Local fintech Cointree has found its new CEO internally and has handed over the role to Jess Renden at the crypto exchange heads after 10 years in business.
Renden signed with Cointree five years ago after a career at software company BGL. She takes over from founder Shane Stevenson after eight years leading the company he founded in 2013.
“Since joining in 2017, I’ve loved it, it’s a non-stop, 24/7, cutting-edge industry, and I really believe we’re just scratching the surface of what’s to come.
for the industry,” she says.
Her plans for Cointree include making it easier for people to buy and sell
cryptocurrencies, and raising awareness of blockchain technology and its benefits.
While the crypto industry is male-dominated from founders to employees to investors, Renden sees her appointment as part of a broader shift of more women entering the space.
“While in recent years men have been the main adopters, we are seeing more women investing in crypto and being quite successful as well,” she said.
“I’ve been in the tech industry for the past 17 years and in that time I’ve seen more opportunities open up for women, but there’s 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 male, the target users were 50% more likely to be female.
However, according to the latest ACS Digital Pulse report, only 31% of technology workers are women, compared to 48% of the Australian workforce as a whole.
Melbourne-based Cointree has now processed more than A$250 million in cryptocurrency transactions and trades in more than 260 cryptocurrencies.
Renden is taking on her new role at a time when the crypto sector is struggling, with Bitcoin posting its worst quarterly loss in more than a decade, dropping about 58% of its value in the second quarter of 2022.
This was the worst quarterly performance since the third quarter of 2011, when it lost 68.2%.
Other crytocurrencies are also grappling with the collapse of Terra/Luna stablecoin, the Chapter 11 bankruptcy of crypto hedge fund Three Arrows Capital, which once had about US$10 billion in assets, alongside digital asset brokerage Voyager Digital.
Crypto Exchange Blockchain.com Is Reportedly faced a hit of US$270 million on loans to 3ACamong many others who were hit with losses.