A fast-growing crypto community wants to ensure women don’t miss out on a $100 trillion opportunity. Stars like Mila Kunis and Gwyneth Paltrow are already members.
Gorillas, snails, lions, sloths, apes: These are the faces of the Web3 universe—touted as the next iteration of the internet and built on blockchain technology.
Conspicuously missing as the face of Web3? Women.
Although the underlying technology behind the world’s first cryptocurrency, Bitcoin, was conceived by a woman, the crypto community still struggles with some degree of gender-based online harassment and has notoriously adopted a boys’ club image. Some 16% of men invest in the $1.7 trillion crypto market, compared with just 7% of women. And while women, from Coinbase COO and president Emilie Choi to investor Katie Haun, are leading the charge in the crypto space, they’re largely the exception rather than the rule.
“The whole point of Web3 is communities coming together and building culture,” says Brit Morin, who recently launched a platform aimed at narrowing crypto’s gender gap. “This is something that women know how to do best, if only they understood the potential of this world.”
Morin, a founding partner at Offline Ventures and founder of the lifestyle brand Brit + Co., is now the cofounder of BFF, an online community with a goal to make crypto accessible to women and nonbinary people. Morin’s interest in crypto dates back to 2012, when she bought a small amount of Bitcoin.
Alongside BFF cofounder and Schmidt’s Naturals founder Jaime Schmidt, Morin has taken her knowledge of crypto across platforms, helping to demystify digital currency for a Discord community of about 14,000. “If this is truly going to be a $10 to $100 trillion industry, we need women to help craft what that will look like, or else we will be left behind yet again,” she says.
While the BFF community is decentralized, it has 70 founding members, including actors Gwyneth Paltrow and Mila Kunis, Rent the Runway CEO Jennifer Hyman, Eventbrite CEO Julia Hartz, ClassPass founder Payal Kadakia, and investors Alexa von Tobel and Kara Nortman.
Members share advice on how to create crypto wallets, purchase cryptocurrencies and non-fungible tokens (NFTs), and flag crypto scams. “It’s a refreshing space where you can be open about what you don’t know, and people are eager to jump in and help,” Schmidt says.
The community has grown to 14,000 so quickly, its moderators are struggling to keep pace. “We’re working through a lot of messages right now while simultaneously building up our team to handle the volume of requests,” a moderator wrote on Discord last week. “It’s kind of a weird period where I hope you’ll all bear with us patiently.”
BFF is also driving engagement through live events and promotional giveaways. The group doled out thousands of bracelet tokens to attendees at its January launch event, and recipients will be able to exchange the tokens for a profile picture (PFP) NFT when BFF launches a collection of 10,000 in March. BFF covered gas fees, the fees paid to Ethereum miners to validate a transaction on the blockchain, which run from $50 to $100.
“A lot of the OG crypto people are so thankful for BFF,” Morin says. “Because at the end of the day, by expanding the market size of who’s participating in crypto, everyone wins.” BFF is just one of many efforts to incorporate women in the latest frontier of wealth creation—and those ape PFPs—and ensure the future of digital currency is built equitably.
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