Women are leading the way when it comes to considering new investments in cryptocurrency, with figures doubling in the last six months, a new study has found.
The market research was conducted by London Block Exchange (LBX) – the U.K.’s only dedicated multi-cryptocurrency exchange. LBX commissioned Opinium Research LLP to carry out online research among 2,000 U.K. adults between 13th and 17th May, 2018. Previous research was undertaken from the 4th to the 7th December 2017.
The study showed that one in eight women (13 percent) are now thinking about investing in cryptocurrencies, as demand among men levels out. This is compared to just six percent at the start of the year. For the millennial audience that figures rises to one in five women (20 percent).
Interestingly, in the same time frame, the research found that interest among male investors has levelled out, with no major growth from male audiences. As a result, women are considered the ‘growth audience’ for crypto.
Nydia Zhang, co-founder and chairwoman of the Social Alpha Foundation, a not-for-profit grant making platform supporting blockchain technology for social good, said to CoinJournal that it was fantastic news that more women are getting involved in cryptocurrencies, adding that a demand for great talent has attracted more women to the space.
“There is a growing number of female professionals from other industries crossing over to the crypto space, and there are also more and more women-focused blockchain groups and events popping up in the last few months, demonstrating a growing interest in the technology,” Zhang said. “I am confident that the number of female leaders in crypto will double in the next six months.”
Shayda Frost, a successful producer and filmmaker who works between the U.K. and the U.S. is one such female investor who has turned her attention to the cryptocurrency market. Even though Frost has cash savings, which she has accumulated over the past five years, she’s started to question what she’s doing with that money. This is due to the fact that returns on traditional savings haven’t been as attractive due to historic low interest rates.
Speaking to CoinJournal, Frost explained that she has always been interested in investing, but didn’t feel she had enough knowledge to make the right investment decisions.
“I was attracted to cryptocurrency because some of my close friends (who are women) were investing in crypto late last year,” Frost said. “I was amazed to see the returns they were making, with very small investments. With the help of my housemate, I was soon investing in the top three crypto-assets and I haven’t looked back ever since.”
Differing opinions on buying crypto assets were also noted in the study. The first was that women appeared less concerned about the idea of FOMO, or fear of missing out, around their investments compared to men. The study pegged females at 9 percent to 18 percent for males, suggesting a more considered approach. Women were also more likely to take a collaborative approach to their investments in cryptocurrencies. This was shown with 17 percent of women likely to invest in the market after consulting with friends and family, compared to 11 percent for men.
Former journalist-turned-founder and director of Yap Global, a fintech PR firm, Samantha Yap, said that while the cryptocurrency industry is still a relatively niche industry, it’s one that is growing fast.
“It’s a great opportunity for women to come in and write the rules for how organisations in this space should operate – a good chance to move away from the male-dominated, hierarchical, traditional organisations that has been the norm,” she said to CoinJournal.
Even though this study paints a positive picture that more women are investing in cryptocurrencies, there still remains a common misconception that the industry is a boys’ club. For Lindsay Buescher, marketing manager at Lisk, she’s confident that gender has no influence on what attracts people to blockchain technology.
“Creating a better future for all of humanity has nothing to do with gender,” she said speaking to CoinJournal. “It has everything to do with possessing the passion and drive to innovate, regardless of whether you are a man or a woman. However, there are several female industry thought-leaders such as Meltem Demirors who are helping to bridge the gender gap.”
Citing an April 2018 article in Glamour Magazine, ‘Cryptocurrency Is Not Just a Boys’ Club,’ Buescher states that this article alone exposes up to six million female readers to this ‘game-changing technology.’ She adds that while there is a gender gap in the technology industry, both men and women have always been interested in crypto.
Frost agrees and said that one of the main reasons she was attracted to cryptocurrency is because it doesn’t have a boys’ club mentality.
“As a lot of my female friends have invested in crypto, it made it easier to get involved in the market,” she added. “We now enjoy ‘geeking out’ about investment strategies and initial coin offerings. Without the support of my friends, I never would have had the confidence to start investing.”
In the opinion of Jenna Seiden, head of content acquisition at blockchain-powered gaming distribution platform Ultra, she believes that cryptocurrency is gender neutral and that the blockchain is pseudonymous. She added that she doesn’t see that there are distinctions in what attracts women to crypto more than men, but that it is a welcoming and supportive community which focuses on its merits and applications rather than highlighting which sex is contributing and how.
“Women will continue to thrive in the crypto space as we see more women taking the main stage at conferences, lead local meetups, and be celebrated for bringing the technology into their businesses,” Seiden said. “There are already female role models in the space even for me to look up to when in the past I’ve had to search for such inspiration.”