Business

An open invitation for women to join the Web3 movement

There’s no denying the current narrative about Web3: it’s a boys’ club. And if we continue to reinforce this narrative, it will come true. The truth about crypto as a boys’ club will not only hurt women – it will hurt the entire promise and growth of Web3.

Web3 is not an exclusive club designed to keep people away. It’s a rising tide party that raises all boats and gets better each time someone new joins. The more people involved, the better the results for everyone.

My introduction to crypto came early: It was 2013, and I had been invited to a small meetup at SXSW in Austin to discuss technology and trends – Bitcoin (BTC) in particular. I was the only woman in this group. Many of us didn’t know anything about Bitcoin, but over the course of the evening we were invited to educate ourselves. Back then, bitcoin was trading for $35. Some of us invested that night, others a few weeks later. I waited until the end of the year and bought into the movement at $841 per coin. This decision to join has had a significant impact on my life. Today, bitcoin is trading at around $40,000 per coin.

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I’ve thought back to being in that room in Austin many times, grateful to be a part of those early conversations. But I also firmly believe that the conversation is just beginning. It’s not too late to invest in this emerging industry.

Related: If the glass slipper doesn’t fit, smash it: Unraveling the myth of gender equality in cryptography

“Web3 becomes more inviting as speculation takes a backseat to participation,” Julian Weisser, a core member of ConstitutionDAO, told me recently. He added:

“When people feel like owners and not speculators or pinball players, they have a deeper connection to a project. We need more Web3 initiatives that address humanity’s infinitely diverse interests.”

Web3 can (and should) turn years of economic inequality on its head

It’s important to understand some of the reasons why crypto has earned the “boys club” reputation so we can smash it. At its core, I believe that because crypto was initially billed as a risky investment. Women who are naturally more risk-averse are shielded from the first wave.

Today, the male/female divide in crypto is consistent with the legacy of traditional male-centric investment verticals. While 40% of men own individual stocks, only 24% of women do, according to a survey by CNBC and Acorns. Likewise, three-quarters of crypto owners are men, meaning many women are missing out on a total market valued at an estimated $2 trillion, according to a 2021 US State Crypto report by cryptocurrency exchange Gemini.

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But it’s not too late to put the ship back on track, and I think if we do, there’s a great opportunity for women to destroy some of the gender wealth and wage gap that has become ingrained in the fabric of our society. While tackling the inequality in generational wealth accumulated through traditional investment opportunities can become increasingly difficult, Web3 is a blank slate. Why fall into old patterns when contemplating new frontiers? The great promise of digital currencies like bitcoin and ether (ETH) was their ability to turn the tide on Wall Street. With that, let’s also reverse the script for women’s financial futures.

Related: Is crypto a boys’ club? The future of finance is not gendered

Make Web3 a club for everyone

So how do we move the needle today to make Web3 a club for all?

Well, part of the hurdle is the barrier to entry. The way people learn about Web3 is generally pretty isolated – a friend telling a friend about a Discord channel to follow to learn more, or tagging a buddy on Twitter in a thread of interest. Since most of the movement’s early adopters were men, they recruited their male friends to get involved as well. Simply digging deeper into your network is the most effective way to get more women involved.

I was fortunate that an attorney, Gary Vaynerchuck, invited me to this early 2013 meeting. We need more of this. For the movement to grow and gain legitimacy, we need everyone involved. I would like to challenge the men involved in Web3 to come up with a woman to invite to their next meeting. And I want to challenge women to ask questions and see this opportunity as a way to balance their wealth with men. This is a moment where you can change the course of female fortune not just today, but well into the future.

Many women are now joining the movement and inviting others as well. It begins. And I’m very excited to be at the forefront of the shift. Web3 is now making its debut in traditionally female venues. Look no further than Shopify, the online selling platform that reports 52% of its customers are women, is creating a marketplace for NFT sales. In the UK, a new campaign called Women Rise has a goal of getting 100,000 women into crypto by the end of this year. The non-profit organization Women in Blockchain has been working to make the crypto world more welcoming since 2017. And last October, a physical version of a Boss Beauties NFT, a collection of 10,000 digital portraits of women, was even listed on the New York Stock Exchange.

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In February of this year, a 22-year-old day trader-turned-crypto-investor named Amy Matsushima launched the Women of Crypto NFT collection to educate other young women about NFTs. The entire collection of nearly 9,000 avatars sold out in ten hours. Amy, who invested $20,000 in crypto at the age of 19, saw the gender imbalance in Web3 and recognized that inequality for what it is: an opportunity.

Related: While Men Wanted, Women Did: Empowering Female Creators with NFTs and Crypto

I agree. If you think Web3 is an exclusive club designed to keep people out, change your mind. The party, meaning the Web3 revolution, is a more the merrier proposition and we want everyone to join. Everyone who has already invested is obliged to invite the outsiders. And the beauty of it – understood as Matsushima – the more people participate, the greater the value for all involved: A rising tide lifts all boats.

If you are a woman, here is my open invitation to you to join the Web3 movement. Check out some of the resources above or follow some of my favorite people: Emilie Choi, Rebecca Kaden, Meagan Loyst, Yam Karkai, Gary Vaynerchuck, and Julian Weisser.

This article does not contain any investment advice or recommendation. Every investment and trading move involves risk and readers should do their own research when making a decision.

The views, thoughts, and opinions expressed herein are solely those of the author and do not necessarily reflect or represent the views and opinions of Cointelegraph.

Nikki color is an active investor and advisor to technology companies. She is currently a Venture Partner at Headline, working with and investing in Web3’s best entrepreneurs. She advises SoFi and is an investor in Consensys (MetaMask), Fractal, AfterParty and Wander. After graduating, Farb joined the investment banking division of Goldman Sachs. Involved in the Web3 movement since 2013 after investing in Bitcoin, Farb is deeply passionate about the potential of this computing paradigm and its ability to help more people unlock personal and collective brilliance.