Maxine Ryan is not your typical blockchain buff.
A 26-year-old college dropout, she has virtually zero formal tech training and is skeptical of the string of volatile cryptocurrencies it has spawned. In fact, five years ago Ryan was a self-confessed "newb" – tech speak for total newcomer – to the digital ledger system and, even today, she says she's no expert.
But that hasn't stopped her from turning the complex technology into a multinational payments business designed to save money for those who most need it.
Ryan is co-founder and chief operations officer of Bitspark, a blockchain-based remittance platform that allows users to send money overseas without the need for a bank account or its associated fees. Ryan and her fellow co-founder, CEO George Harrap, launched the start-up in 2014 after they met via a flatshare in Canberra, Australia and decided to find a way to put the decentralized network to good use.