Norton Rose Fulbright hosted the launch of the New York City chapter of Diversity in Blockchain, a non-profit organization committed to creating equal, open and inclusive opportunities in the blockchain industry, on May 7. The event was held at Norton Rose Fulbright's New York office and sponsored by the firm and other organizations. The event had a wait-list, reflecting a growing hunger in the blockchain space for diverse voices to be heard and recognized.
Diversity in Blockchain announced its launch in early May 2018 and the New York City chapter is its first chapter. Other chapters will open around the country.
Among those who spoke at the launch were Carlos Acevedo, a renowned New York City high school teacher recently featured in the Washington Post for introducing South Bronx students to cryptocurrency; Frankie Pangilinan, a software developer with MetaMask who provided a "how to" on digital wallets; and Mark Beylin, co-founder and CEO of The Bounties Network, a platform that empowers humans to incentivize and self-organize, from freelancing to grassroots social action and anything in between.
Founders of Diversity in Blockchain said they launched the organization because the tech industry for years has been under scrutiny over diversity and inclusion issues. The New York City chapter will foster opportunities for diverse representation in emerging technology.
Susan Joseph, Diversity in Blockchain co-founder and executive director, said:
"We are thrilled to launch our inaugural Diversity in Blockchain chapter. Because blockchain is an emerging technology and new industry, we have the opportunity to create a truly inclusive community through education and fostering access, and best practices."
Ron Smith (Dallas), a partner and key member of Norton Rose Fulbright's blockchain practice, commented:
"We are tremendously honored to host Diversity in Blockchain's New York chapter launch. We are delighted to be part of their initiative to promote diverse thought leadership on blockchain and other financial technology topics. The event was an incredible success."
Several other Norton Rose Fulbright lawyers participated in the launch including, Rachael Browndorf, Kenneth Johnson, Andrew Lom, Paul Keller, Sue Ross and Kathleen Scott (New York).
In addition to Joseph, Diversity in Blockchain was founded by Joshua Ashley Klayman, Shawnna Hoffman, Anna Ashurov, and Michelle Gitlitz, pioneers and thought leaders in the blockchain field who have worked closely with industry leaders and Fortune 500 companies in finance, insurance, securities, native digital assets, smart contracts, supply chain management, and startup consulting.