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EMPOWERED AND ON TOP:
THE WOMEN OF CRYPTO

An insight into gender inequalities in the digital world.

Traditionally, the industry of Cryptocurrency is depicted to be male-dominated. It feels only an arm’s length away from the tech industry, where the sighting of a woman is less common than the sighting of a man. According to a recent Pew Research Center survey, twice as many men tend to invest in Cryptocurrencies these days. Opening video platforms like Youtube, there is a plethora of female creators, showing the best ways to invest in Crypto and NFTs. Yet, despite all efforts of inclusivity, the space still seems very male-dominated. Nevertheless, the female representation within the space is steadily rising.

“It is a tech/finance-based industry that has a disproportionate percentage of men to women ratio”, says Ashley Greene. Many might know her as an actress, but especially in the last year, Greene let herself explore other interests, specifically
those outside her traditional métier. “In the last few years, I’ve allowed myself to explore all of my interests – in and outside of acting – and have come to terms with the idea of failure and growth”, she says. She always had a sweet spot for business and foundership, resulting in co-founding a reproductive health company called “Hummingway”. Her journey of exploring herself has been a steep learning curve, yet wildly fulfilling, she says. When her husband Paul introduced her to Cryptocurrency a while back, she took the same approach. Greene let herself into the new battleground with an open mind: “I slowly began wrapping my head around what the blockchain and crypto could mean for us in the future”. After she gained an understanding of those two fields, NFTs made a lot of sense to her. “It also offers an exciting avenue for creatives to express themselves and have ownership over their work”, she adds. This sentiment is also being approved by Lisa Mayer, a fellow female NFT creator. When she launched her NFT collection Boss Beauties, she generated $2.3M in only 90 minutes.

Greene is the founder of Fridgits, her very own NFT. “Fridgits is a food-based NFT project with 20 individual ingredient characters. Our roadmap is based on the concept of these ingredients and how they interact with each other. Collectors will be able to combine different ingredients with recipes and create brand new NFTs”, she says. Expanding this concept, the vision for the future is to work with charities to help improve food security and the promotion of healthy lifestyles. A digital nutrition guide basically.

Entering a male-dominated space may seem intimidating at first, but Greene admits that she had the luxury of not being a “super early adopter”, which blessed her with not having to deal with the bro culture, which many others, especially those entering the space right from the beginning, had to deal with. “I initially felt extremely intimidated by both the women and men in the space”, she says. “My personal preconception was that I wouldn’t be taken seriously, or wouldn’t be welcomed in the club, because I am nowhere near an expert”, she adds. “But I am pleased to say that I was wrong. If you do a bit of research, work to educate yourself and try to bring something to the table- I have seen a pretty warm response.

In the end, everyone here wants to spread the knowledge they have. They are so excited to welcome you into their world. A world that used to belong to the gamers, social outcasts and the loners. “In an industry that innovates at the speed of light, I see an opportunity for the women like myself who are currently working to help to shrink that gender and diversity gap”, states Lisa Mayer. It’s the gentrification of what used to be a small internet space, perhaps ready to take over the world.

We live in a world far away from gender equality. The gender pay gap, racism and the pressure to fulfil outdated role models are real. “We live in such a state of disarray as a country over gender equality and rights”, Greene admits. “Because I am a woman, I always feel the need to work harder, or that I have something to prove. Whether or not that is true. I certainly had to work harder in the past, so that could be residual feelings.”, she says. In her 2019 hit ‘The Man’, Taylor Swift artistically describes the reality of gender inequality in modern power dynamics, drawn by the chorus line “I am so sick of running as fast as I can, wondering if I can get there quicker as a man”. It is no secret, that as a society, we are still miles away from a desired state of equality. Nevertheless, this does not equate to a high expectation of one’s own quality of work. “I want to be the best that I can in any venture I take on, so I am in constant competition with myself ”, admits Greene.

Yet still, women in the crypto space are rising. “This space moves at a breakneck speed and it’s a challenge to keep up male or female. I’ve certainly seen more female representation since my introduction to crypto and NFTs.”, Greene says. One of the main advantages is the accessibility of the space. It is mainly virtual, so it seems to be accessible to anyone, from anywhere. You don’t need an invitation to enter the space. And if you wish to enter, you can rapidly do so. Despite still being in its infancy, the crypto space is making moves – opening up to the mainstream and pushing the boundaries of societal binaries.

What can we do to dismantle mental boundaries even more and get more women into the Crypto or NFT space? If you ask Ashley Greene, the answer is totally simple and self-explanatory: “Women need to recruit women, continue to be vocal, continue to create safe spaces that remove every barrier to entry”. “One thing is clear: diversity is not an option but a necessity in this case”, explains Mayer. As a collective we need to stand with one another, digitally and physically to transform this vision into reality.

This feature was taken from our special bespoke issue with Jeremy Fall, available below now…

Words by NINA MARIE & OLIVER-JAMES CAMPBELL

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