Women in Cryptocurrency
On Dec. 4, 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 of Binance’s employees are female — and in India, women make up the majority of crypto investors.
Does this mean that gender equality has come to the market? Or are cryptocurrencies and blockchain technology still a men’s business? On the eve of International Women’s Day, female representatives of the blockchain industry told Cointelegraph what attracted them to the market and which difficulties they have faced.
There is no place for women in the “Wild West”
Until 2018, the cryptocurrency industry was almost absent of women — but male crypto enthusiasts created their brotherhood with private conferences and meetups. At one such conference held in Japan in 2018, only two of the 42 participants were women. And in the United States, one conference was held at a strip club.
In general, the lack of women in the blockchain market — until 2018 — can be explained by the historical dominance of men in the tech, financial and scientific industries, whereas the number of women, although growing, is still far from being equal. In these areas, women compose 10%-30% of the total workforce.
This new financial world started out much like the old one did: male and white. In the early days of Bitcoin, for example, miners were disproportionately men who racked up much of the wealth. When it came time for these lucky few to reinvest in cryptocurrency development, the teams they built reflected the original gender disparity.
Stories of sudden wealth followed, solidifying a stereotype of what leaders in cryptocurrency looked like. “A lot of people say to me, ‘Why do you think there’s not a lot of women in Bitcoin, in blockchain?’” says Connie Gallippi, the founder of BitGive, the first nonprofit in Bitcoin. “I say, ‘Actually, there are. They’re just not given the same level of exposure or recognition.’ That’s the problem.”
Tavonia Evans, who worked in the tech industry for nearly 20 years before launching her own cryptocurrency, called $Guap, sees those women too and says they’re raising the bar because of how they’ve been held back in the past. “The crypto market is highly competitive at the moment with people fighting for influence,” she says. “The men I’ve observed vying for influence are not very tech-savvy at all. Women in tech, however, tend to overachieve, study more, and expand their expertise legitimately just so they can get in this space.”
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