How women think about crypto in 5 charts
Bitcoin lost 7% of its value in 25 minutes on Monday evening. It may be the best-performing asset of the past 10 years, but it’s not for the faint of heart.
For all the innovation mushrooming on the blockchain and the many financial institutions paving the way into the digital asset realm, crypto is still a new asset class—and a highly volatile one. Crypto investors make up only a small fraction of the broader financial market. And most of them are male.
About a quarter of Robinhood’s crypto investors are women. CNBC research shows that twice as many men say they invest in crypto as women.
The markets at large have always had a diversity problem, and the programming and gaming-heavy world of crypto isn’t any different—despite an army of women and crypto execs at the forefront of policy, regulation, innovation, and art.
Blockchain enthusiasts tout crypto as a means to welcome those who have been historically excluded and underrepresented from finance into the fold. “We kind of have a moment in time to redefine who gets to play in this space,” says Flori Marquez, cofounder and COO of crypto fintech BlockFi.
Nearly all women (94%) are at least somewhat familiar with cryptocurrencies, and half of women expect Bitcoin’s value to go up over the next five years, according to a new BlockFi study that queried more than 1,000 women on their perceptions over cryptocurrency and its investment opportunity. Women may be bullish, but they’re not necessarily ready to jump into the volatility or sure how to get started.
Here’s what we know, in five charts:
Women are bullish on crypto: Half of them think that Bitcoin will go up in value over the next five years, with 16% of women reporting that it will go up substantially. Even so, few women (only 13%) say it’s a good investment, though nearly half are interested in learning more about it.
A barrier to women—and everyone, for that matter—is that cryptocurrency has a learning curve. Marquez says crypto companies have a “long way to go” to simplify and explain crypto to the everyday individual. “My main goal is for me to be able to get my mom to use [the BlockFi] app without her having to call me,” she says.
One of the top hurdles women report for getting into crypto is that they don’t know how to start or how to go about purchasing it. Marquez says that women tend to be more attracted to financial products they’re already familiar with.
Women are turning to their own social circles as well as social media for financial advice—whether or not it’s necessarily good advice. That may stem from women being uncomfortable going to a professional with their initial questions and “instead rely on friends and family,” Marquez says.
Women are more familiar with Doge than they are with some of the other more popular cryptocurrencies—which is a testament to where individuals are going to source information about crypto, according to Marquez. A positive side to social media is that it has drawn new demographics into investing and financial conversations. That’s “a net good for society, distractions like Doge aside,” according to Marquez. “I don’t know if I necessarily love that people are making investment decisions off of memes,” she adds.
As crypto companies better focus on breaking down frictions and making crypto easier to understand, Marquez says she expects women to become more confident in crypto and step out of the sidelines—even if it’s just to invest $10 at first.
Editor’s note: An earlier version of this story misidentified the nature of the BlockFi’s business. It is a crypto fintech company.
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