We've got a problem. The crypto party yacht is ready to sail. The tunes are already pumping. But the women are standing on the jetty with their arms crossed. They aren't buying it. Of 14 million views of Suppoman's videos, just 7% are from women.
Analytics for Suppoman's Savage Cash Youtube channel confirm that Western crypto fans on YouTube are resoundingly 93% male! Curiously, this mirrors the exact same 93% vs 7% gender split found in purchasers of first-person shooter games. "Blood on the streets"? You bet!
So, if the saying "Build it and they will come" holds true, we’d better understand that we’ve not built what we need to yet for the mass adoption of crypto.
Women aren't buying it. So, what can projects do?
Carine knows what the barriers are. She has mentored women and men on how to get started in crypto. She says "Fear of losing funds during the entire process is the No 1 reason the people I have encountered will not get in at this time... The steps to acquire and store funds safely are just not something most are willing to take. "
Asked what it will take to get more women into the space, Carine says:
1. Certainty - The market is so volatile and I don't think women like that.
2. Education - Lots of women simply don't know enough about blockchain and cryptocurrency at this point.
3. Ease of use - The barrier to entry is another huge problem. Having to go to Coinbase, to transfer to Binance or some other exchange and then transfer to a wallet is a major turn-off.
Carine adds that there is hope if we can simplify things: “When there is a one stop shop, they will come.”
Blockchain stategist Olga V Mack of Quantstamp, is also talking about de-risking: "Smart contracts, the basis of ICOs and important future services, are not without their potential issues... Remember, it's a piece of code. Humans write code. Humans make mistakes. They make very important mistakes that can lead to lots of losses..."
ICO smart contracts can be prime targets for thieves: "Smart contracts hold a lot of assets. They're very lucrative targets. They attract criminals. They're essentially the crown jewels of many companies that will hold assets on a blockchain..."
So, although auditing teams can secure a smart contract for deployment, the emergence of new ‘exploits’ is a concern. Add repeated news of phishing, hacks and the whole 'utility tokens vs securities' debate and the list is long of reasons to pause for thought before jumping onboard.
Michael (AKA Suppoman) has numerous enthusiastic female followers, having introduced over 300,000 students to crypto through his crypto courses on Udemy. As a result his livestreams on YouTube give a hint of how much healthier and less adversarial crypto can feel with a better balance of the sexes. However, on Youtube, Suppoman's female audience is dwarfed by the 93% who are male.
So, great communicators are out there advocating, but Crypto itself is failing to capture the imagination of women at this stage. Why is that? Is there simply too much male testosterone in the space? Take three very different projects - Quantstamp, High Performance Blockchain and Basic Attention Token. Each have about 20% women in the ranks, mainly in communications roles. They should know what women like.
Carine says it takes time: "It took me 6 months to somewhat feel comfortable in this space. Lots of people don't know how to react to women in the space and unfortunately treat us differently and say things they wouldn’t normally say or advise to their male counterparts.” In Carine’s estimation "when buying and securing crypto becomes easy for the average person, mass adoption will begin."
Prove it's better
The good news is we're seeing some progress in making women feel like they belong. Suppoman's 7% female viewership was up in 2018 from 6% in 2017. Plus, serious projects are working on improving the user experience in crypto.
At ETHDenver in February 2019 we saw a practical example of this. Attenders switched to smart phone scan-and-go transactions for the weekend. A mighty 28,500 transactions were successfully fulfilled, getting food and drinks swiftly to participants, using a simple mobile wallet combined with the BuffiDai token.
When queues of hungry, thirsty people are served faster, that's better for everyone. Convenience, comfort, ease of use, reliability and timely delivery on promise. These qualities should be as highly valued within crypto as they are in all services...
One of the Portis team at ETHDenver forecast the kind of future both women and men ought to find equally attractive: "We'll get to the point with simplifying fiat to token transactions where people don't even realise they are on a blockchain DApp."
When secure, token-fuelled, smart contract-driven services simply get on with it in the background, we’ll be adopting blockchain before we know it.
Frictionless. Fast. Secure. Convenient. Improving our life experiences even when we aren’t aware that blockchain is involved.
This is a blockchain experience we will all enjoy.
Now, let's have it!
Ends | 9 Apr 2019 | Gordon Glass
Note: This article was tagged 'controversial' on Reddit r/CryptoCurrency
yet just 2 of 15 posters (up to 67 comments) declared an interest as women.
1. For gender split of purchasers of first-person shooter games, see Genre Preferences table, Women and Video Games
2. Suppoman's all time YouTube analytics at 15 Nov 2018 - see screen grab below based on 14,417,245 views of his videos.
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