Women & Crypto
A reflection of a woman who just started in this universe and is already captivated but also concerned for the future of crypto
“I’ll never be good at numbers”.
That’s what I used to tell myself – or other people used to tell me.
I really don’t know what came first, but one thing is certain: I never once considered dealing with subjects such as investments, payments, economy or even technology when I was a young girl.
The famous ‘STEM’ (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) was out of the question for me.
My passion for literature and arts drove me even further away from finance as the years went by – even though it wasn’t supposed to, because, hey, math is in everything, like I would find out later.
And that reality is not only mine.
A study made in 2018 by Microsoft in partnership with KRC Research revealed that girls actually lose interest in STEM as they get older.
While in middle school, 61% of the girls participating in the study said that they felt more powerful doing STEM, in high school this percentage decreased to 59%.
And look how the idea I had back in the 90s matches with the girls now: most of them consider themselves creative and want to do something to change the world, but very few of them associate a STEM career in order to do so.
I relate to that so very much.
Well, at least I used to…
My vision started to change when I did a fast course on Electronic Music Production. I always wanted to be a DJ, so once I finished my graduation in journalism, I packed my bags and traveled to Sao Paulo to learn how to be one ‘properly’.
Little did I know that I would have so much contact with math, engineering and all that leads to technology every single day.
From mixing channels of a track, to dealing with decibels, different waveforms, to tones and semitones of a keyboard, or even how to make a harmony or read a music sheet.
Music is math and feelings mixed together. That was my first big lesson.
Apart from the shock, I have to tell you: the feeling of empowerment is real. Once I started to understand and put that knowledge in practice, I said:
“I can really do this. This is awesome. Now, I get it”.
The boys club
Sometimes stereotypes are real. Another consequence of getting to know the universe of technology was really starting to be a part of a boys’ club.
At first, the feeling kinda fools you. Makes you feel special – after all, you are one of three girls in the 30 student’s class. But then, you start to ask yourself: “why are there no more girls here?”. And when the first girl quits, the question gets louder in your head.
Don’t take me wrong - I am no stranger to boys’ clubs.
I’ve been part of those all my life, because I always enjoyed subjects that were ‘boys stuff’.
And then we have the first major issue: the “gender rules”.
The Microsoft/KRC Research study also stated that girls mention the lack of representation as one of the main reasons that they get disinterested in STEM subjects.
Then came Crypto
The world is indeed a funny place. I tried to run away from numbers, but they chased me like a hungry cheetah in the wild.
Once I started working with corporate marketing, an investment company hired me to make their marketing and communications strategies.
I got on board because – well, mostly because I needed the job, but also because I figured it would be a good challenge.
Just a few days in I saw it was deeper than I thought. As their marketing manager I had to really know the things they were talking about (obviously), so I started to study more stocks, financial contracts, funds, etc.
And then came crypto – or better yet, Klever.
Klever hired me for a very noble and cool job: to be a content writer and producer for them.
- But I know little or nothing of crypto and blockchain – I said, with a hint of fear.
- No matter. We liked your writing, your experiences and you as a professional. You match our company values. There are no mistakes here, only lessons. And you will learn everything with us – they said.
Pretty awesome. And here I am. Three months later and I am fascinated about this universe that I got into.
First appearances stick with you, right? So, my first ones about the ‘crypto-verse’:
Definitely a boy’s club. But they are willing to embrace women in that journey as well. At Klever, all the time. In the ‘crypto-verse’? Most of the time.
Revolutionary. The decentralization system is mind-blowing. It gives you a sense of real independence and the notion that the power really can be with the people if they want to.
It’s plural. We have people from all around the world with different backgrounds, ethnicity, religion and sexual orientation. The good thing about technology and computers is that even though people behind the machines can sometimes be ignorant, the technology itself has no prejudice – if you study hard and know how to do it, you’ll probably succeed.
It’s only the beginning. It’s like you are starting to see the sunrise with its first amber lights hit your eyes. You start to see. Can’t see the full picture yet, but you know it’s coming and when it does, it will change the way everyone sees everything.
Women in crypto
Nothing better to base our assumptions on than research, right?
Back in October 2020, Grayscale did one with U.S. investorsregarding the profile and tendencies of the people who were investing in Bitcoin. A bit earlier in the same year, CoinMarketCap did a research amongst their users as well.
The results were really optimistic women-wise even though it was plain to see that we have some ground to cover yet.
Let’s talk numbers, shall we? (Now that I am not afraid of them anymore).
There really is a growing interest of investors to put their money in Bitcoin - 55% percent in 2020 versus 39% in 2019. A large step and, yes, Covid-19 had something to do with it: 63% of those investors said that the Corona pandemic influenced their decision to invest in crypto.
The majority of them, regardless of their gender, have a Graduation degree: 29% against 22% undergraduate students and 17% with no degree.
Of the 23% of U.S. investors that already had their hands on Bitcoin, twice as many were male than female.
On the other hand, female users of CoinMarketCap grew to 43.24% of the subjects.
Even though the Americas and European regions grew more than 50% in female users, there was an exceptional growth of more than 80% by countries including Colombia, Venezuela, Romania, Greece, Argentina and several others to CoinMarketCap.
Those are just a few numbers that caught attention between the two studies.
Other major conclusions with both of them were that matters of security and trust are big for female investors: 66% of women interested in Bitcoin would be more open to investing if they could see evidence of a strong performance track record, according to Grayscale’s research.
It can be scary but it’s ok
For me, personally, before I got to know more about cryptos in general, the “lack of regulation” was really an issue. I could say that I needed rules, boundaries and limitations to work with very clearly, otherwise I wouldn’t get on board.
One can say that the concept of true “freedom” kind of scared me.
And one might be right.
Maybe - and there’s no study to prove my idea - the complete notion that ‘it is all my hands’ was a little frightening. Knowing that no one would prevent me from the fall because the risk was mine and mine alone was a bit tricky to absorb at first.
Was I too protected from falling since I was a kid? Was I educated to take hard falls and get straight up once I did?
Perhaps I’m getting too philosophical, but if I had one advice with this it would be:
Moms and dads, make sure your girls take risks. Let’em “gamble” with life a little bit and show them exactly what’s at stake so they can make conscious decisions.
Well, what do we get from this “much more reflection rather than article”?
It’s cultural. It’s educational. It’s a matter of growth and survival.
We all want the crypto community to grow in order to bring more value to the assets and services provided by its technology, right? But, if we exclude 49% of the world population, what kind of growth do we expect to have?
We have to bring more women to the club. They have to know it’s for them as well. We are way past 3rd grade and we need to get mature about things.
Guys: let’s be more welcoming with women.
It’s not about teaching, it’s about learning together and sharing knowledge. We are not “math-disabled”, we were just told that it was not for us for many years. Like I said, we are past middle school years and we need everyone - I mean everyone - to make this ‘crypto-verse’ stronger.
Companies: Keep talking to women directly and show them they are an important part of this universe and blockchain ecosystem. Put women in charge if you can and let them talk. Representation matters and the numbers corroborate it.
Crypto is not a boy club, not a secret brotherhood nor even a frat-house. Crypto needs everybody on board and I’ve already marked my seat.
Regards from a fellow crypto-fan,