Why are women missing in the cryptocurrency action?

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First, try to set aside the current sentiment regarding the downturn of current conditions of crypto for the purpose of this issue.

Starting with the basics: What is Cryptocurrency?

“Cryptocurrency is a digital or virtual currency that is secured by cryptography, which makes it nearly impossible to counterfeit or double-spend. Many cryptocurrencies are decentralized networks based on blockchain technology—a distributed ledger enforced by a disparate network of computers.”

It might be hard to get one’s head around all this terminology– not unlike a new language. I do get a strange thrill, asserting some understanding of this concept, some. My usual repertoire lives in the art realm. But science and art share abstract realities, making for a vague understanding of the science/art commonality.

I love the precision of technical vocabulary unique to individual industries. How many times have you heard or read an art review and thought, eh??? Same difference.

Back to Crypto. Each currency name has a provenance based on an entirely different form of currency, got it. Even with a limited understanding, there is the suggestion of added value, evaluated with only a basic knowledge of the tech world. Cryptocurrency is “secured by…. and is nearly impossible to counterfeit” would likely reach receptive ears. Security matters–in an increasingly impersonal world– where the mechanism to store one’s passwords takes place of vaults of coins, jewelry and furs.

That we are in the golden age of computers is a given; the magnitude of agency created by a network of computers is huge– capable of mind-blowing events– such as being witness to interplanetary events. For the purpose of the blogiary I am going to leave further terms for future investigation.

Women aren’t geeky. Really????

My nascent introduction with crypto, was anything but philosophical. The currency was required for a transaction ( look for a future Blogiary on that). As an artist and entrepreneur, all things new and inspiring, was part of my job description; the latest frontier (who can resist watching space discoveries and astrological events???) Crypto was on the horizon.

It recently occurred to me, why so few, if any women appear in news events surrounding crypto?

Researching the subject produced some interesting finds regarding gender differences.

Smart and astute women— perhaps under the radar of the baby boomers–have played key roles in the nerd culture. So why is this bias existing, that women haven’t played roles in nerd culture?

The real question is, which arena in nerd culture exhibits an absence of key women players evident? Speculative Fiction, Fantasy, Sci-Fi, Gaming, Comics, Conventions, Superheroes…. all check. Geek girls have an important presence often, 50/50.

Look at the host of authors alone, in alternative worlds: Mary Shelley (Frankenstein), J.K. Rowling (Harry Potter Series), Suzanne Collins (Hunger Games), Veronica Roth and so forth. Areas where women don’t just participate but dominate, they tend to be less commercial: fan fiction, art, book blogging.

Popular culture geek girl role models can be seen in several popular television shows; X Files, Big Bang Theory, NCIS, Criminal Minds. They are the antithesis of the adage “Boys don’t make passes with girls who wear glasses”. Dark hair and glasses….the signifier of nerdy, classically, and stereotypically–smart girls.

I wish I could locate the tune; Hots for girls who wear glasses. I redeemably good song, though a google search rather quickly dives into porn looking for it. Dorothy Parker is on record with ” Men seldom make passes at girls who wear glasses”. Tongue in cheek of course.

Some gender factoids regarding behaviors in finance :

Men are more likely to be the tech millionaires, venture capitalists, where a bias toward men is observed.

Women seem to be more responsive and pragmatic about the tech job market. Women were more likely to leave IT after the tech bubble in the 1990’s exploded and tend towards an investment in communal goals.

Women in computer science included such as Grace Hopper (1950’s Harvard compliers to UNIVAC), Ada Lovelace (first algorithm to be executed by a computer1843!!!), Margaret Hamilton (systems engineering at MIT), Mary Kenneth Keller (first PhD in computer science). The field is still dominated heavily by men with only 18% of computer bachelor’s degrees going to women.

However, women have been in the field doing kick ass stuff, as in many fields–the unsung heroes.

There are explanations, to support these events, gleaned from psychology and sociology.

Expectancy-value theory (or theory of motivation) purposes that an individual’s effort will be commensurate due to the belief and expectation that a certain behavior will result. In other words, the motivation of the behavior selection is determining the desirability of the outcome. It is about how the cognitive process results in the different outcomes, evaluation of factors.

