The male-dominated cryptocurrency industry could provide more employment opportunities for women
The Bitcoin (BTC) fund operator Grayscale published the results of a study that showed 43% of respondents interested in BTC investments turned out to be women. Today, half employees are female — and in India, women make up the majority of crypto investors. Women in blockchain could have more participation and receives opportunities as the industry becomes more mature and acceptance of decentralized finance grows.
A large percentage of women in blockchain believe that financial independence is of utmost importance to them. Yet if we look around the cryptocurrency space, women comprise a small percentage of the crypto space. For example, the survey reports suggest, that women form merely 15% of their user base.
Why do women stay away from crypto?
There are many speculations as to why cryptocurrency remains predominantly male. Cryptocurrency is generally looked at from two angles – tech and finance. Women in technology and finance are often overlooked and underrepresented. Some also believe that these two fields are predominantly male.
Another theory is that women are risk-averse when it comes to investments. Since cryptocurrency is known for volatility, women tend to stick to traditional investments.
However, that’s not just it. A study reveals that more female investors (76%) than male investors (52%) confessed that they lack the familiarity of this new asset class. Women do not invest because they are not exposed to the asset class. On the other hand, women are interested in financial products that make sense to them.
While no one is stopping women from investing in crypto, little was done to encourage them until lately.
Not just a ‘Boys club’ anymore:
The year 2020 was phenomenal for the crypto space in India. After the Supreme Court clarified the legality of the asset class, it saw a steady rise in women investors entering the field. The cryptocurrency platform witnessed a whopping 1000% increase in its number of women user registrations in the past year.
Across the globe, more women are seen to show interest in this new asset class. According to a study, women are more willing to make investment decisions based on the education provided in the asset class. Interestingly, 93% of women have stated that they would be more open to investing in cryptocurrency if they were better educated on the subject.
Contrary to the popular sentiment, cryptocurrency isn’t just for men. Let’s take Uma, a CoinSwitch Kuber user; she states that her first-ever investment experience started with cryptocurrencies. Another crypto investor Chaitra claims that cryptocurrency investments helped her pay off her education loans. These testimonials stand as proof that more modern women are open to exploring cryptocurrencies nowadays.
The number of women in crypto is growing:
However, in the world of blockchain, there have been more and more women mastering new professions: investors, traders, analysts, developers, journalists and even heads of companies.
Notably, few people know that there are now more women holding leadership positions in the blockchain and crypto industry than in Silicon Valley. Leading crypto companies such as Bancor and Binance are clear proof of this, with 40%–50% of employees being women — and perhaps the latter’s success is indeed partially due to this fact.
Many of today’s projects created by women are not only competitive with those created by men but also can outperform their peers. The implementation of the well-known Lighting Network protocol was made possible by its founder, Elizabeth Stark. Key decisions at Coinbase are made not only by Brian Armstrong but also by Katherine Hawn, a member of the company’s board of directors. Also, the chief operating officer of ConsenSys is Carolyn Reckhou.
The data confirms that the Wild West is slowly but surely acquiring a female face — the number of women in blockchain technology has grown from 8% to 12% in the past two years. This includes bad projects as well, as the infamous scam project OneCoin — which reportedly raised 4 billion euros — was founded by Ruzha Ignatova.
Women make blockchain technology more accessible to other women and men don’t mind:
More and more women are following the example developing countries, for women in blockchain is a great opportunity to gain financial independence. In Uganda, for instance, Tricia Martinez launched the Wala blockchain platform, which allows women to quickly and easily transfer small amounts of money. In another developing country, Afghanistan, Roya Mahboob and Fereshteh Forough launched Women’s Annex, offering women the opportunity to write blogs and earn cryptocurrency from advertising. Kristin Boggiano, a co-founder of the Digital Asset Regulatory and Legal Alliance (DARLA), believes that the technological revolution in the digital economy is excellent for women,
Another woman in blockchain, Singapore-based Yuree Hong, managed to raise the number of female speakers at her conference, S/HE Blockchainers Asia, to 30%–40%. Hong explained that having female speakers encouraged other women to participate.
A lack of knowledge of cryptocurrencies among women is also among the reasons why men prevail in the market. As such, payment company Circle believes that accessible educational resources will help increase the number of women in the blockchain market.
Blockchain was supposed to bring equal opportunities to everyone around the world. At least that’s what Satoshi Nakamoto, the creator of Bitcoin, intended to achieve. And while the hierarchy has not yet been built, there is a chance to build it in such a way that gives people more freedom to choose which position they want to take in the market — and it does not matter whether they’re men or women.