Local fintech Cointree has found its new CEO internally, handing the role to Jess Renden at the crypto exchange heads towards 10 years in business.
Renden signed on with Cointree five years ago after a career at software firm BGL. She takes over from founder Shane Stevenson after eight years heading up the company he launched in 2013
“Since joining in 2017 I’ve simply loved it, it’s a non-stop, 24/7, cutting edge industry, and I really believe that we’re only scratching the surface of what’s to come
for the sector,” she said.
Her plans for Cointree include making it easier for people to buy and sell
cryptocurrencies, and increasing awareness of blockchain technology and its benefits.
While the crypto sector has been male-dominated from founders to workers, and investors, Renden sees her appointment as part of a broader shiff of more women entering the space.
“While in years past men have been the major adopters, we’re seeing more women investing in crypto and being quite successful also,”she said.
“I’ve been in the technology industry for the last 17 years, and over this time have seen more opportunities open up for women, but there is still more work to be done on representation.”
Research conducted by Cointree in December last year found that while 68% of current crypto investors were men, intending users were 50% more likely to be women.
However, just 31% of technology workers are women according to the latest ACS Digital Pulse report, compared to 48% of the Australian workforce as a whole.
Melbourne-based Cointree has now handled more than A$250 million in cryptocurrency transactions, and trades more than 260 cryptocurrencies.
Renden takes on her new task at a time when the crypto sector is struggling, with Bitcoin posting its worst quarterly loss in more than a decade, having lost around 58% of its value in the second quarter of 2022.
This was its worst quarterly performance since Q3 in 2011 when it lost 68.2%.
Other crytocurrencies are also struggling amid the collapse of Terra/Luna stablecoin, the Chapter 11 bankruptcy of crypto hedge fund Three Arrows Capital, which once had around US$10 billion in assets, alongside digital asset brokerage Voyager Digital.
Crypto exchange Blockchain.com is reportedly facing a US$270 million hit on loans to 3AC, amid many others hit with losses.