In 2018, cryptocurrency market capitalisations were worth more than $700 million, and although market trading neared $1 trillion, only 5.5% of bitcoin investors are women. Another study by Quartz looked at crypto startups founded between 2012 and 2018, which discovered that only 8.5% had a founder or co-founder who was a woman.
Blockchain needs women to grow successfully, and women need blockchain, too.
Blockchain needs women because diversity equals success.
Women make businesses more successful at all levels. One study in 2016 found that women were 34% more successful at trading (in traditional markets) than men. Another discovered a high correlation between gender diversity in senior management and better financial performance. In the tech sector, companies with a high level of gender diversity had on average 5.4% better returns than other companies.
In general, the more diverse a company is, especially at the board level, the more likely it is to benefit from better than average profits. In fact, diverse companies are 43% more likely to return better profits.
Women bring more and different experiences and expertise to the table. That means challenges can be more successfully overcome and opportunities can be more successfully fulfilled, and just like every other company, blockchain companies can benefit from that.
Blockchain needs women to provide stability.
There is a general perception that women are less prone to engage in risky behaviour. That is why they get cheaper car insurance rates, among other things. It may be that women engage in less risky behaviour because they have less testosterone, which has been shown to make people more likely to take risks. It may be that social pressures encourage women to be more cautious.
Whatever the reasons, the perceived stability and security that women’s participation would provide would drastically improve blockchain’s legitimacy in more traditional spheres. It would make it easier for loan providers, investors and potential clients and partners to work with companies involved in blockchain if more women were in the industry, giving blockchain the benefit of their stabilizing influence.
Blockchain needs women to help it develop the right way.
Blockchain technology is truly disruptive, and like other disruptive technologies before it, it will eventually impact almost every conceivable industry. That includes industries and areas traditionally dominated by women. To make sure blockchain provides the right kind of utility, companies need women experienced with those often-overlooked industries to start shaping the technology now. That way, the technology will be built with the needs of these female-dominated industries at their very heart, instead of trying to shoehorn in an already developed technology.
Women need blockchain to keep their needs in mind.
In a related point, women need to get involved in blockchain to ensure it is built for everyone’s needs. Alena Lapukhova at MinuteHack put it this way:
AI that has been trained using data containing existing gender bias will likely cause similar problems unlikely to be properly considered by all-male teams. We are already seeing this problem manifest in small ways.Google Translate, for example, has displayed signs of gender bias. When translating the statement ‘he is a babysitter, she is a doctor’ into Turkish, a gender-neutral language, Google switched the gender association to ‘she is a babysitter, he is a doctor’ when translating back to English.This may seem trivial, but such problems are likely to become far more frequent and far more damaging as adoption of the technology increases.The same is true in blockchain. As the technology develops, it needs to scale with the interests of all of us in mind. Women stand to gain disproportionately from access to cryptocurrency and blockchain technology, and to marginalise them is to miss a tremendous opportunity.
Women in countries where they have fewer rights to their own wealth and property and women who are in controlling relationships can benefit especially from the access to a currency that is anonymous. These kinds of crucial benefits should be kept central as blockchain matures, and one of the best ways to ensure women’s needs are kept central is to have women in the company, at every level.
Women need blockchain to get in on the ground floor.
There aren’t many opportunities in this world for women to shape an industry from the beginning. With blockchain, that opportunity is available. As venture capital investor Alexia Bonatsos put it: “Women, consider crypto. Otherwise, the men are going to get all the wealth, again.”