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Men and Women of Color Leading The Blockchain Revolution: “There is power in working together” With Dr. Tiffany Gray

There is power in working together. Like the saying goes, I’m a movement by myself, but I’m a force when we’re together. Support one another. There is truly power in community. Mentorship is also key. Don’t sit on the goods! That could be knowledge sharing of resources, opportunities for participating in events or projects, and […]


There is power in working together. Like the saying goes, I’m a movement by myself, but I’m a force when we’re together. Support one another. There is truly power in community. Mentorship is also key. Don’t sit on the goods! That could be knowledge sharing of resources, opportunities for participating in events or projects, and most importantly sharing of lessons learned. This doesn’t mean sitting back and not doing the work or expecting to be handed things. You still have to put in the legwork. However, if there is something that you’ve learned along the way or resources that could be of benefit to someone else, it is important to pass it on.


I had the pleasure of interviewing Dr. Tiffany Gray, a public health researcher and advisor. Dr. Gray is a Research and Science Advisor at Axes and Eggs, a blockchain-based think-tank based in DC and Dubai. She is also Co-Chair of the Global Health and Disaster Relief subcommittee as part of the UN’s Blockchain for Impact initiative and a Fellow with Blockchain in Healthcare Global/IEEE-ISTO.


Thank you so much for doing this with us! Can you share with us the story of how you decided to pursue this career path? What lessons can others learn from your story?

I first learned about blockchain about 2 years ago. Initially, most of my introduction to blockchain was centered around cryptocurrency. Honestly, I didn’t find my fit right away. It seemed very out of reach in regards to my background and field of public health and research. I didn’t understand how it related to health and healthcare. As I began to learn more, attend more events, and branch out and meet other individuals within the space, I got to learn more about how Blockchain applies to many areas beyond finance and technology. Blockchain technology and its associated principles can and will apply to not just health and healthcare, but also education, philanthropy, as well as the arts and STEM related fields. The more I began to educate myself and connect with others within the space, I was able to see the intersection between health and technology and how it could be used as a tool and a resource for improving upon the way we currently manage and address health. The main lesson is to break out of your comfort zone and remain open. Don’t be afraid to ask questions and skee out additional opportunities to learn. Doing so can open your mind to other non-traditional paths. Doing so has allowed me to think more creatively in how I approach my research and work in studying and understanding public health and health behaviors. It has also helped me to think of creative solutions and approaches to addressing complex challenges and problems.

Can you tell me about the most interesting projects you are working on now?

Currently I am Co-chair of the Global Health and Disaster Relief subcommittee as part the UN Blockchain for Impact initiative. As part of this initiative, we will be working to identify potential blockchain pilot projects and use cases to further assess how blockchain can be utilized in various ways to address social impact. As a fellow with Blockchain in Healthcare Global, a new 501 © 6 membership organization within IEEE-ISTO, we are working towards attempting to address and mitigate some of the barriers to adoption of blockchain and other emerging technologies, such as AI and IoMT, specifically within healthcare and healthcare delivery. With Blockchain in Healthcare Global, one of the biggest aims will be to work with those throughout the healthcare industry, as well as identify key stakeholders to gain insight into the main challenges and potential barriers are to utilizing and implementing blockchain within existing systems. Through this work, we aim to help work to create a set of industry wide regulations and standards to ease adoption and implementation.

None of us are able to achieve success without some help along the way. Is there a particular person who you are grateful towards who helped get you to where you are? Can you share a story about that?

I am grateful to have had not just one person, but many people along the way who have been beyond supportive and always there when I have needed them. I like to say that I have a solid tribe that continues to motivate me and keep me encouraged. I always say I am grateful to one of my first mentors in STEM, Dr. Barbara Christie, I first met Dr. Christie as a freshman in college. Without her constant guidance, I would never have even found my love and passion for public health. I struggled in my first few years, but Dr. Christie was always there to provide sound guidance and encouraged me to look outside the box I was trying to force myself to fit in. Through her ongoing mentorship, one of the most important lessons I learned is that it is okay to explore and try new things, as well as take risks. To this very day, I am very thankful.

What are the 5 things that most excite you about blockchain and crypto? Why?

