According to a survey conducted for CNBC and Acorns in 2021, women have relatively invested less as compared to men when it comes to both digital and traditional investments. The numbers tell it all. Men invest twice as much as women: in cryptocurrency (16% of men vs 7% of women), exchange-traded funds (14% of men vs 7% of women), individual stocks (40% of men vs 24% of women), in mutual funds (30% of men vs 20% of women), real estate (36% of men vs 30% of women) and bonds (14% of men vs 11% of women).
Angela Walch, a research associate at the UCL Centre for Blockchain Technologies in London, recently commented, “The crypto world seems to mirror the tech and finance worlds in terms of gender; there are women, but the space is heavily male-dominated”.
“As crypto becomes more mainstream, it is important to have diverse perspectives in creating and running the systems so that better decisions can be made,” she told the Thomson Reuters Foundation.
But the good news is that while the cryptocurrency and NFT space is male dominated, women too are making waves significantly in the emerging and lucrative virtual world.
Many female creators, collectors and technology innovators are breaking into these two blockchain technologies and making it accessible and inclusive for all.
Here are some trends that we have noticed in the new wave of digital currencies.
NFTs or Non-Fungible Tokens are digital assets that can’t be duplicated. You can digitise any unique asset of yours, such as an art, a tweet, a trading collectible or even a concert ticket. Once you know how to create or mint digital art and put it up on the marketplace, collections can be bought and sold expensively. So, even a rise averse investor can get into the NFT market.
The NFT marketplace is attracting a niche audience. There has been a significant rise of celebrities, artists and investors even though the NFTs bought are relatively small.
For instance, Randi Zuckerberg is a big NFT collector who primarily invests in NFT artwork created by women. In an interview with Yahoo Finance, she said, “When we think about cryptocurrency, we think that the only thing that you can do is buy and trade and sell but what has really drawn me into crypto are so many of the things that we do naturally in business in our lives, collectibles, community identity, buying art, buying music, things like that, that are just such a natural extension of what we’re already doing in our daily lives.”
Penetrating into Cryptocurrency
Cryptocurrency is a digital currency that operates under a decentralised control mechanism on the internet. Its cryptographic functions along with public-private keys ensure that the transactions can’t be traced by governments or banks. More so, the users remain anonymous.
Crypto is now considered as a mainstream payment vehicle as several countries, investors and companies are adapting to it as a hedge against uncertainty or inflation. It has drawn quite many young minds and people of mixed races across the world.
We have found these women-centric NFT artists, collections and groups that are making strides to promote equality and increase representation in the NFT world and crypto. For instance, Boss Beauties is set to debut in the United Nations first-ever female-focused NFT exhibition on March 8, 2022. Read on to know the rest.
Here’s how women are breaking the bias even in Web3
Female artists supporting causes and carving niches
The World of Women (WoW) collection was created by illustrator Yam Karkai who wanted to use the NFT space to create a global community that encourages diversity and equal opportunities for creators and contributors.
Her collection includes a series of 10,000 diverse female avatars created by her that has made many celebrities such as Reese Witherspoon, Shonda Rhimes, Eva Longoria and Huda Kattan join the women-centric virtual community.
WoW’s 2022 collection earned Yam Karkai USD 40 million within two weeks of its release. Her OpenSea platform has 5,100 owners and the volume of Ethereum traded so far is almost USD 125 million.
Known as the ‘new digital Rokhto’ by Forbes, this contemporary artist and founder of the Techism movement has been in the news for all the right reasons. She has carved her name in art history as the first digital artist to exhibit at the iconic square of Palais de Tokyo Museum and the Museum of Modern art of Paris for Nuit Blanche in the year 2018.
Kim also collaborated with Lanvin for their 2018 Fall/Winter collection. She aspires to promote digital humanism in the art industry.
She sold the first NFT digital house in the world, Mars House, for USD 50 million in 2021.
Known as the ‘NFT Queen’ in the crypto space, Mahila Abidi is a global artist, activist, author and NFT creator. She believes the NFT industry will give artists a new space to showcase their collections. She is determined to bring over 100,000 girls and women to the NFT world by the end of 2022.
Her ‘Women Rise’ is a collection of 10,000 randomly generated and unique NFT art pieces that has achieved international fame and success. Through this project Abidi aims to work on women’s rights and girl education.
The collection is owned by 5,900 people on Rarible and the total volume that has been generated is USD 13.6 million.
Upcoming organisations for women in crypto
It is a new community entirely for women and non-binary people who want to get the NFT or cryptocurrency basics right. MyBFF is a learning-based initiative that also offers the latest industry news and reward systems for participation.
There are many celebrities and artists who are a part of the founding team, such as Mila Kunis, Tyra Banks and Gwyneth Paltrow. MyBFF is co-founded by Brit Morin and Jaime Schmidt. Even key VC investors such as Katie Stanton, founder and general partner at Moxxie Ventures, and Sarah Guo, venture capitalist and company-builder at Greylock, are a part of the collaboration.
There were around 15,000 people who signed up for its kickoff event in January 2022.
I’m a hugger by nature. There’s nothing I love more than championing & cheerleading incredible creators. And today, I’m giving a huge groupHUG to four incredible teams via my new creator accelerator. Now minting #0001 @BossBeautiesNFT @WomenriseNFT @CuriousAddys @WomenandWeapons pic.twitter.com/x0k6aCfVGU
— randizuckerberg.eth (@randizuckerberg) February 15, 2022
Founded by Randi Zuckerberg, Mark Zuckerberg’s sister, GroupHug is ‘a creator accelerator that offers funding and mentorship’ from her and other technology and art industry leaders. The key advisors of this decentralised community platform are Hong Fang who is the CEO of Okcoin, Kirthiga Reddy, the president at Athena Tech II and also worked at Softbank and Facebook (Meta), Allyson Downey, the CEO of Stellar Reviews and co-founder of Meta Angels, and Brit Morin, who is the founder and CEO of Brit + Co and a co-founder of BFF.
GroupHug also promotes brand partnerships and gives PR exposure and institutional fundraising training among other things.
They are looking to help women-led projects or startups with at least one female artist or co-founder.
Collections worth mentioning
Cypto.Chicks is a collection of 10,000 unique and individual women avatars across the globe. The project is created by renowned NFT artist Ms Polly who had also created the first version or generation of this collection in 2021.
Through her human inspired NFT art, Ms Polly looks forward to encouraging gender and beauty diversity in the real and virtual worlds.
There are 4,400 owners of the collection which has been traded for USD 27.7 million as on 24 February, 2022.
Women and Weapons
Another noteworthy NFT collection that features in the list includes 10,000 ‘diverse, beautiful, and badass women NFT’ by artist Sara Baumann. The powerful art collection was first released in 2021.
Through this contribution in the digital art market, Sara aims to make a difference in society and raise money for charity. She commits to donate 5 percent of the profits to Malala Fund Charity.
Looking at Women and Weapons’ NFT sales, we say she is on the right path. Her collection is bought by 5,700 Women and Weapons owners which has been traded for USD 10.3 million as on 24 February, 2022.
Sad Girls Bar
Reinventing the idea of sad girls, Glam Beckett has curated 10,000 ‘hand-drawn, monochrome, and stylish’ Sad Girls in the NFT landscape. There are 350+ combinations of the art in the virtual world of Ethereum blockchain.
The NFTs were minted in 2021 and have seen a good response from buyers. The digital art is owned by 4,800 investors and has been traded for USD 52.5 million so far.
(Hero and Featured Image Credit: Boss Beauties/OpenSea)