Is the gender gap closing in the crypto community?
Gender diversity and representation within the finance and tech sectors have received a lot of attention and debate, with many companies now publishing regular reports on the diversity within the sector. As a relatively new and upcoming space, crypto has also experienced it’s fair share of debates, with many dismissing the sector as being a space purely for men.
While the industry still undoubtedly has a long way to go, progress is being made within the crypto community. In 2020, we observed that women were catching up with men in terms of crypto ownership, and this year’s report shows that this trend is continuing into 2021. One of the five key myths we identified in the 2021 Wirex and Stellar report was that crypto is only for millennial males. In reality, we’ve found that this long-held stereotype is no longer true when it comes to crypto ownership.
However, crypto popularity has exploded over the last year, and crypto ownership is now just one part of a larger space. While the gender gap may be closing when it comes to investing, transacting and crypto ownership, is the same true of the wider crypto community?
Results from our 2020 Wirex and Stellar report showed that the crypto ownership gap between men and women was starting to close. In 2021, we found that there is now only a 16% difference in ownership rates between men and women in the gender population, which goes to show that the stereotype that only men own crypto is officially outdated.
What’s more, general crypto awareness amongst both genders is higher now than it has been, with 85% of men and 79% of women saying that they’ve heard about cryptocurrency, suggesting that crypto is no longer just a niche interest for a certain subsection of society, it’s making its way into the mainstream.
However, while ownership and general crypto awareness may be increasing amongst women, there is still a way to go when it comes to specific knowledge around crypto for both genders. From the general population, 50% of women compared to 34% of men say that one of their main concerns about crypto is that they don’t know how to use it. Studies have shown that women tend to be better and more cautious investors than men, which could be why more are reluctant to get involved in crypto: they want to fully understand the risks and technicalities before investing.
Arguably, the best way to ensure the crypto ownership gender gap continues to close is to increase the amount of accessible crypto information available, so those interested in the space are able to learn about the space and decide if they want to participate.
Crypto popularity has exploded over recent years, with many attributing the lockdown to its rise as people were looking to diversify their holdings, as well as having more time to research the crypto space and the various cryptocurrencies available. As crypto has entered the mainstream, wider use cases have become more well known, and many have been keen to play an active role in the crypto community outside of just holding and transacting.
We’ve seen the rise in popularity of the NFT community, with artists capitalising on the space and female artists in particular making the space their own, as well as the crypto making its way to gaming communities, and the wider metaverse. These all exist within the crypto space and many, particularly NFTs, have a large number of women active within the community, suggesting that the gender gap is indeed beginning to close.
In the professional crypto sphere, there has also been a similar trend with multiple businesses and organisations taking initiative to recognise the women working within the crypto space and highlight their achievements, whether it’s through awards or through professional communities that participate in events, network with each other and share their experience within the space.
What does the future hold?
Between the 2020 and 2021 reports, there’s been a dramatic increase in crypto awareness among the general public, particularly as large companies such as Mastercard and Paypal start to get involved in the crypto space. As the crypto space begins to expand, it’s likely the gender gap will continue to close, with education and awareness growing, and opportunities for women within the space growing as well.