A conversation with blockchain expert Katharina Gehra about her career in the finance and blockchain industry, her company Immutable Insight, and her advice to women who want to take their finances into their own hands and are new to the crypto world.
Women remain underrepresented in the financial industry and tend to trade assets less. In the crypto industry in particular, men significantly outweigh women. Slowly but surely, however, this is changing. More and more women also want to try their hand in the crypto world and take their finances into their own hands. Katharina Gehra, with her leading role as a blockchain expert, is paving the way for many more young women and men to find their calling in the crypto industry.
Her company Immutable Insight was founded in 2018 as an analytics house of blockchain data. Real-time analytics are translated into products in three business units: Asset Management, Compliance, and Industrial Analytics. The company currently employs 26 people and closed a successful funding round in March 2021. The team consists of physicists, mathematicians and computer scientists on the one hand, and finance, risk and investment specialists on the other, who together aim to translate analytics to maximum value for customers.
CVJ.CH: Why did you decide to found Immutable Insight?
Katharina Gehra: I came into contact with blockchain technology for the very first time in 2013 at a BCG alumni evening. At that time, I still thought: what a crazy idea. My first career in traditional finance had a lower net present value (NPV) than something of my own in the blockchain industry market, which was growing so fast. I wanted to do this for a long time: have a scalable, broad use case emerged with real-time analytics, and I’ve been very excited about it ever since.
What advice would you give to other women who are starting to get involved in the crypto world?
That they shouldn’t let the “tech nerds” of the scene get them down. Understanding technology is important, but it’s not everything. In the end, it also takes customer understanding, marketing and strategic vision, and much more. Every talent finds a place in such a large, so fast-growing new segment.
Why do you think there are such big differences in investment behaviour between men and women?
On the one hand, it’s interest and the desire to compete, and on the other hand, it’s instilled self-assessments. Both can be won or lost, so it’s also a matter of enthusiasm and the personal realization that money is power and leverage to advocate for one’s own goals and values for society.
What do you think are the advantages of a central bank digital currency (CBDC)?
Money laundering could be largely ended. Transaction fees can be lowered. Markets can become more efficient, due to the programmability of money and faster clearing mechanisms. An open financial system based on blockchain technology can generally provide more transparency, less redundant regulation, more inclusion, lower fees, higher security, and faster settlement.
What are the benefits of hybrid work models for workers in the crypto industry?
Life models today are fluid. We need and want the freedom to think, to try things out, and want to waste less time commuting. Self-discipline, intelligence, original interest in the topics we work on and proactivity characterize our team and so it brings benefits to everyone in return.