female office worker on laptop

While I have been interested in blockchain tech even before 2019, the pandemic really pushed me down the decentralized finance (DeFi) rabbit hole.

I found the technology, innovation and potential in the industry to be absolutely astounding. While my background originated in advertising and multimedia production, 9 to 5 jobs never suited me, so the move to freelancing and entrepreneurship came naturally. This then led me to my current position as CBO at Chainge Finance.

The opportunities in DeFi seem never ending. The industry is fast-moving and innovative at all times, which makes it a great area for those who enjoy learning and being challenged. Personally, as soon as I deep-dove into the world of cryptocurrency and blockchain, I was hooked. Moving into the industry full time was not as challenging as I expected, although the space is (for now) male-dominated. Around 75% of all crypto users are male and only 25% female. An educated guess would be that the ratio (gender-wise) when it comes to people working in the field is about the same – which can be perceived as a rough environment for women first entering this domain. As in other already familiar instances, women have to work a bit harder to prove themselves and gain their peers’ and users’ trust.

Needless to say, anyone considering pursuing a career in the blockchain industry has to have strong nerves, resistance to aggressive online feedback (to put it mildly), resilience and an extremely goal-oriented vision. You have to be able to cut-out all of the white noise, no matter how loud, and focus on the long-term objectives. Two steps forwards, one step back is how it usually goes. This overwhelmingly fascinating industry is still in its infancy, therefore it is also characterized by unpredictability and stressful situations every step of the way.

However, during this time I’ve found a rhythm that works for me. So, here are my tips for succeeding in the DeFi industry:

Spend A LOT of time educating yourself – I spend around 2-3 hours per day every day getting-up-to-speed. The industry is developing so fast it’s almost scary; keeping track of everything that’s going on will feel impossible. Don’t stress. It’s just a continuous learning process. Start with well established experts and companies in the field who publish educational material and then work your way down to specialized media and crypto twitter to hear the voice of different communities.

Be creative/resourceful – while creativity is not something we’d traditionally associate with finance, DeFi allows for a combination of technology, creativity, and finance. Coming up with new ideas and potential solutions always adds value to the project you’re a part of. Even if it might seem impossible to implement, give it a go – you’d be surprised at how much support you’ll receive and where the right idea at the right time might take you. As corny as it may sound, DeFi is in a sense synonymous with “making the impossible possible”.

Find your network – the DeFi industry heavily relies on the idea of community. While, of course, we have competitors, the industry as a whole is very open to discussing & addressing issues, new concepts and trying out new things. Because well, everything is new and everyone is excited to be part of it. Discussing pain points or newly developed tools with people can open your eyes to a variety of new ideas and methodologies. This also makes educating yourself more of a social experience.

While it’s taken me a couple years to find the right balance, I find working in the DeFi industry very rewarding. I’m lucky to work at a company that stands as the most liquid Web 3 trading venue on the market, meaning that I get to be involved with new and innovative tech every day and an amazingly supportive community. There are numerous opportunities out there for people of all backgrounds to excel in this field. Personally I’d love to see more women push the boundaries in this industry, and am very much looking forward to see what comes next for DeFi.

Oana BatranAbout the author

Chainge Finance’s CBO, Oana Batran.

10 years of advertising have shaped Oana into a multilingual, multicultural brand builder. By the side of international corporations and illustrious advertising agencies, she sparked hundreds of successful integrated campaigns and brand strategy programs. She is a strong believer in the emotional branding model, relying on a unique symbiotic approach made up of market research, archetype-based strategy and creative direction.

Diving headfirst into the blockchain world as Chainge Finance CBO, her efforts are currently revolving around the segmentation and contextualization of the yet untapped DeFi market.