Tavonia Evans is a tech entrepreneur, blockchain engineer, technologist and founder who has been in the tech space for over 25 years. In a sector most women are struggling to dominate, Evans has emerged as a trailblazer in the digital currency space for Black women.
She is the founder of multiple blockchain platforms. She founded Guapcoin, a cryptocurrency focused on closing the wealth gap and providing access to crypto for African-Americans, Latinx people, and the global African Diaspora, she told Analytics Insight. She is also the co-creator of Block4Hire.com, a platform that connects blockchain talent with budding entrepreneurs and companies. In addition, Evans is the CTO of Black Wall Street, a cryptocurrency wallet and community aimed at empowering investors of color.
The techpreneur said she got into blockchain because she wanted to amplify her voice in an industry where women are hardly seen. According to her, it was her first media feature with women leaders in crypto that made her realize the significance of the work she was doing.
“I thought I was just creating a platform I didn’t know how impactful I was in the future of money in general,” she told Analytics Insights.
Evans noted that she was also impacted by her visit to Congress in 2019 as the Georgia delegate to the National Policy Network WOC Blockchain founded by former Obama Presidential Appointee Cleve Mesidor.
“During this trip, we spoke with policymakers to make them aware of our presence, voice, and expertise in the blockchain space, which is critical to our inclusion in the policy-making discussions,” she said.
The road to success for Evans was not smooth. According to her, one of her major challenge was funding. She revealed that it was when she started her first venture, a P2P verification platform called ‘Safe2meet,’ that she discovered that Black women get less than 1% of VC or capital funding for their companies.
“So as a founder, it was disheartening that my partner and I (despite being two successful black women in tech) could not raise the money we needed to scale our MVP,” she said. “This led me to launch Guapcoin, which I felt could eventually open up more capital and more options for people like me. After all crypto (Guapcoin) is essentially money, and as the days go by, it becomes closer and closer to becoming accepted as legal tender everywhere.”
Along the way, Evans also noticed that the community that she served did not know much about blockchain and cryptocurrency. She subsequently became a pioneer in her community to create awareness about cryptocurrency.
“I had to combine the skills of an educator and a marketer because I would be touching all levels of society, technical and non-technical, all at once. It’s a daunting task to take on with zero capital, but an absolute necessity if I were to achieve my objective of onboarding them onto Guapcoin. I found it in the end to be a very liberating, exciting, and challenging way to connect with the people on the grassroots level,” she said.
Another challenge she highlighted was finding blockchain talent and resources to support her project so she had to hire offshore resources on a shoestring budget. Despite the challenges, the technologist and entrepreneur believes that cryptocurrency and blockchain technology has a bright future although there is a lot of room for innovation. Describing Guapcoin as a financial voice for the common people in the future, her advice for budding blockchain leaders is that they should stay on course and diversify their knowledge and their connection to people.