Singaporean ZebPay Creates First Female-Led DAO

In simple terms, decentralized autonomous organizations (DAOs) are governing technologies that allow people to coordinate and self-govern on a secure blockchain network, the company said.

article-image

Kajal Dalai (left) and Maria Shaikh; Blockworks exclusive art by Axel Rangel

share

key takeaways

  • ZebPay is using distributed ledger technology (DLT) to enable traditionally marginalized, vulnerable, and disenfranchised communities and help them participate in the global economy and attain financial security, said Maria Shaikh, co-founder of ZebPay’s DAO.
  • The average daily traded volume across the top four Indian cryptocurrency exchanges, ZebPay, WazirX, CoinDCX and BitBNS, was about $22.4 million in mid-December 2020, up 398% from about $4.5 million in March 2020, according to data from CoinGecko.

India’s digital assets industry has been going through a heavy transition period since cryptocurrency trading was officially re-legalized in the country in March of 2020, and ZebPay, one of the country’s most popular crypto trading platforms, is hoping to level the gender playing field by creating the world’s first female-led decentralized autonomous organization (DAO) in India.

Founded in 2014, ZebPay, has over 3 million users globally and $2 billion in fiat transactions on its platform, the Singapore-based company said. 

What’s a DAO?

In simple terms, DAOs are governing technologies that allow people to coordinate and self-govern on a secure blockchain network, the company said. A DAO dilutes centralized control of organizations and distributes governance power to its people by using majority voting rules on platforms.

After relaunching in India during March 2020, ZebPay’s DAO hopes to give underrepresented women in blockchain a voice, while increasing their role in decision making and visibility in the technology industry, said Maria Shaikh, data scientist and co-founder of ZebPay’s DAO, who is based in Mumbai, India. 

“It’s both a proof of concept for a blockchain program and an experiential process in the issue of gender inequality,” Shaikh said. 

From November 2020 to March, the number of women in India that own a cryptocurrency on CoinDCX exchange increased from 15% to 20% while the male ownership went from 85% to 80%, according to a Statista study. 

The number of men vs. women in India that own a cryptocurrency on CoinDCX; Source: Statistica

This means about 1 in 5 customers on the platform are female but ZebPay’s organization hopes to reduce the male-to-female crypto investor ratio significantly and give Indian women greater visibility in the technology industry, Shaikh said. 

“Although we’ve seen a steady rise in female investors entering the crypto market…the number of women remains far lower than their male counterparts,” Shaikh said. 

‘Just the beginning’ 

While there are many companies that help organizations create DAOs on its platforms, like Ethereum’s model or dxDAO, having the first female-led DAO is “just the beginning,” for the future of the technology and the blockchain revolution, said Kajal Dalai, full stack developer and co-founder of ZebPay’s DAO, who is also based in Mumbai, India. 

“Non-fungible tokens have very quickly reached wild popularity, we believe the next phase will be DAOs,” Dalai said. 

ZebPay uses Aragon, a platform for building and running DAOs, which has created over 1,700 DAOs and has about $900 million assets under management. 

The company also uses distributed ledger technology (DLT) to enable traditionally marginalized, vulnerable, and disenfranchised communities and help them participate in the global economy and attain financial security, Shaikh said. 

As more people realize the massive potential of blockchain and the focused empowerment of the individual that it brings, the industry will continue to see the space reach new heights, said Dalai. Cryptocurrencies combine the elements of finance, law and technology, but DAO’s go further by adding human organizations to the list, Dalai said. 

ZebPay's DAO team
The team at ZebPay’s DAO

Right now, Indian millennials have recognized the generational opportunities that come with crypto and as a result, Indian crypto exchanges have seen exponential month-on-month growth in trading volume, Shaikh said. 

The average daily traded volume across the top four Indian cryptocurrency exchanges, ZebPay, WazirX, CoinDCX and BitBNS, was about $22.4 million in mid-December 2020, up 398% from about $4.5 million in March 2020, according to data from CoinGecko. 

Although cryptocurrency in India is deemed completely legal, people will realize that adopting cryptocurrencies can mean more than just a quick buck and it can liberate people with cutting-edge technology, Shaikh said. 

There needs to be equity through representation and bringing cryptocurrency to those who are likely to benefit the most, like women or rural Indians without bank accounts, who are historically underrepresented in technology and crypto fields, Shaikh said.  

“We are not aiming to remove men entirely from the process, but provide a platform where women hold the governance keys,” Dalai said. While the future is promising, there is still work to be done, she said. 

Tags

Upcoming Events

Hilton Metropole | 225 Edgware Rd, London

MON - WED, MARCH 18 - 20, 2024

Crypto’s premier institutional conference returns to London in March 2024. The DAS: London Experience:  Attend expert-led panel discussions and fireside chats  Hear the latest developments regarding the crypto and digital asset regulatory environment directly from policymakers and experts   Grow your network […]

Salt Lake City, UT

WED - FRI, OCTOBER 9 - 11, 2024

Pack your bags, anon — we’re heading west! Join us in the beautiful Salt Lake City for the third installment of Permissionless. Come for the alpha, stay for the fresh air. Permissionless III promises unforgettable panels, killer networking opportunities, and mountains […]

recent research

Frax report cover.jpg

Research

Frax saw continued development in its frxETH liquid staking derivative and Fraxlend money market throughout 2023. Frax V3 introduces an RWA strategy to drive utility to the protocol's cornerstone product, the FRAX stablecoin.

article-image

Following layoffs at BAYC parent Yuga Labs and OpenSea, Tiger Global marked down its stakes

article-image

Recent SEC filings suggest the regulator could be lining up the approval of multiple proposals in early January, segment observers argue

article-image

A dinner back in September gave big traders a heads up about the DOJ settlement, Bloomberg reported

article-image

On-chain debt capital markets platform deploys on Coinbase-incubated layer-2 after structured investment products push

article-image

Past performance is not indicative of future results, sure, but no need to rain on the bitcoin price parade just yet

article-image

Circle’s letter follows one from the Campaign for Accountability alleging ties to Justin Sun and TRON