Surveys on the cryptocurrency community have revealed that less than 4% of the constituents are female, raising concern about the stark gender parity within the space.
The results on Google Analytics as shown by CoinDance indicates that females engaged in the bitcoin community are a mere 3.43%.
Information Flow on Crypto Technology
The rise of bitcoin and the cryptocurrency industry as a whole has oftentimes been compared to the genesis of the internet.
Getting acquainted with and using the web back then required some degree of technical knowledge. But with time improvements were implemented that have made the internet a lot friendlier for its users.
This is comparable to the blockchain technology when it first came to light through the bitcoin network almost a decade ago. Information on the innovation first became available on geeky tech forums and financial circles.
Coincidentally, both these fields are male-dominated. Reddit users were among the first to get acquainted with the technology, as were others on video game forums. One of the pioneering exchange digital currency platforms, Mt. Gox, was in fact initially a trading platform for a fantasy game’s playing cards but had to evolve to keep up with public demand for the currencies.
This basically illustrates the fact that early adopters of the crypto technology were drawn from traditionally male-dominated fields.
Women’s Risk Aversion
Another reason that could explain the high gender parity in the industry is a notable difference with regards to risk tolerance. Studies have shown that women investors in general tend to be a lot more cautious about where they put their money than men.
There have been numerous tales of crypto platforms getting hacked, phishing attempts at personal addresses, sending coins to wrong addresses and even losing crypto account private keys. Such reports could have created a stigma around the space that may make it seem less appealing for cautious investors.
Reasons for Optimism
But recent trends give reason for optimism that the dynamics might be changing, albeit slowly. Last year’s industry statistics show that at least four out the top 30 ICO fundraisers held during the year had female co-founders and two of them made it to the top of the charts.
One of the largest digital currency exchange platforms in the US, Coinbase, also says that up to 46% of the new recruits hired over the past year were either female or ethnically diverse.
This is a big step forward from the early days when Illiana Oris Valiente, co-founder of blockchain company Rubix, says that she was “regularly the only female in the room.” She adds, “We’re starting to see really strong females in leadership roles. They’re acting as very powerful role models, and these role models are needed to encourage other women to potentially look at this field.”
There have also been initiatives to encourage more women’s participation in the industry for instance the Women in Bitcoin events that have so far been held in San Francisco and London.