Study shows women in developing nations turning to crypto for financial independence
In developed regions, gender breakdown is heavily skewed towards males, including the UK (35% female), United States (32%) and Australia (27%).
Developing countries are much more gender-balanced, with Israel, Indonesia and Nigeria containing more female crypto investors than males.
There are less diverse options for women to pursue financial independence in the developing world, potentially a reason for the higher female crypto adoption
France the most gender-neutral developed nation, but still has only 45% female investors
35% of crypto investors globally are female, which is overall stronger than the 26% seen across the global investment universe
The crypto bear market is in full flow, with pockets emptying everywhere. I wanted to change up the constant price-watching (in any case, nearly all cryptocurrency apps are constantly showing red on my screen these days), so I took a dive into a different kind of data for CoinJournal - that being the gender breakdown of cryptocurrency.
The traditional finance industry at large has historically suffered from a very lopsided gender makeup, often tarnished as a male-dominated testosterone den, with the prevailing assumption often that crypto is unfortunately the same. With blind optimism that crypto could be better, however, I dived into the statistics.
The results were actually fascinating (they were, I promise!). Using this survey from Gemini, amid other data sources, I looked to ascertain whether crypto is an improvement on traditional finance regarding female representation.
Developed countries display poor female representation
The bad news first. In several of the biggest crypto-owning countries worldwide: the UK, USA and Germany - only about one-third of crypto owners are female. And that’s not even the worst - women make up only 27% of crypto investors in Australia, while I don’t know what to say about Denmark, where only 18% of investors are female.
As the above graph shows, the data is a little better in France, but still short of an even split at 45%. But expanding the sample set, something jumps out immediately - thankfully, developing nations boast far higher female representation rates.
Developing nations much more gender-neutral
According to a report by BrokerChooser, in terms of overall investing (not just crypto), males outnumber females in every single country on planet Earth, with the global split at 76% male investors to 24% female investors (yellow bar in below graph).
In looking at the above graph of developed nations, the situation is better in crypto, however there is very clearly still a gender problem, as the aforementioned one-third mark that most countries hover around is well short of parity.
Where it gets interesting is when the analysis is expanded to developing nations. Israel, Indonesia and Nigeria leads the way, with the trio having more female than male crypto investors.
In fact, except for the United Arab Emirates (32%), all of the developing nations in the subset come in above the global average of 35% women, while the global average across all asset classes is even lower at 26% (yellow bars above). Indeed, this latter comparison of global averages shows that cryptocurrency overall is more gender-neutral than investing across all asset classes globally (35% vs 26%).
Layering in these averages on the graph for developing nations below shows how the latter is bringing the cryptocurrency average up, rather than the developed world.
Why developing nations are more gender-neutral
The outperformance of the developing world in terms of gender equality could be the reason that women in developed countries have diverse options to be financially independent, whereas in the developing world this is not the case. Cryptocurrency thus provides an easier route into the financial world when conventional options such as brokerage accounts, robo-advisor accounts and even bank accounts are far more inaccessible.
It’s a much-preached line from crypto enthusiasts: that it creates a more accessible and democratic financial system compared to traditional finance. This is often followed up by pointing to countries with corrupt governments and weak payment rails as those who will reap the most benefit. But the above data and theory suggest that women in countries who face systemic challenges to accessing financial assets could also be well served by the emergence of cryptocurrency.
Of course, there is a long way to go, but the data shows that this is at least one area where cryptocurrency has broken clear of traditional finance, if only in the developing world.