Overall, I am most excited about how blockchain, as well as cryptocurrencies, can and will be used for social impact. I am most interested to see how blockchain will be used within healthcare. For example, utilization of blockchain and tokenization to address issues such as the opioid epidemic. There have also been some really great initiatives and programs, such as Remedichain, a nonprofit that provides donated medication to both the uninsured and insured, for example, are working to use blockchain as part of their efforts. In using blockchain, Remedichain is working to address both the financial and environmental problems of prescription waste. I am also excited to see how things develop in the next few years as we start to hopefully, begin to see more use cases and adoption of the technology. Having tangible results and evidence as to what works and what doesn’t is key to helping further drive innovation. I am also excited to see places, such as Colorado and Cleveland, which just hosted the Blockland Solutions Conference, start to bring together key stakeholders from all levels and a wide variety of industries, including business and finance, technology, government, education systems, and healthcare. These events help promote open dialogue and help to further drive the conversation beyond theory to actual application and innovation. Lastly, I am most excited that with the increased awareness and ongoing dialogue around blockchain and cryptocurrency will help to change our overall approaches to how we not only work to provide new solutions and strategies, but also how we begin to prepare the next generation for the future.

What are the 5 things worry you about blockchain and crypto? Why?

My main worry and concern about blockchain and cryptocurrency is working to ensure that it doesn’t introduce new disparities, but also making sure they don’t widen existing gaps. While emerging technologies, such as AI, machine learning and even blockchain may make improve production, reduce costs, and make life easier for the end user, it also may have a broader socioeconomic impact. As these technologies reduce the need for “middlemen” and jobs are automated, it lessens the availability of viable job opportunities. I worry that if underserved populations and communities of color are not being brought into the fold early on, this may introduce additional economic and health disparities. It is also very important to remind individuals to not get caught up in the hype of investing in cryptocurrency and blockchain, and as always to do their homework. Lastly, blockchain is not a one-size fits all approach. Not everything needs to use blockchain and it is important to take the proper steps to determine whether or not it is an applicable solution. If not, it can result in wasted costs and resources.

How have you used your success to bring goodness to the world? Can you share a story?

One of the most things I am excited about and grateful for is that my work in blockchain has injected some fuel into my passion for health and healthier living, including mental health and stress. One thing I notice a lot within not only tech and business, but in general, is the continual pushing of this idea of hustle until you die and team no sleep culture. Alexis Ohanian recently talked about how “hustle porn” is harmful and I completely agree. My goal is to use the platform I have gained through working in the blockchain industry to educate and push for healthier and more mindful practices. I have learned firsthand and experienced the deleterious effects of burnout, and I have seen the immense toll that it takes on others as well.

As you know, there are not a lot of people of color in the tech sector. Can you share 3 things that you would you advise to other men and women of color in the tech space to thrive?

There is power in working together. Like the saying goes, I’m a movement by myself, but I’m a force when we’re together. Support one another. There is truly power in community. Mentorship is also key. Don’t sit on the goods! That could be knowledge sharing of resources, opportunities for participating in events or projects, and most importantly sharing of lessons learned. This doesn’t mean sitting back and not doing the work or expecting to be handed things. You still have to put in the legwork. However, if there is something that you’ve learned along the way or resources that could be of benefit to someone else, it is important to pass it on.

Can you advise what is needed to engage more men and women of color into the blockchain industry?

I think one of the best ways to engage more men and women of color into the blockchain industry is to continue fostering discussion around the many ways in which blockchain can be useful for things outside of cryptocurrency. Stripping away the “hype” and continuing to highlight and show the good work that many men and women of color are currently doing within the blockchain industry can also help to engage others. Lastly, we have to meet people where they are. Utilize spaces such as HBCUs, STEM organizations like NSBE to help other people one, learn about blockchain, and two, identify ways that no matter what area you are in-whether finance, tech, education, or even the arts-how blockchain and other emerging technology can help have a wider impact.

What is your favorite “Life Lesson Quote”? Can you share a story of how that had relevance to your own life?

“Closed mouths don’t get fed.”

The first time I heard this was in a summer program right before my freshman year of college. It has continued to come up at many points in my life. In my transitioning beyond life as a doctoral student and seeking out new career opportunities, I am learning in real time how to become a stronger advocate for myself. Much like you never know until you try, this quote reminds me to not be afraid to speak up. Whether it be asking for help, sharing a vision or goal with others, or asking what you’re worth.

You are a person of great influence. If you could start a movement that would bring the most amount of good to the most amount of people, what would that be? You never know what your idea can trigger. 🙂

Reducing the stigma around mental health. There is power in transparency and sharing of one’s experience. In doing so, it can help others who may feel alone or may be suffering in silence. People are most often afraid of what they don’t understand. Much like with blockchain and cryptocurrency, the more people are willing to engage and come together, we truly can have the most impact.

How can our readers follow you on social media?

@drgrayhealth on Twitter and at drgrayhealth.com

This was very inspiring. Thank you so much for joining us!

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