Could women help overcome crypto-scepticism?

Could women help overcome crypto-scepticism?

Welcome to the 84 new techies who have joined us since last Friday. If you haven’t already, subscribe and join our community in receiving weekly tech insights, updates, and interviews with industry experts straight to your inbox.


This week we’re quoting Sharene Lee (Co-Founder of Takadao)

What Lee said:

“Being an early stage startup in the crypto space, it's often hard to overcome initial scepticism.”

It’s a good point.

Crypto startups do often get a bad rep, particularly with the crypto-sceptic public.

Sharene Lee’s company Takadao won the Aviatrix Award for the most innovative startup pioneered by women founders at LEAP 2023. And we think it’s really exciting to see women taking up space in crypto:

Because it’ll help to diversify cryptocurrency services and use cases, and it’ll help to show more people that crypto isn’t just a techy toy for men who’ve been indoctrinated into the (publicly perceived) crypto-cult. It’s a meaningful, viable route to securing the economic future of individuals and their communities.

Takadao’s mission

“We're on a mission to build community-based financial services that provide excluded communities with alternatives to traditional banks and insurance companies,” Lee said.

“As a Muslim, I've typically been excluded from traditional financial services as most of these are not shariah-compliant. In addition to the Muslim community, there are many communities around the world that are also excluded from banking and insurance for other reasons, generally related to profit.”

“It's time to change that, and the rise of blockchains and cryptocurrencies give us a way to build new infrastructure that can be community-based and decentralised. Rather than focusing on maximising shareholder profits, at Takadao, the community are the shareholders and our products are structured to maximise community well-being.”

Women in crypto

Unfortunately, as a woman in crypto, Lee is currently quite exceptional.

  • A 2021 study by Crypto Head found that out of the 121 top crypto companies, only five (4.13%) were founded by women – and less than 10% of the partners at all crypto funds were women
  • In 2022, a Q4 Retail Investor Beat survey revealed that 34% of women said they owned crypto, up from 29% in Q3 (it’s important to note that the survey respondents were people who actively invest in funds and assets, not the broader general public)
  • Data from eToro shows that only 15% of Bitcoin investors are female
  • And a BlockFi survey suggests that while 94% of women have heard of crypto, only 9% said they feel they understand quite a bit about the asset class

There are signs that the gender gap is closing slightly, and slowly. But if cryptocurrency is going to have a truly positive impact on local and global economies, we need more gender-diverse crypto investors and startups.

Why crypto needs more women

Crypto has a reputation for being entrenched in ‘bro culture’.

And that’s not good for anyone – least of all crypto.

Why not?

Because…

  • More women in leadership positions is known to make products and services better – because mixed-gender collaboration makes for well-rounded innovation. One study by Gallup found that gender-diverse teams showed stronger performance than single-gender teams; because different genders bring “different viewpoints, ideas, and market insights to projects.”
  • The benefits of collaboration between genders only really come into their own when women make up at least 30% of the team or decision-making group. It’s at that point that a team begins to leverage its diversity of experience and thought – enabling the team as a whole to take a more open-minded, broad view.
  • Without women, cryptocurrency will continue the exclusionary trends of conventional economics. Historically, women have had limited access to financial education, services, and economic freedom. Around the world, many women still don’t have full access to their own private bank account, and 55% of unbanked people are women. In theory, crypto offers an entirely new way of doing things which puts everyone on an equitable footing. But that won’t happen without more women in leadership and employee positions in this sector – to encourage more gender-diverse crypto uptake.
  • Crypto needs more HODLers (Hold On For Dear Life-ers) – investors who are locking in for the long-term – to change the perception of crypto as a high-risk investment, and encourage mainstream adoption. And behavioural finance research shows that women are often more likely to take a long-term approach to investing, rather than a rapid buy-low-sell-high strategy.

We can’t wait to see how Takadao – and other female-founded crypto startups – continue to take up more space in this growing sector.

Read our interview with Sharene Lee: Takadao gets eyeballs and credibility


Have an idea for a topic you'd like us to cover? We're eager to hear it! Drop us a message and share your thoughts.

Catch you next week,
Richard McKeon
Marketing Director

P.S. - Mark your calendars for LEAP 2024 📅 4-7 March 2024. Want to be a part of the action?

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