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News & Analysis

YBF now has a blockchain expert in da house

- August 31, 2021 2 MIN READ
Karen Cohen
Blockchain expert Karen Cohen
YBF Melbourne has appointed a blockchain expert-in-residence to help startups better understand the potential of distributed ledger technology.

Karen Cohen, deputy chair of the Blockchain Australia Board, has taken on the role, and when the city’s latest lockdown hopefully lifts soon, she’ll be based at the Melbourne CBD co-working facility, where she will offer advice, introductions, and help startups on build blockchain and emerging tech projects. 

Cohen will lead blockchain community events and pitch nights, as well as quarterly blockchain and emerging tech community events. 

Among her many hats, she also heads up Women in Blockchain Melbourne and is the founder of Women in Emerging Tech, ran Australia’s first blockchain incubator, Block Engine, and has her own start-up Emerging Tech Talent, helping connect  humans to emerging tech. She was named the Diversity & Inclusion Tech Leader of the Year at the YBF Ventures 2021 Lift Off Awards.

With blockchain having the potential to generate an estimated  annual business value of over US$175 billion by 2025, growing rapidly to more than US$3 trillion by 2030 it offers significant opportunity and economic value for Australia and local tech companies 

Karen Cohen said she’s excited about the collaboration with YBF.

“YBF is vital to not only to the Victorian tech ecosystem, but to the entire tech ecosystem in Australia,” she said.

“I’m thrilled to be joining the team that is leading the nation’s tech and innovation  charge and look forward to rebuilding a vibrant blockchain community with YBF including in-person and  online events, pitch nights and hackathons.”

YBF CEO Farley Blackman said Cohen’s track record in the blockchain space is celebrated throughout the industry.

“It’s is incredible to have her joining the YBF community as our Blockchain Expert-in-Residence. Karen’s role in the community will strengthen YBF’s capability even further  as we continue to scale and offer support to start-ups, scale-ups and innovating corporates,” he said.

Dr Omaru Maruatona

Dr Omaru Maruatona

Her new role follows on from the appointments of Winitha Bonney as YBF’s new community diversity & inclusion expert-in-residence, and Dr Omaru Maruatona as YBF’s cyber & AI expert-in residence. 

Dr Omaru Maruatona, a former cybersecurity architecture, strategy and design expert at PwC, Computershare  and Westpac is available to YBF community members and partners to assist with maintaining business security, and improving systems efficiency and productivity.