We hear tons about women (or the shortage thereof) within the cryptocurrency and blockchain space.
Confirming what many folks already suspected, CoinDesk’s Q2 2018 State of the Blockchain Report found that only 4 percent of crypto investors are women. In tandem, reporters regularly call the “blockchain bros” on the carpet for elbowing women out of yet one more lucrative emerging industry.
But this has been a predominantly West-centric conversation, casting the spotlight on gender inequality and underrepresentation at Western crypto companies, Western blockchain conferences, and Western meetups.
Thus far, news articles, Twitter threads, and Medium posts have largely neglected the range of female experiences in other parts of the planet , like China, South Korea and Japan, where the crypto space is equally — if less — dynamic and growing.
Take China, as an example . Despite banning ICOs and bringing bitcoin trading to a virtual standstill, in 2017, China was liable for over half the world’s blockchain-related patent applications — with the U.S. coming during a distant second. the highest three cryptocurrencies by market cap launched in 2018 — Zilliqa, Ontology, and IOST — are all Chinese.
With such a robust Asian presence within the blockchain world, why can we rarely hear about Asian women in crypto? What can the remainder of the planet learn from our experiences?
Chinese women in crypto
In order to know what it’s wish to be a Chinese woman in crypto, first you want to understand the Chinese crypto space itself.
Despite China’s ban on crypto trading, there’s a ravenous appetite for crypto wealth — traders have simply started placing their bets in Japan, Hong Kong, and South Korea . The regulatory crackdowns have done little to stifle the many scam crypto projects in China (many of them deployed overseas), while newly minted bitcoin millionaires — mostly male with no education or merits necessary — abound.
In contrast to the West, where conversations are slowly evolving towards a more nuanced discussion of the merits of blockchain technology and institutional adoption, Chinese crypto enthusiasts largely maintain a single-minded speculative focus: Will this coin be listed on a Korean exchange soon? what’s its market cap? Should I buy? Should I sell?
This get-rich-quick mentality makes it very difficult for serious blockchain advocates — especially females, who have already got to fight for a voice — to chop through the noise and evangelize a longer-term (and much less sexy) message.
As Carylyne Chan of CoinMarketCap writes in her fascinating and detailed account of Chinese crypto culture:
“Scam cases… have engendered many tragedies, and created a more insidious impact: For those that truly believe the blockchain, such scams are smearing the blockchain technology name, making it notorious while the underlying premise is laudable.”
The challenges Chinese women in crypto face are almost like those anywhere else within the world, but they’re compounded by the chaos and “scammy”-ness of the space.
Attend any Chinese blockchain meetup, and you’ll encounter perhaps eight women for each 100 attendees. If you happen to be one among those eight women, you’ll expect to be invited on a date (or multiple dates) to some crypto millionaire’s yacht after the meetup ends. You certainly shouldn’t expect to be taken seriously — especially if your interests dwell blockchain technology, instead of crypto speculation.
WeChat: Bane or boon?
But Chinese crypto puts a way larger emphasis on community than the U.S. — it’s everything, and it can go an extended way towards empowering women.
Since Twitter and YouTube are banned in China, WeChat (China’s answer to WhatsApp) is our community hub of choice. Any given blockchain project can have 50 or more WeChat groups dedicated thereto , each boasting 300 to 500 members who share and discuss every company announcement.
One of those WeChat groups is named Blockchain Ladies. This community plays an important role in empowering and connecting Chinese women in crypto — but it also throws into stark relief the space we’d like to traverse before the space is anywhere on the brink of being equalized.
In addition to discussing the newest blockchain and crypto topics, every fortnight , the ladies of Blockchain Ladies invite a strong or famous male within the crypto space for an “ask me anything” (AMA) session.
These AMA’s cover a good range of topics from technology to community building to philosophy, but they always end with an equivalent question:
“If you were single, what quite woman would you be attracted to?”
While certainly progress has been made, clearly we still have an extended thanks to go.
Words of recommendation
If my experience as a Chinese woman in crypto has taught me anything, it’s that we’d like to be twice as strong and grounded if we would like to compete with our male counterparts. The unfortunate reality is that ladies need to work harder, project confidence albeit we’re lacking it, find the proper allies and work on projects where our male counterparts understand our worth .
No matter the country, being a lady within the crypto space requires some serious soul-searching. Do your research. Know why you’re entering the industry and what you’ve got to bring back the table. Don’t become a tool or sacrifice your integrity to urge ahead. Surround yourself with both male and feminine advocates who trust you, are conversant in your work, and can empower you to realize your goals.
Educate yourself. Many of the (predominantly male) crypto millionaires around you really know little or no beyond the ins and outs of crypto trading, so aspire to outshine them in everything else. Share your knowledge with other women within the space; for instance , I host internal tech training sessions at IOST for our non-technical female employees in order that they can mention it in an informed way.
You have probably heard this before, but don’t specialise in your femaleness.
It will only discourage you, because the statistics are against you. Set your own goals and establish an intrinsic, guiding mission to urge you thru the crazy ride upon which you’re close to embark. If you’re in it for the cash , don’t bother — tens of thousands of individuals do an equivalent thing. Besides, the important value of blockchain technology can’t be measured in dollar or yuan signs.
I joined this space enamored with the thought of decentralization. My personal mission is to speak why blockchain is vital and the way it are often utilized in the important world, because i think it can change the planet . this may be an extended education process which will take years, but during a space crammed with scams and transient projects, I feel asleep knowing that I decide to be here long after the noise has died down and therefore the “get rich quick” types have had their fill.
They can have their fun building mounds of money , but I’m building the longer term .