DeFi will help women regain control of their finances and close the wealth gap
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Entering the crypto markets and the DeFi (decentralized finance) financial system can be a challenge. Crypto markets have been dominated by men until now, but that trend is changing. Women can have a big impact on a market that will be the next big driver of financial innovation.
DeFi is a fresh start
DeFi is new, but it also represents a huge shift in how money flows. The potential use cases for DeFi are global, as DeFi can make connections that no other form of fintech is capable of. This opens a new avenue for women around the world to participate in the DeFi ecosystem both as developers and users.
Because the blockchain industry has yet to take hold in society, most people lack the general industry knowledge needed to get started in DeFi. The new industry also has a fairly complex learning curve when it comes to the tools used. Many new investors stick to mostly safe investments like Bitcoin or Ethereum. But as crypto slowly enters the mainstream, the public is starting to want to know more about how blockchain technology, crypto, and DeFi fit into an overall investment strategy, as well as how the blockchain works. Marlet.
This presents an even greater opportunity for women to get involved in an industry where men have been ruling for over a decade. Some women are already taking advantage of this to bring the education, technical know-how, and accessibility of DeFi to other female entrepreneurs. Some of these women are trying to change the way blockchain and decentralization are used in disadvantaged communities around the world, changing our perspectives and innovating.
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freedom is power
Economic freedom, entrepreneurial activities, independence and security are enhanced by decentralization. There are no gatekeepers and public blockchains are open to everyone. While this is clearly powerful for large financial entities, the unbanked masses may be the biggest untapped market for DeFi.
Given these benefits, many people are turning to blockchain as a way to circumvent restricted traditional monetary systems and gain more control over financial opportunities for themselves, their families, and their businesses.
Decentralized finance improves transparency, accessibility and equality. It maintains a borderless system that allows equal access to all. As long as they have an internet connection.
Women are increasingly turning to cryptocurrency as a way to capitalize on these assets and avoid a system designed to reward entrenched interests in a largely patriarchal society. DeFi use cases give broader access to financial tools to supplement their income without depending on spouses or traditional banking institutions. In other words, blockchain provides a mechanism for women to participate in an industry that allows them to take control of their financial independence. Access is now open to everyone. It’s time for women everywhere to take notice and use this as a chance to fight back.
DeFi democratizes finance
Women-led businesses received just 2.3% of venture capital investments in 2020. That number is just 2.1% in the first eight months of 2021. As more and more as more women enter the worlds of startups and tech, the demand for equality increases. Indeed, data shows that diverse teams are more profitable, regardless of the field.
Only about one in ten people in America invest in crypto, and the market has yet to gain traction among women either. This is especially odd given that crypto has, in many other ways, delivered on its promise to spread equality. It is the only financial system in which young people actually have a higher participation rate than older people.
In Bitcoin’s early days, it was widely believed that cryptocurrencies would usher in a new era of diversity in the financial services industry, which has suffered from years of gender inequality. Despite crypto’s ability and claims to fight inequality, the State of Crypto USA report found that 75% of crypto owners are male.
On the other hand, people of all races are about equally likely to own cryptocurrency: 11% white, 11% black, 10% Latino, 14% Asian own Bitcoin, 13% of remaining owners being undetermined. This means that Bitcoin has succeeded in breaking down barriers to race-based investing, but it has failed to do so in terms of gender. Until now.
Related: How Blockchain and Cryptocurrency Can Revolutionize Businesses
Women are breaking into crypto
The problem is investment opportunities, not interest or ability. A 2016 report shows that women leave corporate tech jobs at twice the rate of men. The culture dominated by men tends to drive out women. But despite how difficult it is for women to break into crypto, a few notable women have shared their thoughts on how the industry is changing. There is good news.
Kinjal Shah is a senior partner at Blockchain Capital and backer of the Komorebi Collective, which supports female and non-binary crypto entrepreneurs. She believes this new financial system can be built in a different way, and she hopes more women and minorities will enter the trillion dollar industry. “If this is the future of finance,” she remarked, “I want more women to share a slice of this pie… From the outside, the face of crypto is very masculine Now that I’m on the inside, I know so many women.
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Julia Rosenberg is one of the few female founders of Orca Protocol. While raising funds for her business, she realized she hadn’t spoken to a female investor in four weeks. The investor? Kinjal Shah.
Both Rosenberg and Shah saw an opportunity to influence the developing world of DeFi in a way that was distinct from the traditional tech and banking systems they were used to.
This meant actively employing and recruiting women, especially on the technical side, for Rosenberg. Orca Protocol counts a female co-founder, CEO, advisor, and product design manager among its nine employees.
Another great example of how women are entering the blockchain industry is the launch of Defy Trends – which is a women-led DeFi analytics company. On September 30, the four founders were named one of two winners of the Startup Showdown in Miami.
They received a $120,000 investment from Panoramic Ventures, which was also one of the judges for the competition. They were chosen as the “best company” for the competition among 200 promising candidates. This puts them in the aforementioned 2.1% of women-led businesses that secured investment funds in 2021.
The platform is designed to help investors make smarter decisions with real-time data analytics and social sentiment tracking for every coin. The data is processed by machine learning AI algorithms.
It even includes an environmental impact assessment to help investors make responsible decisions as well as profitable decisions. This is combined with global analytics that tracks how each coin interacts with each other in the larger ecosystem.
The future of blockchain is inclusive
In 2020, a CoinMarketCap survey revealed a 43% increase in the number of women in business. The income potential of investing in women-led businesses is attracting the attention of blockchain companies. Women Who Code just received a $150,000 grant from Algorand to fund its blockchain deep learning program for women engineers. Gemini and The Giving Block, two companies that help others raise money through cryptocurrency, raised their own funds by reaching out to cryptocurrency donors on International Women’s Day 2021.
The UNICEF Innovation Fund is an ambitious fund created to help children around the world. It focuses specifically on blockchain-based startups that help facilitate financial inclusion. More than 50% of the businesses involved here are run by women. The goal is to make decentralized, open-source financial markets and instruments more accessible to local communities and small business owners, allowing them to interact with these revolutionary systems in new and useful ways.
In fact, some studies suggest that the use of small-scale, informal loans in poor countries is extremely common. This implies that women could easily move away from illegal lending and use DeFi platforms that simply require the use of a smartphone and cryptocurrency. In addition to helping the unbanked access credit at fair rates, illegal money lenders would be negatively impacted.
Having women at the forefront of the early stages of industry development is a promising sign. Because this time, education and access are much more important points of attention. It is reasonable to think that in the future, growth will start to spread more evenly.
However, there is still a lot of work to do. According to the World Economic Forum, it will take more than 200 years to close the global economic gender gap at the rate we are going. It is essential to ensure that women continue to have equal access to blockchain technologies and education and that big ideas like the ones mentioned above are supported.