does in her free time when she’s not working for one of the biggest crypto exchanges in the world.
Cecilia graduated from Aix-Marseille University in France with a Master’s degree in Administration Enterprise and Business Administration. It was there she began her career, working as an International Strategic Project Executive for the airline company, Air France. Cecilia spent the next few years working in Bejing as an International Business Development Manager for NHN and a Senior Consultant / Director of Finance & Strategy at the recruiting firm, RMG Selection.
In 2016 Cecilia moved to the United States, where she launched her career in the blockchain and investing space. How does one so prevalent in the industry first learn of crypto? Cecilia shared this anecdote, “I first heard about cryptocurrency in 2013, I was with a group of friends when one of them started talking about Bitcoin. It sounded interesting, and I wanted to set up a mining regime to learn more about it, but unfortunately, that didn’t happen as other commitments got in the way.”
Fast forward a few years, Cecilia attended a blockchain conference in San Francisco where she met Bodhi Network founder, Xiahong Lin. She spent time working at Bodhi as the Director of Business Communications & Partnership Development before getting into the investment space. For the last two years, Cecilia has served as a core member of the OK Group investment team, raising capital for sprouting blockchain projects with great potential.
The blockchain spark
The crypto and blockchain industry attracts many people for a multitude of reasons. When asked what first sparked her interest, Cecilia shared it was the “energy of the market,” and a new financial structure that has never been seen before.
“If you look back at the financial industry, crypto is the only market that you can pretty much trade anything. You can trade 24/7 and trade globally without limits or boundaries.”
Many of the core problems in traditional financial markets can be solved with blockchain technology. Fiat itself is formed with political restrictions, and blockchain is built with the idea of disrupting these economic boundaries.
Cecilia goes on to share that beyond the financial aspects, blockchain technology solves inefficiency issues across multiple industries.
“Innovation is booming in this area, you still have skeptics, questioning the legitimacy of crypto, but within the industry, you’re constantly seeing new ideas and new ways of solving major current financial problems.”
Women in crypto
Historically, the cryptocurrency and blockchain sectors have been almost exclusively male-dominated. In 2020, we’ve seen an increase in the value of Bitcoin, and also the number of women invested in it. According to Grayscale, 43% of investors interested in Bitcoin are women; that number is up from 13% last year, and is actively growing.
Cecilia shared the following advice for women interested in crypto:
“It is essential for women to be in the industry. We need women in certain positions such as traders and engineers, and I encourage women to jump into the blockchain space.”
Cecilia then shared guidance for any newcomer interested in the industry:
“I want to encourage women to get into this area, to at least try it. Buy a little BTC or Eth. Stake some tokens in a Defi pool, and see what happens.”
She notes several easy-to-use centralized platforms like Cred, where one can pledge crypto and see real returns.
Working from home
Shelter in place due to the COVID-19 pandemic has halted many things, but that doesn’t seem to be Cecilia’s case. She shared that while working from home, she’s picked up watercolor painting as a hobby, and we even got a guest appearance from her newly adopted cat. Cecilia shared that she’s quite spiritual and takes time out of her day to meditate, encouraging everyone to do the following. “Look internally and talk to ourselves, listen to our inner voice, and figure out what we like to do outside of work.”
Cecilia’s dedication to the industry and love for blockchain innovation is why we are proud to spotlight her in Cred’s Women in Crypto series.