guvendemir / Getty Images/iStockphoto
In the summer of 2021, CNBC reported on the “major gender problem” of cryptocurrency. Despite the fact that crypto culture was based on democratizing money and leveling the financial playing field, women were mostly on the sidelines of the Bitcoin boom. There was already an existing gender gap with traditional investments such as stocks and ETFs, but this was more pronounced: men invested twice as much in crypto as women.
Cash App Borrow: How to Borrow Money on Cash App
See also: Best Cities To Retire On A Budget Of $1,500 A Month
Today, almost a year later, many more people are investing in crypto, but the gender gap still exists in almost the exact same proportion.
According to a new study by GOBankingRates, only 15% of women invest in crypto, compared to just over 38% of men. That is slightly more than double, about the same as last summer, when 7% of women and 16% of men.
So, what’s stopping women?
The results of the study shed light on the reasons why women are so much more likely to avoid crypto investments than men. GOBankingRates asked the experts to allay these concerns and share their insight on what it all means.
Both men and women who avoid crypto were the most likely to succeed because they didn’t understand it – even more so among women by a margin of 63% to 51%.
Find: 6 Alternative Investments to Consider for Diversification in 2022
While that’s certainly understandable, several experts who spoke to GOBankingRates said that the crypto market is no more complex than the stock market and that if you really want to learn, there are a million and one reliable sources of information.
The most common recurring theme, however, was that you don’t have to be a mechanic to drive a car.
“It’s easy for an outsider to look at the cryptocurrency market and say it’s hard to understand, so that’s why I can’t use it,” said Travis Bott, CEO and founder of Meta Labs Agency and a leader in the industry. Web3 and NFT space. “That would be like saying, ‘Unless you understand the whole global banking system and the central bank, you can’t use your dollars to buy your coffee.’
“It’s not hard. It’s new — and people will always be resistant to something new. They were with the internet, they were with cell phones; and now, in most cases, those two things rule our lives.”
It’s too volatile and they don’t trust security
Women are half as likely as men to avoid crypto because they are turned off by its infamous volatility – yet the big, scary price swings keep 16% of women on the sidelines.
“It’s incredibly ephemeral, but that doesn’t mean it doesn’t have a future,” said Adam Garcia, founder of The Stock Dork† On the contrary, the short but telling history of cryptocurrencies, especially Bitcoin, has already shown that it works best as a long-term investment. That’s exactly where volatility can hurt you the least, and where it becomes an asset. And if you look at it from the standpoint of Bitcoin’s finite supply, it makes sense. Even after it takes a nosedive like it just did, it always manages to recover and gain value precisely because it has managed to gain trust.”
One in four women do not trust the security of crypto, compared to about 30% of men. While the concerns are valid, crypto itself is as close to impenetrable as any investment could be – it’s the mechanisms to store and move it that are vulnerable.
“In theory, blockchain is the most secure technology out there,” Garcia says. “But the vulnerability lies with wallets and exchange platforms. Still, you can also become pickpockets on your commute or fall victim to an ATM scam. So yes, crypto is not completely safe. But again, there has never been an asset.”
Women are wary of unregulated investments – for good reason
Almost the same percentages of women and men – about 17% and 19% – avoid crypto investments because it is unregulated. It’s a hard point to argue.
“In regards to the fact that cryptocurrencies are under-regulated, we agree,” said John Sarson, founder and CEO of cryptocurrency education and marketing firm Sarson Funds† “Investor protection laws need to be passed around cryptocurrencies. Insider trading and market manipulation are two areas the SEC should focus on. Both practices should be illegal, and they are currently not.”
The good news is that most of the experts who spoke to GOBankingRates believe that change is on the way.
“The latest crypto crash has rightly left investors wary,” said Clemens Rychlik, director of operations at the tech marketing firm. Bourbon Creative† “And that’s a good thing. Regulators are still catching up, but regulatory frameworks for the crypto space are already underway, such as European MiCa regulations. This will help make crypto more mainstream.”
About one in five women – and a comparable 18% of men – are not confident in cryptocurrency’s prospects for a long-term future. No one has a crystal ball, but the experts on the inside seem to agree that Bitcoin’s clutches are dug too deep to ever be cut out.
“The underlying technology is a better monetary accounting system and will eventually be adopted in one form or another by every government in the world,” Bott said. “That doesn’t mean all cryptocurrencies will survive and be viable. Not every internet company or mobile phone company has survived either.”
If anything, it’s the currency of yesteryear that is on the decline.
“People who are wondering about the future of crypto should be wondering about the future of their dollar,” Bott said. “The Nasdaq has lost $7.6 trillion in market capitalization. Crypto should be bought with sound asset strategies such as cost-average purchases and strong due diligence, but the crypto market is here to stay.
Methodology: GOBankingRates surveyed 1037 Americans aged 18 and over from across the country between April 8 and April 9, 2022 and asked eight different questions: (1) Do you invest in cryptocurrency?; (2) If you don’t invest in crypto, why not? (Select all that apply); (3) How long have you invested in crypto?; (4) What is your main goal for your crypto investments?; (5) What percentage of your investments is in crypto?; (6) Which crypto(s) do you invest in? (Select all that apply); (7) How much have you benefited from crypto (always)?; and (8) Which crypto exchange(s) do you use? (Select all that apply). GOBankingRates used PureSpectrum’s survey platform to conduct the poll.
More from GOBankingRates
About the author
Andrew Lisa has been writing professionally since 2001. Andrew, an award-winning writer, used to be one of the youngest nationally distributed columnists for the nation’s largest newspaper syndicate, the Gannett News Service. He worked as a business editor for amNewYork, the most widely distributed newspaper in Manhattan, and as a copy editor for TheStreet.com, a financial publication at the heart of the Wall Street investment community in New York City.