Women of NEAR: Cate The Flying Rhino Master

Women of NEAR is a new series dedicated to highlighting the work, vision, and experiences of women’s leaders in the NEARverse. By exposing women’s contribution to the ecosystem, it aims at inspiring other women to join NEAR and enrich it with their ideas. The first episode of the series features Cate, the youngest emerging social media guru on NEAR, and leader of the Flying Rhino Guild. Her passion for people and enthusiasm transpire in whatever she does. And it’s these characteristics that made her flawlessly navigate the world of crypto and build a successful project to serve the NEAR community. Cate’s story and insights are valuable for everyone that is making her own way into the chaotic world of crypto.

Growing Up Traveling Between The US and South America

A young Cate on one of her many travels to South and Central America.

Cate is originally from Omaha, Nebraska but since she was born she has lived in five different countries in central and south America and has travelled to many more. This experience did not only make her fluent in Spanish, but it shaped her interest and world’s outlook in significant ways.

“My dad is a University professor, so growing up we moved a lot whenever he would go to another country to do research or take his students there. When I was growing up I lived in the Dominican Republic, El Salvador, Bolivia, and Peru. We also got to travel to a handful of other countries as I was growing up. I think that impacted me hugely because I got to see the third world in a lot of ways that many kids my age didn’t, and not just see it but live in it. When we would move we would not stay in rich neighborhoods or among expats. Because of my dad’s position we were more among the working class in all these countries where we stayed. This shaped me hugely, as I’ve grown a fascination with people and cultures from that experience and I’ve always loved seeing the world and my love for travel definitely came from that, also language skills as I became fluent in Spanish. And social justice and inequality.”

Growing up experiencing different cultures and seeing the difference in living standards between the US and other South American countries, made Cate develop an interest for anthropology and become interested in global issues. Since high school Cate has been involved in climate activism, an experience that built her first social media skills.

“ Growing up in my generation, technology is something we are really accustomed to. When it comes to social media, new tech, we know how to pick it up and learn it very easily. So, these two interests combined a lot throughout my life for opportunities and climate advocacy as well as being a big part of my life as well.”

Few years down the road, Cate stumbled upon crypto, finding a way to merge her interests and skills.

“I knew that the system we are in now has many fallacies and fails to address global issues, like climate change and inequality. When I later learned what crypto was, it seemed evident to me that it had the potential to initiate not only an economic but also a cultural revolution.”

Entering the World of Crypto as a Young Woman

Cate balances her life between her work in crypto, university, and travel.

In 2020, Cate was only 18 years old and got on board in her first crypto project working as a social media trainee for the 4NTs Guild. She had just discovered the world of crypto and NEAR Protocol a few months prior and running the twitter account for one of the most influential guilds really pushed her to learn fast. Cate’s dedication and talent did not pass unnoticed and she was soon reached out to be part of other projects.

“I got started in crypto when the leader of the ants guild, Ozy, asked me to do their twitter, I had social media experience but I didn’t know anything about crypto twitter, so I just jumped in and started learning about crypto. Then I kept going and I was also onboarded on the OFP project. This was very exciting to me because it’s a project that is trying to address the issue of climate change through crypto.”

Cate’s curiosity and interest in people made her develop strong connections with NEAR community members and become more enamored with the space.

“Throughout the spring I progressed into learning more about crypto and I started becoming more amazed by the NEAR community. I had the chance to talk to many people in the ecosystem and find that we shared the same ideas about the world. I feel very accepted and part of the team and part of the community more so than I have in any other job. Mainly because there is a spirit of togetherness and a kind of young rebellious undertone to everything that I really like and makes it very fun. And all these people believing in the same concept and trying to contribute to its development is very cool.”

After one year of working in crypto, Cate felt ready to step her game up and embark into a new project.

“ I found social media to be very inherent to connecting everyone and the best way to learn about new projects. So then in May I thought about starting the Flying Rhino Guild, a social media guild that helps projects in the NEAR ecosystem to deploy a social media marketing plan.”

“Crypto Cate” presenting the Flying Rhino Guild on the NEAR Guilds Wave 2 Launch livestream.

Cate became a guild leader at only 19 years old, establishing her role as the youngest media guru of the NEAR ecosystems. Outside of crypto, such a trajectory would be unimaginable for such a young person but crypto offers the possibility to realise one’s potential without being constrained by prejudice.

“ I’m younger than a lot of people and also being a woman in the space I felt more widely accepted than in previous working environments, it is quite normal in the space not to disclose your identity, so it gives you the opportunity of being evaluated on the basis of your work. But I also think that the space allows for more equality compared to other workplaces. The fact of being mainly online based creates a leveled playing field for women and men. I think that crypto is a very good space for women since it allows them to access more opportunities to be economically independent worldwide. There is much less wage gap discrimination and in general, women are not held back from participating into projects or from becoming leaders”.

According to Cate, crypto offers great opportunities to women to become independent and realise their potential while also maintaining a balance with other aspects of their life.

“Also, the fact that you have control over your money, ownership over your art, if you do NFTs, that’s really invaluable. And the flexibility that if offers can really be a game changer for working moms going forward.”

Cate’s Vision On The Development of NEAR

Cate is doing her part in boosting the presence of the NEAR Ecosystem on social media with the Flying Rhino Guild.

Cate sees the potential of crypto to revolutionise the world and is sure that NEAR will play a decisive role in creating solutions to tackle global issues.

“I think NEAR has the incredible potential to go forward. Just because of the fact that it has some of the best developers in the world, the best technology in the world in terms of blockchain. So, building out the community and having real life examples of people around the world is vital, I think the guilds help a lot with that, and I think all of these projects onboarding help a lot. There is a lot happening in NEAR and I think we could do an even better job in spending the word, because at the end of the day, what really matters is that people know about the great projects that are on NEAR. I would like to see more connections with Web2 partners as it would really help NEAR gaining visibility.”

Bridging the gap between everyday users though will be one of the hardest challenges to mass adoption, but Cate is faithful that with more community efforts this obstacle will be overcome.

“NEAR infrastructure is well positioned to achieve great things but more work needs to be done to bridge the gap between everyday Web2 users and crypto. I think that there is still a big confusion there and and I’d like to see that lessened and see a more day to day implementation of crypto and blockchain in all domains. I’d like to see crypto become a normal system of the world. And the more the community grows, the more that we work with each other, the more the big name investors see where this is going, I’m hoping that will happen in the future.”

Cate’s vision and story is a valuable account for young women getting started on crypto. Although everyone has its special path in life, being exposed to other’s experiences and thoughts can provide inspiration, comfort, and motivation to persevere in one’s endeavours. For the NEAR community in particular, these kinds of stories help see the people behind the screens and learn more about their human side and story, thus fostering a sense of community.

To read more about NEAR’s amazing women, follow me on Twitter and Medium.




Crypto scavenger and cypherpunk ally, writing on privacy, crypto projects, philosophy of technology and more.

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La Devochka

La Devochka

Crypto scavenger and cypherpunk ally, writing on privacy, crypto projects, philosophy of technology and more.

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