28 July 2022

Bitcoin: Empowering Women Globally Twitter Spaces Rollup

In case you missed it, here's a recap of our Twitter Space on empowering women globally through bitcoin.

Bitcoin: Empowering Women Globally Twitter Spaces Rollup


    The Gender Gap in Finance Paints a Picture of Inequality
    How Bitcoin Can Fix This
    How Gaming Can Onboard Women
    We Get Women Into Bitcoin by Making the Culture More Inclusive
    Closing Thoughts

A couple of weeks ago, NOAH hosted a Twitter Space about how Bitcoin empowers women globally. Throughout the hour-long discussion, we heard from four inspiring women working to advance Bitcoin in their own ways.

Among our guests, we heard from Satoshi Sarah, creator of Ladies in Bitcoin. The group seeks to make the Bitcoin community more diverse and inclusive by helping women and non-binary folk learn about Bitcoin.

Also with her in our Twitter Space was Deseree Dickerson, the CEO and Co-Founder of THNDR GAMES, one of the leading Lightning-powered gaming platforms.

And of course, we had NOAH's very own Brianna Honkawa d'Estries, the Chief of Staff at NOAH, and Josefine Haas, the Growth Manager at NOAH, sharing their insights as well.

Our discussion focused on how Bitcoin can help close the gender gap globally by providing women more financial autonomy. We also touched on how Bitcoin can help women in developing nations who may not have access to traditional banking services.

Overall, it was a great discussion, and we're so grateful to have had such inspiring women sharing their stories with us. If you missed it, here's our rollup of Bitcoin: Empowering Women Globally.

The Gender Gap in Finance Paints a Picture of Inequality

Outsized percentages of women globally are still dependent on their male partners. While it's not as pronounced in the West, there's still an imbalance, and even more so in developing and more patriarchal societies. The group stressed the importance of women learning about Bitcoin to empower themselves financially and take their financial self-sovereignty seriously.

Of the 2 billion unbanked people on the planet, 55 percent are women—about 1.1 billion. In some countries, that percentage is as high as 75-80. When we talk about the importance of property rights, we think about that very politically in the US. Generally, we discuss it along party lines in very privileged ways, but we don't think about how it affects people who are struggling to maintain day-to-day existence. We don't see that property rights in developing nations are often a matter of life or death.

The inequality extends further. Looking deeper at financial inclusion numbers, women own less than 20 percent of the world's land and less than one-third of the world's wealth. And in the workforce, women comprise only 39 percent of the global total, making only 77 cents for every dollar men earn.

There's also the topic of sheer access to financial services. In many countries, women are entirely shut out of the formal banking system. They don't have enough money, no one will lend to them, or they're not allowed to open accounts. And even when they can open accounts, they often don't have the same level of access and control as their male counterparts. The lack of agency stifles mobility across all metrics—socially, economically, and politically.

How Bitcoin Can Fix This

Closing gendered access gaps is one of the critical problems that Bitcoin can help solve—by providing women with a way to own and control their own money. You don't need an identity card, you don't need a birth certificate, and you don't need to have a job or an income stream. There's no bank account you have to cross your fingers and hope that you don't get shut out of. Bitcoin is accessible to anyone with an internet connection. And that's an exciting thing.

At NOAH, in particular, we're very focused on the idea that women need to use Bitcoin to reclaim their agency and establish a firmer footing on all modalities of their humanity. We want to be a place where you can manage money, save money, and use your money daily no matter who you are—and where you are—in the world. Bitcoin takes all restrictions away, and we use that ethos as our muse to build out our app. In that spirit, we're starting as a progressive web application to remove country app store restrictions. You can log on with any browser and use it right there. That's the direction we're taking.

How Gaming Can Onboard Women

Access to bitcoin is only half the battle—the other half is garnering enough interest and making a case for why bitcoin is worth the time and effort to learn about. This is where gaming comes in, as it's one of the most powerful tools we have for education, entertainment, and escapism all rolled into one. And it just so happens that women are some of the most active gamers in the world. While men outnumber women in total gaming percentages, women make up a more significant portion of the mobile gaming market (55 percent women; 45 percent men). We have an immense opportunity to educate women gamers about Bitcoin while doing something they already enjoy doing.

If women make up the majority of mobile gamers, then mobile gaming is the best way to capture the broader female audience and get them to try Bitcoin. Gaming is intuitive and familiar; everyone knows how to download apps and play games. People may not have time to read an article or even bother with a white paper, but they will download and play a game on their smartphones if it's fun. By incorporating bitcoin into gaming, you can provide a natural, hands-on way for women to learn about bitcoin while playing. And then, when they want to use bitcoin in their everyday lives, they already have a frame of reference and some understanding of how it works. Bitcoin stops being this scary, foreign thing and becomes a tool they're already comfortable using.

For companies like THNDR, who create Lightning-powered games, this is a perfect way to get people to use Bitcoin without realizing it. It's low-stakes; gamers can get a few sats and, in turn, an immense education in what it means to use and hold bitcoin. And that's how you get people to start using bitcoin—by giving them a way to use it that's easy, fun, and unintimidating.

We Get Women Into Bitcoin by Making the Culture More Inclusive

There are apparent gender gaps not only in financial inclusion but also in the Bitcoin industry itself. The Bitcoin industry is notoriously male-dominated, which we're working hard to change. And that's what Ladies in Bitcoin is trying to do. By hosting more events, connecting like-minded women in Bitcoin, and providing resources, job opportunities, and mentorship, we're slowly but surely making Bitcoin a friendlier place for women.

As it stands, the status quo culture in Bitcoin does not exist with women in mind. Even at Bitcoin meetups, which are always in dive bars, sports bars, or other male-orientated spaces, the culture can be very off-putting for women. Furthermore, many women report—even on this panel—that some men think of Bitcoin events as a "dating free-for-all," which is uncouth and dangerous. This breeds anxiety for women who want to learn about Bitcoin in a supportive and welcoming environment.

When you don't cater to women, women won't show up. You're actively pushing women away when you don't create welcoming environments. When you put women in charge of meetups, events, and Bitcoin companies, you're normalizing the Bitcoin industry as a place where women can succeed. Diversity attracts diversity, and by slowly but surely making Bitcoin more inclusive, we're opening the floodgates for more women to enter the industry.

Closing Thoughts

No one cultural group owns Bitcoin. There's the vocal conservative-libertarian perspective, but no one community is monolithic. In-groups within communities tend to project symbolism onto the entirety of a movement. Consequently, this turns off newcomers who might not share the same viewpoints. The reality of Bitcoin, as is with any technological instrument, is that it is value-agnostic. Bitcoin can be used in several ways, for several different purposes, by several other people.

What's the best way to get started? Just start experimenting. Play games. Dive in. Learn more. Engage in the discourse. Get connected to other women and other diverse people. Women are especially willing to help in the Bitcoin community because we know how hard it is to get started.

Any group with its own set of values has space in Bitcoin. Bitcoin is for everyone, and that means Bitcoin is for women too. We have to create the spaces to let women—and any marginalized group—know they're welcome, wanted, and needed in Bitcoin.

Please be aware that: Cryptocurrencies are unregulated in the UK; Cryptocurrencies are not protected under Financial Ombudsman Service or Financial Services Compensation Scheme (FSCS); Profits may be subject to capital gains tax; The value of investments can go down as well as up.

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