Women in Australia are seemingly thriving as crypto businesswomen after their assets increased more than the previous year.
A new study found that the percentage of Australian women who own crypto assets has more than doubled in the past year. The Australian Cryptocurrency Index (IRCI) 2021 of 2,000 Australians found that the number of women who currently own or have invested in cryptocurrency has increased from 10.3% in 2020 to 20% in 2021. The percentage of women who own bitcoin has also increased from 8.3% to 14.8%, according to the survey.
The Independent Reserve is an Australia-based cryptocurrency exchange founded in 2013 and has over 200,000 users. Karen Cohen, co-chair of Blockchain Australia, said more women are entering the crypto market this year as the asset class continues to be a big investment. He said: “I think it tells you that investing in cryptocurrencies is less risky and is just one of the many ways you can invest. I think that's kind of a signal that if the bank thinks it's OK, they'll know it's a safe place to invest."
Cohen cites examples such as the CBA for adding crypto trading options to his app in early November. Independent Reserve co-founder Adrian Pjelozni added that "over time, as investing in cryptocurrencies becomes more acceptable and widespread, so does perceived risk." She added, “I think when that happens, there will be more women in the market. Grayscale research from 2019 shows that women tend to be more risk-averse investors, which is often attributed to the reason for the gender gap between female and male crypto investors.
ICRI also found that women were more likely to listen to their family and friends about crypto. 56.7% of women surveyed said they would enter the crypto market based on advice from family and friends, compared to 42.2% of men surveyed. Cohen says, "A lot of women get referrals from their friends and family to make them feel a little more confident about getting involved. On the other hand, 45.9% of men said they would consider entering the crypto market because of the interest generated by media coverage, compared to 41.8% of women surveyed.
Close the gender gap
Cohen said that in the future he expects full gender equality among crypto investors to be "a long way off" due to being so entangled with gender stereotypes and the way women are raised to understand risk and investing. Pzhelozny agreed, saying he could not speculate on when the investment gap would close. He said, “I don't know when it will be 50/50. But I think it's definitely headed in the right direction."
Cohen also said that consumers can expect the “landscape to change completely again” as the metaverse and blockchain games begin to dominate the crypto market. “Is gambling more of a boy's club than cryptocurrency?” He asked, concluding that "no one really knows". In last year's IRCI report, Cohen urged decision makers in the crypto industry to include women in events and panel discussions, saying, "We are what we see".
The IRCI is an annual cross-sectional survey of more than 2,000 Australians conducted by PureProfile. The Independent Reserve said their sample reflected the country's gender, age and geographic distribution.