Elissa Shevinsky: Intro to Cryptocurrencies (Ep. 121)

techpolicypodcast_washingtech_Elissa Shevinsky


Elissa Shevinsky (@ElissaBeth) is a successful serial entrepreneur, focusing on cybersecurity and cryptocurrency companies. An early employee at Geekcorps (acquired) and Everyday Health (IPO) she was most recently Head of Product at Brave. Shevinsky is also the author of “Lean Out: The Struggle for Gender Equality in Tech and Startup Culture.”  Little known fact: her first job out of college was as a lobbyist in DC, working to protect the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge.


Lean Out: The Struggle for Gender Equality in Tech and Start-Up Culture by Elissa Shevinsky (OR Books: 2015)

Mastering Bitcoin: Programming the Open BlockChain by Andreas Antonopoulos (O’Reilly Media: 2017)

Mastering Ethereum by Andreas Antonopoulous (O’Reilly Media: forthcoming, 2018)

News Roundup

Online sex trafficking bill has 60 votes

The Senate bill to combat online sex trafficking has the 60 votes it needs to prevent a filibuster. The bipartisan bill, which met initial resistance and then acceptance by large tech companies, seeks to limit an exception in the Communications Decency Act that shields web hosts from liability for illegal content, such as prostitution ads, posted by third parties. The Senate bill would eliminate the exception for websites that knowingly facilitate sex trafficking. Ben Brody has more in Bloomberg.

Apple announces security flaws

Apple announced last week that all Mac and iOS devices are susceptible to processing system flaws called Spectre and Meltdown. Apple said that, to avoid the possibility of hackers exploiting these vulnerabilities, consumers should avoid downloading anything from anyone other than trusted sources. Selena Larson reports for CNN.

Effort to overturn FCC’s repeal of net neutrality gains first Republican supporter

Senator Ed Markey’s effort to overturn the FCC’s reversal of the 2015 open internet rules gained its first Republican supporter this week: Senator Susan Collins from Maine. Markey’s resolution could now pass the Senate with just one more Republican vote. On Monday, Democrat Claire McCaskill joined the list of the bill’s sponsors, bringing the total number of sponsors to 30. John Brodkin has the story in Ars Technica.

CEOs urge Congress to protect DREAMERS

With the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) set to expire on March 5th, more than 100 American CEOs sent a joint letter to Congress urging it to pass a bill to allow Dreamers–the children of undocumented immigrants who brought them to the U.S.–to remain in the country. The CEOs, who represented companies as diverse as Google, Apple, Best Buy, Levi Strauss, Facebook, Target, Verizon, Visa and others wrote that the impending expiration of DACA is a crisis. Harper Neidig has the story in the Hill.

The Internet Association will sue the FCC over net neutrality

The Internet Association–the trade group that represents major tech companies such as Google, Netflix, Facebook and others–announced last week that it would be suing the Federal Communications Commission over its repeal of the 2015 net neutrality rules.

Fired Google memo writer sues the company

James Damore–the fired Google employee who wrote a controversial memo that played into stereotypes about women, sued Google for treating employees with conservative political views differently from the way it treated liberals working at the company. Harper Neidig reports in the Hill.

Pew: Half of Women in STEM jobs experience discrimination

Half of women in STEM jobs experience gender-based discrimination at work, according to a new Pew survey. Some 50 percent of women in STEM fields reported that they had been victims of discrimination, compared to 41 percent of women in non-STEM jobs. Cary Funk and Kim Parker wrote the report for Pew.

VTech settles with FTC for $650,000

Children’s electronic toy maker VTech settled with the Federal Trade Commission for $650,000 on Monday. The FTC alleged that the company had collected kids’ private information without the consent of their parents, and then failed to secure the information against hackers.

White House sent Car nomination to Congress

The White House has nominated Brendan Carr to a five-year term as a Federal Communications Commission Commissioner. Carr’s current term expires in June.