“Gem of the Northeast”, Molly White takes on crypto

0

Molly White has been taking principled positions since she was a teenager. Now, his scrutiny of crypto has earned him national fame.

The Washington Post recently profiled white as “the cryptocurrency world’s biggest critic”. through its website, Web3 is doing greatWhite investigates and exposes scams and other questionable practices in the opaque and largely unregulated industry.

Molly White is a gem at Northeastern Universitya student from the North East posted on Reddit, a social media aggregation website, in response to the Post’s story.

“I think it’s important to make the information available to people, especially when other groups are trying to present a very different and I think unrealistic story,” says White, a 2016 Northeast Computer Science graduate. “Especially with crypto, I see a lot of real people being hurt by it – people who don’t have the money they can lose who have been sold the dream of financial freedom, or a ticket to having to work two jobs , and then find themselves in even more desperate situations.


Cryptocurrencies, which can be circulated digitally without government oversight, are vulnerable to volatile price fluctuations as well as unreliable (and sometimes predatory) traders. White devotes his site to web3– the blockchain basis for cryptocurrencies – in recognition that ordinary people are being exploited by extravagant investment schemes.

“It’s like, as someone who is able and willing to do research, I have an obligation to do it,” she says.

Born and raised in Maine, White was drawn to the Northeast by the promise of co-ops. She participated in two of them at HubSpot in Cambridge, Massachusetts, leading to six years of full-time employment as a software engineer before leaving the company last month.

She began developing an online presence in her early teens as an editor and writer on Wikipedia, first about music and then about women scientists.

“I found out anyone could edit Wikipedia when I was 13,” White says. “I have this kind of weird brain: I really like documenting, archiving and collecting information. And I’ve also always been very passionate about free and open knowledge and access to information. I became a fairly active editor in high school, then continued to do so in college and beyond.

After Donald Trump’s 2016 presidential election, White’s focus on the alt-right exposed her to online vitriol and set her up for the backlash she has suffered more recently from of the crypto industry. She says she was harassed online as a result.

“It’s sometimes unpleasant,” she said. “There is also a gender aspect – even before I started editing in these areas – of being a visible woman on the internet with opinions that tend to attract a good number of attacks. So I would like this be different.”

She found that these attacks strengthened her resolve.

“I’m a very stubborn person by nature,” she says. “Being harassed online, or targeted in some way, tends to make me angry because it happens, but also more determined to stick with it. I do what I can to minimize it and to protect myself and my family, but it seems important to me to keep doing what I’m doing, even more so when there are people trying to stop it.

Picture of bitcoin

Her resilience is a family trait of which she is proud.

“It was no surprise to my family to have another stubborn daughter,” White laughs.

White sees his efforts as part of a larger movement.

“How can we move the web in a better direction? ” she asks. “I think a lot of people look at me and think she’s a crypto critic, she wants to quit crypto, she wants to tamp [innovation] down.”

But White says she shares many of the same goals as some of the people working in the Web3 space — freedoms that include access to information and online communities around shared goals.

“I worry that crypto and Web3 are leading us in the opposite direction, limiting access to information and communities, and financializing much of the interactions we have online,” she says. “My goal is to open up the web and make it a better place. That’s really the driving force more than the hope of stopping crypto.

Soon, she says, she will be renewing her lesser-known career as a software engineer because “writing software is my favorite thing.”

But she will continue to monitor the crypto industry on behalf of those exploited by it.

“I just try to keep doing what I feel is impactful and useful,” White says. “I imagine that will continue to be the goal, whatever form it takes at some point.”

For media inquiriesplease contact [email protected].

Share.

About Author

Comments are closed.