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Are women the reason for the crypto ascension?

Women in crypto is for sure an interesting topic because for some reason most people think women just arrived in the cryptoverse but it isn’t the case. 

 

Hello world! 

Nowadays more and more women are coming to fields that were not seen before such as gaming and crypto. Statista showed the evolution of gender in the gaming industry from 2006 to 2020 from being a little portion to 50% of the gamers - women are now recognised as such. The same increase if not more impressive has been observed in the cryptoverse; a Gemini survey found that over 40% of the UK crypto investors are actually women. 

For the first quarter of 2020, CoinCorner, a crypto exchange revealed that the share of women was 14.7%, which represents a 47% increase. Also according to analysts, the number of women in crypto in that particular period of time grew by 43.24%. A proper gender equity draft can be seen here. 

 

FACT: Social psychology states that women are less risk taking than men and take the time to weigh risks in any actions they're about to make. Therefore, them getting started into crypto could be the go sign that everyone was waiting to invest in it.

 

The women’s club 

Although, everyone would think women just happened to start being interested in it these recent years but no. Women have been in this technical field at the very beginning of it like men. One of the inspiring women in crypto is Caitlin Long, she got introduced to Bitcoin and started being an “Bitcoin evangelist” as she calls herself from 2012, three years after its creation. She then fought to have it recognised as real assets and now Wyoming where she is from has a total of 13 blockchain enabling laws. Wyoming has become an example in the US and Long has now raised more than $5m to create a crypto bank.  

Another figure would be Abigail Johnson, CEO of Fidelity Investments, a financial assets management company with a combined total customer asset value number of $8.3 trillion. After being appointed CEO in 2014, Fidelity became the first Wall Street firms to support the cryptocurrency space and launched a Bitcoin mining operation making them unique in the history of financial services. The reason why Johnson introduced Bitcoin to her company is because of the disruption happening in the financial markets. She understood the disruption in the traditional financial markets thus decided to focus her strategy on digital assets such as Bitcoin - allowing Fidelity to be one of the first Wall Street firms to support the cryptocurrency. Johnson stated in a recent interview that the key academics have been changing in the financial sector in the last decades and people expect to pay less but also the concept of services changed and increased making people expecting more. The higher level of services being asked is not only happening in finance but most of the industries. This disruption and the technical advances need to be seen and taken care of and that is why Johnson claimed that her focus for Fidelity will be on bridging the gap between crypto and traditional finance. She is a true believer of cryptocurrency as being the future ever since its beginning and not recent years. 

The interesting thing is that these two figures are from traditional financial institutions, Long from Morgan Stanley expressed the fact that the current financial system is a ““violation of property rights”and needs to evolve. This brings us to a third innovative woman: Amber Baldet,, who worked at JP Morgan as the blockchain programme lead, also left the traditional finance to create her own decentralized blockchain company in 2017.

 

Why haven’t we seen them before? 

Elizabeth Stark, CEO and developer of the Lightning Labs pointed out the fact that women don’t want to be seen as women but more seen for their accomplishments.This can be sustained by research showing that when women are in the minority, they learn to perceive their gender as an obstacle to success. 

Recently PwC has been taking an important look into breaking the gender gap in IT and found in their study that the lack of female role models reinforce the perception that a technology career isn’t for girls. Over a quarter of female students say they’ve been put off a career in technology as it’s too male dominated. When asked whether freshly graduated girls would like to go to IT they agreed to say that only 22% of them know at least one female leader in that sector. Another finding was that females were not considering IT careers because they were not given enough information on that sector and how it involves. 

Amber Baldet has an answer to that unseen situation: women were just not publicly recognized for their work. There always have been ambitious women who were leading and shaping the blockchain industry but only to have skewed media coverage obfuscate their contributions. 

To not be recognised was one of the issues women faced but also the industry mentality. Like gaming, crypto was at the very beginning mostly male dominated and women didn’t have the same place. The problem that appeared was the misogyny and sexism going overboard causing scandals like the Gamergate or even the lack of respect for women when one of the first crypto enthusiast conferences took place in a strip club in the US. 

Bonita Wang, director of LikeCoin, confirmed that underestimation when she said that she uses a gender-neutral pen name and avatar photo to write a weekly crypto column because “People may think women are not that persuasive”. 

All of this mix gives the first rule when a woman happens to be in IT being not to say that you are a woman. 

 

Resilience is the key

Even though these obstacles showed up, women persisted and are now getting the recognition they deserve. 

Concretely what would be the next step? Encouraging women to take the step and be their own company. There are so many resources and education available nowadays. All the keys are there - women only need to grab them and open doors. 

A successful story would be Moeda: their CEO is Taynaah Reis and is a self taught developer who has built her company to facilitate the access to financing but also technical support to businesses through the Moeda Seed Program in Brazil. Moeda is similar to BitPesa , created in 2013(!) which provides blockchain services for Africa where there are also a big number of unbanked people but that is not the only similarity - their CEO and founder is Elizabeth Rossiello - another inspiring woman in crypto.

Moeda has created their own crypto exchange through a company called bitHolla offering a DIY solution to deploy a crypto exchange in less than a day. On a youtube video, they launched it live showing to everyone in the Singapore Blockchain festival how easy the blockchain technologies are. 

 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kFImtNdPEY4 

Crypto has grown closer and closer to the mainstream and Bitcoin is one of the most trendy words on Twitter. The more women are getting their hands dirty within that industry, the more crypto is getting on the spotlight.

 

Coincidence ? Maybe not after all. 

 

 

Images: SourcexSource 

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Comments: (1)

Adrian Pollard
Adrian Pollard - ISTANEX - https://istanex.com/ - Turkey 30 March, 2021, 13:59Be the first to give this comment the thumbs up 0 likes

Women getting in is the silent signal things are going mainstream.

Adriana P

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This post is from a series of posts in the group:

Women in FinTech

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