Women in Cryptocurrency: How to overcome the barriers-to-entry

MARISSA HAYDEN
Content Producer · 9 March 2021

By Independent Reserve

The reason why there are fewer women investing in crypto is multifaceted, with many barriers to entry closely overlapping and thus making it difficult to point out any one issue that can be easily addressed.

We spoke to two women in the crypto space to get their thoughts on why the community seems to be dominated by men and how they are trying to overcome this.

What barriers to entry are there for female cryptocurrency investors?

It would be remiss to not state the obvious. When you search for crypto related videos, blogs or discussions on Twitter, you can instantly see that the discussion is dominated by men.

As Karen Cohen, Deputy Chair of Blockchain Australia, noted “We are what we see, if we don’t put women at the front of our advertising and promotions and include them in events and panels, women will continue to feel that they aren’t part of the cryptocurrency and blockchain industry.”

There’s a perception of crypto being a man’s world

“We know that interest in Bitcoin initially emerged from communities that have traditionally had a high concentration of men, such as programmers and cryptographers. However, digital assets are truly multidisciplinary,” said Chloe White, Nation Blockchain Roadmap Lead at the Department of Industry, Science, Energy and Resources.

“The subject matter spans finance and computer science along with law and the social sciences, and it increasingly attracts a broad range of individuals including humanitarians, futurists, educators and even artists.”

“Sharing the work of female leaders and innovators is a great way to show that the industry is full of talented women. For example – Elizabeth Stark, Caitlin Long and Lyn Alden are all incredible trailblazers helping to push the global industry forward, by tackling technology development, policy innovation and investment analysis, respectively.” Chloe White added.

Could the risks associated with crypto deter female investors?

The perceived association with risk is expressed by both men and women. However, according to Pew Research “More men than women use the internet for some less predictable and even more risky transactions, such as doing auctions or trading stocks.” Naturally, Bitcoin and cryptocurrency would be perceived even riskier because of the industry’s infancy and well-reported price fluctuations.

It is reflected in our own user base. While we, at the Independent Reserve, do not collect gender details of our customers – our customer support team that deals with new registrations have confirmed more men registering as customers than women.

But, things are changing

We will see more women joining the crypto ecosystem. There are three reasons why:

  1. We’re already seeing increasingly more women joining our exchange. Using Google Analytics data, the ratio between men and women is closing, moreover, women are converting at a higher rate than men.
  2. It’s still early days for the blockchain and cryptocurrency space, in our opinion. So, if we continue to progress through the lifecycle of technology adoption the closing of the gender gap will likely occur.
  3. The face of the crypto community, be it online or offline is changing. We’re seeing more women heading companies and community initiatives in the crypto space. This will inevitably encourage more women into the space.

What actions can the community take to encourage more female investors?

Advice from Chloe White:
Men often ask me why more women aren’t interested in Bitcoin and digital assets. I tend to ask them this question in response: who first told you about Bitcoin, and in your daily life, who do you find yourself discussing crypto with? Answers often reveal that men tend to raise this subject matter with other men, far more than they do with women, and I believe that this tendency makes a significant difference to the gender balance at community meetups, in online forums, and to the shape of the industry as a whole.

I have always had an interest in finance, but if it weren’t for a few men in my life who encouraged me to dig deeper into the strange world of “magic internet money,” I doubt that I would have ended up developing such a strong passion for what I do. So, if you would like to see more women enter the space, start at home. Talk to your partners, friends, family and work colleagues. Bring them along to the meetups and show them the technology. The onus is on all of us – not just women – to be conscious about who we choose to share our knowledge with.

Advice from Karen Cohen
We need to make new people welcome, invite them to meetups, encourage them to ask questions without making them feel “stupid”. Mentor more women and the older generation help them buy and sell their first crypto.

Women in Blockchain run regular inclusive meetups to build more women in the space and to make space for introductory questions and answers. We invite all males and females to attend our events and learn more.

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The Crypto Community

It can be intimidating for some women to participate in male-dominated industries or communities, such as cryptocurrency. While there’s an increasing number of events aimed specifically at women and introducing them to cryptocurrency and blockchain space – most may not be aware of them or may find it difficult to attend.

If you are interested in attending a women’s cryptocurrency event, check out these meetup groups held in different cities across Australia:

Cover image: GaudiLab (Shutterstock.com)

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About Independent Reserve

Established in 2013, Independent Reserve is one of Australia’s trusted cryptocurrency order book exchange and OTC trading desk. Over 170,000 customers from Australia, New Zealand and Singapore trust Independent Reserve to easily buy and sell Bitcoin, Ethereum, XRP and other major cryptocurrencies. Independent Reserve offers a range of innovative features, including insurance on crypto assets, AutoTrader, KPMG tax estimator, API integration and world-class security.


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