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Women Leading The Blockchain Revolution: “I would like to start a movement where people have to take one hour each day to focus on themselves” With Caitriona “Cat” Foley and Tyler Gallagher

I would like to start a movement where people have to take one hour each day to focus on themselves. We often neglect our physical and mental health due to our hectic schedules, but in reality, these should be our main focus. Regular exercise can have a profoundly positive impact on stress, sleep, mood, attitude, […]



I would like to start a movement where people have to take one hour each day to focus on themselves. We often neglect our physical and mental health due to our hectic schedules, but in reality, these should be our main focus. Regular exercise can have a profoundly positive impact on stress, sleep, mood, attitude, relationships and job performance.


I had the pleasure to interview Caitriona “Cat” Foley. Cat is the Director of Growth & Partnership for PolySwarm, The world’s first decentralized threat intelligence market.

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 was born and raised in Ireland but moved to Boston for college where I completed my bachelor’s degree in international business at Northeastern University. I was then hired as an Account Executive at Oracle and SAP, where I had the opportunity to work with some of the biggest brands in the country. It was clear in speaking with C-Level executives at these global enterprises that data security was one of their biggest challenges due the increasingly digital and interconnected world we live in today. In addition to data security, blockchain was another area being researched heavily by these large enterprises. There was a lot of talk about how blockchain could potentially streamline supply chain operations and speed up payments or store records. At the same time, we were witnessing a substantial increase in the amount of inbound inquiries around blockchain and its implication within enterprise environments. It was soon clear to me that the business world was starting to take this technology seriously, and it was at that moment of realization when I knew I wanted to work in this space. I wanted to bring my experience of working with large enterprises on data security strategy into the rapidly advancing blockchain arena. In search of a cybersecurity blockchain company, I was fortunate enough to find PolySwarm, the first decentralized threat intelligence marketplace.

PolySwarm’s goal is both simple and audacious: the company wants to reinvent the broken cybersecurity industry. Companies today face 90 million cyber threats each year leading to more than $3 trillion in costs and the problem is only growing, with some of the largest companies in the world getting hacked (Facebook, Equifax, Target, etc). PolySwarm will dramatically improve enterprises’ protection coverage against new threats through its decentralized threat intelligence marketplace that is crowdsourcing security experts to compete for best in class detection. PolySwarm will unlock the power of an aligned, global and diverse collection of the best and the brightest minds in the threat protection community, all while making the world more secure.

PolySwarm has raised $26M in funding and the market runs on Nectar (NCT), an ERC20-compatible utility token.

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

● We are gaining a lot of traction in the cybersecurity space — traveling and speaking at conferences globally (U.S., Tel Aviv, Tokyo, London, Amsterdam, China, India, Argentina, Taiwan, Singapore). Our tech team is in high gear integrating several engines from cybersecurity companies around the world into our marketplace, which is on track for release by this year, with the goal of having 100,000 transactions per day going through marketplace.

● We are in discussions with some of the largest cybersecurity companies and looking forward to sharing our progress in the coming weeks.

● Growing the team. We’ve recently added four additional developers, adding to our very experienced tech team who have all worked in the security industry for years.

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?

There have been so many helpful people in my life for whom I’m deeply so far who I am very thankful. In particular my parents — Mum and Dad were both successful professionals, and they taught me the importance of hard work, education and humility. It was very inspiring seeing my Mum flourish in senior executive roles at Hewlett-Packard. Because this was my “normal” when I was growing up, I didn’t feel intimidated by the lack of women when joining tech for my career. My parents really are my biggest champions.

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

Greater access to money around the world. Two billion people worldwide don’t have a bank account. Blockchain very well might be able to resolve this most basic issue, allowing people to store their money securely on the public network through a digitized identity, while also enabling fast and cheap payments.

Disintermediation of centralized power: Blockchain can remove monopoly power from centralized financial services and marketplaces.

Talent: the industry is attracting prodigious talent — developers from large tech giants are moving into the space, which is very exciting. As the hype around blockchain has quieted, smart people are now focusing on building things

Early stages: we are just at the beginning phase, and it is exciting to see how blockchain will transform different industries — how we consumers and businesses transact in the future.

Global Collaboration: there are no geographic boundaries for blockchain and cryptocurrency, so this innovation will not just be limited to Silicon Valley: it has the potential to truly change the world.

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

Security: Increasing hacks of centralized exchanges.

Scalability: Mass adoption will not happen if blockchains can’t scale.

Adoption: There is no lack of blockchain projects, but most of them still struggle with adoption at this point

Lack of Regulation Clarity: The lack of regulatory clarity could result in the U.S. falling behind other countries.

Scams: The number of sophisticated scams will grow just as blockchain does.

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

● PolySwarm is headquartered in San Juan, Puerto Rico, and we are looking to help with the country’s redevelopment after the devastation caused by Hurricane Maria. We are working with charities, such as Foundation for Puerto Rico, which promotes opportunities for social and economic development by focusing on promoting the visitor economy and transforming Puerto Rico as a destination for the world.

● We also collaborate with the University of Puerto Rico by hiring interns from their very strong computer science department. Security and blockchain are two of the hottest trends in tech, and we hope to give undergraduate students the opportunity to learn about these areas through hands on experience working with some of the best developers in the industry.

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

Build Relationships & Mentors: Surround yourself with smart people. Your network is one of your most valuable assets.

Be willing to take risks: Taking risks can be very rewarding and life changing. Don’t be afraid to make mistakes — you actually learn the most from failures.

Don’t quit: This is especially true in the startup world. If you set your mind to something, you can absolutely make it happen — patience, persistence and grit are important.

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

Creating more awareness and education will engage not only women but people all over the world. There is a lot of opportunity in this space for everyone to get involved. Having women speakers at conferences and articles like this series encourage women to join the industry and take advantage of this next wave of financial innovation.

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

Walt Disney: “All our dreams can come true, if we have the courage to pursue them.” Leaving a an established global company for a start-up was risky. I had a very comfortable, corporate job in a fortune 500 company, with a very clear career path. I could have stayed but decided to muster the courage to join a blockchain start-up. I don’t regret it for a second — I’m now loving working at a fast-paced, innovative company with huge potential.

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. 🙂

I would like to start a movement where people have to take one hour each day to focus on themselves. We often neglect our physical and mental health due to our hectic schedules, but in reality, these should be our main focus. Regular exercise can have a profoundly positive impact on stress, sleep, mood, attitude, relationships and job performance.

How can our readers follow you on social media?

LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/caitrionafoleypolyswarm/

Twitter: https://twitter.com/CatsFoley

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

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