Does Crypto Have a Gender Inequality Issue? Yes, But It’s Complicated

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According to a recent survey by CNBC and Acorn, more than two-thirds of U.S. cryptocurrency investors are men, and about 60% are white. This gender gap is much broader than other financial industry fields such as stocks and securities. 

But why? Are women more conservative with their finances? Or, is there a much larger problem at stake?

After researching various topics, studies, and events, I found some interesting information…

  • Outside studies have found that women are not as confident as men when it comes to investing, although women investors tend to see better returns than their male counterparts.

  • Women of all races are equally likely to say no one ever taught them about investing (28% among all women). However, Black and Hispanic women still have lower investing rates relative to white women. 

  • When combining gender and race, the cryptocurrency space looks much like some of those more buttoned-up financial verticals: just 19% of cryptocurrency investors are white women, and only 4% are black women.

  • In 2020, Coinbase made headlines for treating female employees unfairly. The data, recently obtained by The New York Times, indicated that women at Coinbase were paid an average of $13,000, or 8 percent, less than men at comparable jobs and ranks. The data was also unequal for the 16 salaried black employees, showing payment of $11,500, or 7 percent, less than all other employees in similar jobs.

  • DateCoin, the dating service that uses artificial intelligence algorithms based on blockchain use, launched an advertisement saying “Girls and Money” with a woman seductively posing on a couch with the words “Touch my ICO” written underneath.

Who’s To Blame?

The main point of cryptocurrency is to fix the problems of traditional currencies by putting the power and responsibility in the currency holders’ hands. The lack of central authority in cryptocurrency is the fundamental reason governments and institutions are afraid of it. 

Underrepresented minorities in the United States have realized the necessity of finding an alternative instead of relying on a financial system that doesn’t promote equal interests and opportunities. Since the very beginning, cryptocurrency, like other investment vehicles, has been criticized for being a “bro’s world”—a culture that excludes and threatens women who enter the new world of investment. 

In my opinion, cryptocurrency is the solution to financial exclusion — if an imperfect one at present. Users are not obligated, at least at this stage, to reveal their name or gender. Even the “developer” of Bitcoin, “Satoshi Nakamoto,” is gender-anonymous. Due to the many anonymous users in the crypto industry, it is also hard to estimate how wide the gender gap truly is.

Is the Gender Gap Worsening?

Fortunately, the opposite! A growing number of female artists, investors, and collectors are embracing blockchain technology and bridging the gender gap. And according to crypto exchange Gemini, 41.6% of previous or current crypto investors are women, and this number continues to grow.

Closing Thoughts

Educational institutions, medical institutions, political institutions, corporations — they are the ones with inequality issues. Changes need to be made from uneven access to education, lack of employment equality, job segregation, lack of legal protection, lower-quality medical care, and societal mindsets. They could learn something from the blockchain and cryptocurrency space. 

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