The dominance of women in blockchain is growing at a faster pace to ensure the overall improvement of the blockchain landscape
At present, the advocates for blockchain technologies – who note that it could facilitate social good – are nevertheless troubled by the lack of diversity in the blockchain community. Blockchain conferences and panels consistently fail to include women as speakers. This culture caters to an emerging class of “blockchain bros” and an environment that many women find hostile and disappointing. According to some studies, women account for only 4 to 6 percent of blockchain investors.
Some have hailed the arrival of blockchain as a panacea, which will solve everything from the healthcare system to supply chain transparency. Blockchain certainly holds the potential to provide a form of leapfrog technology for women in developing countries. For example, Facebook claims that Libra, the cryptocurrency it is developing, will assist in “banking the poor” and extending financial services to those in remote areas, and beyond the reach of traditional banking services. But in reality, blockchain is just like any other new technology—its applications will only be as diverse and innovative as its creators. Unless blockchain developers address the diversity problem, these promising new technologies risk benefiting only a select few, and entrenching, rather than upending, inequality.
Until 2018, the cryptocurrency industry was almost absent of women — but male crypto enthusiasts created their brotherhood with private conferences and meetups. At one such conference held in Japan in 2018, only two of the 42 participants were women. And in the United States, one conference was held at a strip club. In general, the lack of women in the blockchain market — until 2018 — can be explained by the historical dominance of men in the tech, financial and scientific industries, whereas the number of women, although growing, is still far from being equal. In these areas, women compose 10%–30% of the total workforce. While bitcoin was initially built around encouraging financial equity, 75 percent of crypto holders are men, according to a 2021 State of U.S. Crypto report. Gender disparities have dogged the financial services industry for generations, but many people hoped that cryptocurrency would usher a new era of diversity into the world of finance.
However, in the world of blockchain, there have been more and more women mastering new professions: investors, traders, analysts, developers, journalists, and even heads of companies. Notably, few people know that there are now more women holding leadership positions in the blockchain and crypto industry than in Silicon Valley. Leading crypto companies such as Bancor and Binance are clear proof of this, with 40%–50% of employees being women — and perhaps the latter’s success is indeed partially due to this fact. The dominance of women in blockchain should grow at a faster pace to ensure the overall improvement of the blockchain landscape.
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