Women in Cryptocurrency
In the last 10 years, cryptocurrency has transformed from an internet-born concept with a small cash value into a highly profitable and popular online currency. The focus of ICOs on ideas rather than identities has created space in the cyberworld for people who are not the standard white, male influencer.
As we near 2020, women continue advancing their education and fighting for C-suite positions in top-tier businesses. The battle for women’s equality continues and cryptocurrency holds some inherently balancing values in regards to opportunities — something that startups have taken point on.
Emergence of Cryptocurrency
Bitcoin is one of the oldest and most successful forms of cryptocurrency that has been produced since online currency began. By allowing startups to bypass the rigorous and regulated capital-raising process required by venture capitalists or banks for IPO, Initial Coin Offerings (ICO) offer more opportunities for women entrepreneurs. In an ICO campaign, a percentage of the cryptocurrency is sold to early backers of the project in exchange for legal tender or other cryptocurrencies, but usually for Bitcoin.
Changing access to funding changes the game for business ownership and leadership opportunities. Accordingly, cryptocurrency has the potential to level the playing field for women, not only in their roles as entrepreneurs but across the tech industry as well. By empowering female founders to raise funds on their own, cryptocurrency and ICOs open the door for women to create and run their own businesses without having to work around influential male sponsors.
There is a lot of bias surrounding which startups receive funding and which ones are not given a chance, and a lot of this bias stems from who is pitching the idea. Societal constructs stand tall, and influencers do not stand above them; whether they are aware of it or not, many investors believe women are fiscally irresponsible and are unwilling to fund their projects. This hinders women’s abilities to find financial support for their startup projects.
Women Stepping In
Cryptocurrency removes a lot of this bias from the equation, focusing on the value and potential of ideas, not just the people behind them. Women offer an invaluable perspective in the tech industry and there are plenty of qualified women who are looking to share their ideas and insight with the right startup.
Gaining ground in the fight for workplace gender equality, women continue to pursue education and professional positions. Women make up 50 percent of the U.S. workforce and 51 percent of corporate professionals, yet hold only a small percentage of C-suite positions. Women are fighting hard for high-paying jobs, but by being given the raw materials to run their own startups, they can skip the ladder climbing and take the elevator straight to the top floor.
Women have gotten the short end of a lot of sticks, but as technology advances and creates a fairer playing field for anyone with good ideas, we will hopefully find a balance in power distribution. Cryptocurrency offers individuals the chance to let their ideas shine and skip the excess regulation of IPOs (as well as make money). As the overall confidence of women in business and startups grow, we will continue to see more women in those top positions make a positive difference in their industries.