Consequently, the results are affected by the confidence one has in one’s abilities.

Confidence, the commodity that has a way of slipping away as girls turn into women and make their way in a system of male bias.

For example, both genders, or all genders, tend to choose careers according to their strongest abilities, however, women are more likely to have a similarly confident level for several abilities, whereas men have one or two. (I find this alone fascinating!)

Many areas of competency

“I can do this, but I’m just better at that….” and her choices, being many, factors in subliminal message, I am the gender with a most complex and fascinating choice, that of creating lifea human life!

Finding choices/ interests which are compatible with motherhood is clearly occurring in the examples to come.

Back to the thread. Twice as many men as women invest in cryptocurrency.

That is sixteen percent of men to seven percent of women according to CNBC and Acorn’s Invest in You.

This gender gap exceeds the existing gap–in traditional investment vehicles, including stocks, ETF’s, mutual funds and real estate. More specifically, in ownership of exchange-traded funds (14% of men vs. 7% of women), individual stocks (40% of men vs. 24% of women), mutual funds (30% of men vs. 20% of women), real estate (36% of men vs. 30% of women), and bonds (14% of men vs. 11% of women).

Crypto is also the only investment vehicle that has a higher participation rate among younger adults than older adults: 15% of those 18-34 own crypto, compared to 11% of 35-64 and 4% over 65. Interestingly all races are represented about equally.

All said and done, crypto, in its early formation is well-positioned to avoid traditional investing draw backs. Todays would be investors are savvy in social media channels, online training and marketing; sources that are more under-utilized in traditional trading. That doesn’t mean that it isn’t volatile, which remains its middle name.

Why the gender gap?

Social psychology states that women are less risk takers than men and take more time to weigh risks. Therefore, women– who would most likely be participants–have been allowed a vantage point, to determine when the suitable risk has passed.

Women in finance are characterized for sharing their insights, taking advantage of self-employed–flex schedule, for a healthier balance of work/ life.

Historically, even in prominent IT positions, women have been denied public recognition for their work. Women tend to avoid being singled out as women, preferring attention for their achievements.

Of the millennials ‘aggressive/active investors’ women, only one in five take responsibility for the care of long-term financial decisions. A full 60% in partnerships, leave their finances to their partner.

Acknowledged discrepancy of income between men and women support the premise and inherent belief; men are more competent in the field of finance. Studies show that men are not necessarily better at investing, in fact, men tend to lower their success by excessive trading than women, who follow a more conservative “buy and hold” practice.

Women were left out of ‘old Wall Street.’ They want cryptocurrency to be different. Coders, analysts, and founders are trying to steer digital currencies toward a more inclusive future.

Also, contributing to this stereotyping, includes the dominance of men with math and science backgrounds, perpetuated in pre-college schooling. Therefore, to reinforce this concept, only 46% of women claim to have “knowledge” suitable for successful trading abilities: while men overstate their investment abilities.

Meanwhile, many early crypto market investors have been burned, while women, who have been patient, are crushing it in their own way. The pattern of crypto involvement parallels and affords some life skill lessons, such as patience and having more mental control over positive and negative emotions.

The pandemic has been beneficial to some investors, providing time to develop skills and insights into cryptocurrency trading. But like all fluid conditions, the ebb and tide of a new arena will take time to reach a stasis.

The behaviors of women in crypto prove to be aligned with past expectations; very much influenced by the human condition, full of curiosity, inventiveness, and flexibility. Specifically, though, women have been shown, by their nature, to possess some intrinsic differences. These differences are of a social not technical nature. Biological options, unique to women, to have a family, become a mother, seem to be still as strong as ever. Failing a dystopian future, this will likely reign true for a long time.

We as a culture, need to find ways to support these gender differences. As of now, women’s parity will likely continue to represent a gap.

Think Lysistrata…. a culture relies on gender differences, not at the exploitation of such, but in harmony.

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Like a Haiku

To be defined as an Artist, an entrepreneur, an educator, writer, curator, mother, would miss the life that created the whole.

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