Women in The Blockchain Network
One of the largest disruptive technologies in the world have become the blockchain technology and cryptocurrencies. This area has seen immense startup growth and investors rising interest. But a worrying trend also comes to light – the extremely high gender inequality in the sector.
The Gender Bias in Cryptocurrency and Blockchain
Women are forming only 5% to 7% of all cryptocurrency users, which makes the digital industry a highly male-dominated. This fact is proven by a brief look at the related statistics. In 2017, investors in Bitcoin witnessed wealth creation of approximately $85 billion – only $5 billion, or nearly 5.88%, of this was obtained by women. Men are representing 90% of Bitcoin users. If this group is enlarged, it is seen that only a 1.76% of the entire Bitcoin community are women.
While it is common knowledge that the tech industry has always had a lack of women, cryptocurrency seems to be male-dominated right from its roots. Its earliest adopters primarily included male PC gamers and cyberpunk community members. In fact, cryptocurrencies gained popularity through websites, forums and apps like Reddit and 4chan which are also constituted primarily of male users.
Why the Problem Persists
The gender bias problem has shown little significant improvement over time. Its origins is being male-dominated, and this industry is unappealing, or even unviable, for females. Another issue, that cryptocurrencies and blockchain are strongly driven by coders, a profession that is more often considered to be male-driven. It shows the existing imbalance in gender equality in the blockchain network.
It could be claimed that women find themselves discouraged from entering the industry due to their perceived aversion to risk. This supposed aversion could be further corroborated by scandals related to Bitcoin in its earliest stages, including the purchase of illegal drugs and the loss of $450 billion worth of Bitcoin after the collapse of Mt. Gox.
There have been developments in cryptocurrency that are changing the situation for eliminating this embalance. One of such advancements is the recently popularized ICO in the blockchain technology, or Initial Coin Offering.
How ICOs are Helping Women Join the Blockchain Network
ICOs are an example of how women can successfully overcome the gender bias in the crypto industry. The main reason for ICOs to come around was the limitation that people faced in VC funding. Although rarely explicitly stated, the truth remains that funding can be highly biased. The mettle of an executing team matters less than their pedigree. This isn’t something venture capitalists do intentionally; it is just something that happens because of a subconscious bias. The resume of a company will be the primary concern for a potential investor.
Women are able to cut through any bias that may exist with ICOs. It allows women freely to apply themselves to developing the next big startup idea without having to worry about VC funding bias. Women can raise funds with the help of ICOs, which was beyond their reach in the past, making their entry into cryptocurrency and blockchain easier.