Nasdaq Women in Technology: Eva Gartner, Bitstamp

As the Head of Corporate Development at Bitstamp, Eva Gartner sat down with us to answer some questions about her role, the challenges she has experienced in her career, and her advice to people interested in getting involved in the cryptocurrency and technology space. 

Please tell us about yourself and your role at Bitstamp.

I am the Head of the Corporate Development team at Bitstamp, the world’s longest-running cryptocurrency exchange, which has been operating since 2011. I am responsible for strategic investments and acquisitions for Bitstamp globally. I also drive key partnership discussions related to new product launches that tie into strategic investments and acquisitions, data provision services, prime service offerings, and partnerships without technical integrations. Lastly, I oversee potential fundraising and mergers and acquisitions discussions.

How did you become involved in the digital assets space?

I have always been interested in complex mathematical problems, so I went into financial mathematics, which has helped me solve real-world challenges. I heard about Bitcoin for the first time in early 2016 and was immediately attracted by the ingenious design and cryptography behind Bitcoin – introducing something new that could potentially change the world as we know it. I knew I wanted to be a part of this. At the time, I was lucky enough to live in Kranj, Slovenia, where Bitstamp was originally founded. I was eager to get involved in this new industry, so I reached out to the Bitstamp team (a dozen people at the time) and was hired in 2017 as the Head of Business Intelligence.  

How has technology influenced your role at Bitstamp?

Technology is an important part of everything in crypto, including Bitstamp. As an exchange, technology is at the core of our company’s DNA since a significant amount of work we do revolves around smooth order execution and technological improvements. This enables access to new technology and innovative assets.  

Technology also shaped my first role at Bitstamp when I established the Business Intelligence team when I joined. Having that experience in mind, I can confidently say people oftentimes take seamless technology for granted. When I joined Bitstamp, the company was extremely small, with around 30 employees, and there was no such thing as an analytical database. As a small company, we only had key information stored in simple tables and spreadsheets in excel, but as volumes started picking up in 2017, everything started crashing. I was in a position where I needed to quickly establish an analytical database and automate several processes, including report generation. It was not an easy period since I had limited experience in this field; however, it was very rewarding. I adapted to a fast-paced work environment and hired some of the most influential employees that have shaped Bitstamp into the company it is today. 

At the same time, technology has also significantly impacted my day-to-day life. During and after the global pandemic, a new way of working was introduced, and remote work became the new normal. It is fascinating how easy it has become to work for various companies from almost anywhere. I believe this is important for every company since the right talent for any role will not be compromised due to location, which ultimately unlocks great possibilities for the many people living outside global financial centers. 

Throughout your career, what challenges have you been presented with that you’ve had to overcome?

The biggest challenge one can have in crypto is that there are too few hours in a day. This was especially prevalent when Bitstamp was in its early days and growing significantly. For the past six years, there have been significant amounts of work, and each day the “to-do” lists grow longer. 

One of my biggest challenges is being a perfectionist. I have managed to overcome this challenge (and still struggle sometimes) by constantly improving different processes and workflows, dedicating significant time to my team members’ growth, and helping drive efficiency. I am a strong advocate of doing things as efficiently as possible at every step of the way. I always question how something could be done differently and reflect on “what could have been done better,” not looking at any process as “we have always done it that way.” My biggest takeaway from such a high-pressure job is that one learns to prioritize tasks and simply accept that some things need to wait. 

What advice would you give to people who are interested in working in the crypto industry or desire to have a role in the technology sector? 

My advice is that if you want to learn about crypto trading and investments, you should start trading and investing your own money. If you want to learn about new protocols or specific assets, I recommend joining developer communities. Lastly, if you are interested in staying up to date on new trends, follow key leaders from your favorite and most interesting segment of crypto on LinkedIn or Twitter. A great way to help you dive into crypto is also reading Bitstamp blogs, as it covers all the basics you need to know. Some good research out there is also covered by reputable companies such as Kaiko, Nansen, and The Block.

There is no time like the present, and there are many ways to learn and enter the crypto space; you just need to get started. 

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