Satoshi Nakamoto is considered a masculine name in Japan. This is the pseudonym used by the mysterious creator of Bitcoin. Many of the popular figures in today’s crypto world are also men. There’s no surprise that there is a male-centric perception of the the blockchain revolution. But all we know about Satoshi, who has never been identified, is that he created Bitcoin. Is Satoshi black or white? Is he American, European, Asian or an alien? Is Satoshi male or female?
Ilias Louis Hatzis is the Founder at Mercato Blockchain Corporation AG and a weekly columnist at DailyFintech.com.
Throughout human history, cultures around the world have celebrated women. International Women’s Day is a day to celebrate gender equality and women’s empowerment worldwide. It’s a day to recognize the extraordinary acts of women and to stand together.
While the numbers of women are relatively small in the crypto industry, Bitcoin and blockchain have a very feminine approach. Women approach solutions to problems very differently than men. Women tend to be more collaborative, inclusive and team-oriented, All of these characteristics are fundamental elements of blockchain and cryptocurrencies and are particularly effective, in today’s less-hierarchical, fast-paced, innovation-driven world.
But just like the rest of the tech sector, blockchain and cryptocurrency have been predominantly dominated by men. Women have struggled to compete in crypto’s male-dominated culture, protected by cliques like the “blockchain bros”.
Cryptocurrency combines finance and tech, two male-dominated sectors. According to the World Economic Forum, only 16% of female students graduate from science and technology subjects compared to 47% of men. Gender disparity predates blockchain. It has been prevalent in the STEM fields (science, technology, engineering, math) for decades.
So far, women have played a minor role in shaping cryptocurrency and blockchain. According to a survey by Quartz, only 8.5% of venture-backed cryptocurrency startups founded between 2012 and 2018, were founded or co-founded by a woman. In 2017, investors in Bitcoin witnessed wealth creation of approximately $85 billion, only $5 billion, or a mere 5.88%, of this was obtained by women.
Last year on its blog, Binance posted some myths about blockchain and women. I will elaborate on couple of points.
#1: Women are not interested in blockchain and cryptocurrency
The numbers have been changing. In 2018, female representation in the Bitcoin community stood at just 5% in 2018. Today it’s at 12.8%, according to recent data from CoinDance. Also a report published late in 2019, by Bitcoin fund Grayscale Investments, showed that 43% of investors interested in Bitcoin are women.
#2: Women are not skilled in investing in crypto
Studies suggest men are predisposed towards bubbles in a way that women are not. The most comprehensive study on gender and the stock market, shows that women who invest their own money or on behalf of an organization, take a more cautious approach but tend to outperform their male peers in the long run.
#3: Women cannot contribute to blockchain development
Most of us believe that men invented computers and the internet. However, women have played and important role with pioneers such as Ada Lovelace and Grace Hopper, the world’s first computer programmer. Without the input of remarkable Women in Crypto, we may not have made the breakthroughs that have paved the current landscape.
Gender inequality deprives societies from wealth. The power of blockchain has the potential to reshape the financial world, but also affect the wider social context such as promoting gender equality. Cryptocurrency and blockchain can boost women’s economic opportunities and encourage engagement.
Crypto needs more women in order to create the new financial technology that works for everyone. Now if Satoshi was a woman, I couldn’t think of a better message to empower young women to enter the computer science world, and have a huge impact in making the world a much better place.
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