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Women Leading The Blockchain Revolution: “Don’t get intimidated, even you are the only woman on a blockchain project” With Chao Cheng-Shorland CEO of ShelterZoom Corp. and Tyler Gallagher

The best thing is not to worry which gender has more representation in blockchain.

The best thing is not to worry which gender has more representation in blockchain. Don’t get intimidated, even you are the only woman on a blockchain project. Male colleagues are supportive. They respect women who are confident and competent.


I had the pleasure of interviewing: Chao Cheng-Shorland. Chao Cheng-Shorland is the co-founder and CEO of ShelterZoom Corp., a multi-award-winning real estate technology company and market leader in blockchain technology. Chao is a member of the Forbes Tech Council and a recipient of the Chief Executive Woman program. Prior to ShelterZoom, Chao led many high-value and complex programs, including, as an enterprise architect, the $40 billion (U.S.) joint venture project between ConocoPhillips and Origin Energy.

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?

After my 20-year corporate career, I had an increasing desire to create something new based on my own ideas. I have always been an idea person, and liked to dream up ideas and invent things. I also have a passion for real estate. So, in 2016, when I met Allen Alishahi, the other co-founder of ShelterZoom and an experienced real estate broker who is unusually creative and knowledgeable, we just clicked.

When we first started the ShelterZoom project, many people thought we were crazy to give up our highly paid work and profitable businesses to face so many unknowns. But we’ve had so much fun last two years working on ShelterZoom! Because we are “senior startups” (that’s what we proudly call ourselves), our experience in both work and life, our philosophy of seeing seven steps ahead in any chess game, our determination to have the most talented people on our team, and our never-give-up attitude have all become important ingredients for the success of ShelterZoom.

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

We are in the process of extending the capabilities of ShelterZoom’s platform and have successfully filed two new patents that will help build our platform’s vision of a blockchain-powered, real estate ecosystem for buying, selling and renting.

What we have in store for our platform is very exciting. We are in the developmental stages of creating a revolutionary new way to buy, sell and rent that benefits our real estate affiliates and consumers. We’ve shifted our focus from strictly B2B to a more consumer-facing, user-oriented platform.

We are completely revolutionizing the real estate industry. ShelterZoom is helping real estate firms, and the industry as a whole, transition from a more traditional mindset of the buying and selling process, where the seller is in control, to a more forward-thinking method, where the buyer and seller are on equal playing fields. The key to this process is blockchain, which makes each transaction secure, efficient and transparent.

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?

The person who has inspired me the most, and who has shaped the way I see the world, is my father. My father is someone who has gone through a lot but never lost his integrity. He is extremely wise and funny. In every stage of my life my father has always considered things from my point of view, and he gives me his support selflessly.

In January of this year I was migrating from Australia to the U.S. on my own. When I arrived at the Melbourne Airport, I saw my father waiting at the airport check-in. He traveled two hours on public transport to come say farewell to me. He told me how proud he was for his girl to be going to New York to run ShelterZoom and pursue her big dreams. The last thing he said to me before my departure was, “Always carry yourself like a general.”

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

Decentralization! Unlike just about every other technology application, blockchain is a decentralized, peer-to-peer platform. Somethings referred to as a distributed ledger technology (DLT), blockchain records, stores and distributes each transaction on many computers across the network. This makes hacks and other data breaches more difficult to execute. One of blockchain’s most compelling advantages is security.

Transparency is another important blockchain benefit that solves a major real estate transaction problem. Once an entry is made on a blockchain “block,” that’s it. There’s no altering or updating or even deleting. In order to change the entry, that specific block on every other blockchain, on every computer, would need to be updated. This makes fraud virtually impossible.

With blockchain, all parties involved in a real estate transaction have access to the same information at the same time. This saves a significant amount of time and human resources that are typically used for validating information.

One thing most people don’t envision when they think about real estate transactions is speed. Just executing a simple sale or rental agreement could easily take weeks or months. The paperwork can be overwhelming. Blockchain’s power to self-govern can dispense with delays and reduce time wasted.

Using blockchain will eradicate the fees and repayments that typically go to intermediaries like escrow companies. Cutting out an extra two or three percent on the price of the property when selling or buying can result in significant savings.

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

It has taken real estate a long time to jump on the blockchain bandwagon. Mass adoption and understanding of blockchain and its capabilities within the industry is something we worry about. A lot of people don’t understand the difference between blockchain as a technology and crypto, which is only one of the key use cases of blockchain.

We worry about the everyday hype of rising and falling cryptocurrency valuations. With more cryptocurrencies hitting the market every day, it’s becoming increasingly difficult for amateur investors to decide where to put their money.

Security is a benefit, but at the moment, if a user loses his/her blockchain private key, their entire wallet can be lost without any way to recover it.

Large financial services organizations like Bank of America file blockchain and crypto-related patents, but do not necessarily develop actual products. Our concern is that these large organizations do not plan to use the patents; rather, they could demand payouts from companies who might end up using similar technologies.

Another concern we often think about is the way in which bigger institutions have begun to adopt blockchain and cryptocurrencies. We fear that banks and governments may begin to regulate the industry more, thereby making it more difficult to streamline financial transactions on a global scale.

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

Several blockchain projects use their solutions to provide assistance to countries that are lacking infrastructure.

At ShelterZoom, we are collaborating with the Chamber of Real Estate in one of the South American countries to help improve transparency and minimize fraud by bringing their real estate buying, selling and renting onto our platform. It is expected that other countries in South America and other parts of the world will also come on board to use ShelterZoom to address similar issues.

As you know there are not many women in your industry. Can you share 3 thing that you would advise to other women in the blockchain space to thrive?

I have worked in a male-dominated industry throughout my career. So it really does not concern me.

I think women in the blockchain industry should view this as an opportunity to shine through as industry leaders. It is still a very young industry. Opportunities are vast for women who want to pursue this career path and become pioneers.

The best thing is not to worry which gender has more representation in blockchain. Don’t get intimidated, even you are the only woman on a blockchain project. Male colleagues are supportive. They respect women who are confident and competent.

Can you advise what is needed to engage more women into the blockchain industry?

There are several females on our technical team at ShelterZoom. They do a great job and are great communicators. They are responsible and thorough. They add a lot of value to our company. If every blockchain project fosters an environment for female blockchain talent to develop and shine, more and more women will join the industry and enjoy this profession.

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

The first half of my life, I thought I should be successful. The second half of my life, I discovered why I should be significant.”

Being successful is a personal end. Being significant is holistic and transcending.

I believe blockchain technology can defragment opportunities, unlock hidden human potential and avail itself where opportunities are nonexistent.

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. 🙂

Restore Freedom Movement

At the moment, everything we do online, every message we send and every phone call we make are centrally controlled and stored. There is no real privacy. When there is no privacy, there is no freedom.

Imagine if we use blockchain for all these activities; we would no longer need to worry about privacy. We would know that there is no “big brother” watching everything we do. We could restore the freedom we have lost as a result of the digital era.

How can our readers follow you on social media?

Readers can find us and join the conversation on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn, Telegram and YouTube.

Facebook — @ShelterZoomApp

Twitter — @shelterzoom

Instagram — shelterzoom

LinkedIn — ShelterZoom

Telegram — ShelterZoom

YouTube — ShelterZoom Corp.

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

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