We are less than a month into the New Year, but so far 2022 has not been kind to crypto.
The price of bitcoin (BTC-USD), the granddaddy of digital currency, is off to its worst yearly start since the dawn of crypto, down roughly 40% from its all time high, and analysts are bracing for more volatility ahead.
But true believers are not backing off. While it’s mostly young men who are trading cryptocurrency, research finds a growing number of women are taking the plunge and even prefer trading crypto over stocks.
A 2021 survey from NORC at the University of Chicago finds that 41% of cryptocurrency traders are women, while women make up only 38% of stock traders.
“Crypto is on sale right now, and if you're anything like me, for any of the women out there, you know how to shop a good sale,” Randi Zuckerberg, CEO of Zuckerberg Media, told Yahoo Finance Live. “So I thank you crypto for this early-in-the-year sale that you're having.”
Zuckerberg, the sister of Meta (FB) CEO Mark Zuckerberg, recently joined the cryptocurrency exchange OKcoin as the inaugural member of its brand advisory council. In her role, Zuckerberg will help OKcoin’s female customer base grow from its current 24% to 50% by 2025.
“I've spent the last 15 years fighting an uphill battle in tech where I've routinely been the only woman in the room in almost any company,” said Zuckerberg. “So for me, when I first started to get excited about crypto, I saw it as an opportunity for women to get in on the ground floor.”
Research has shown women are more risk averse than men when it comes to their overall investment strategy, so how do you entice females to invest in one of the most volatile assets on Wall Street?
Zuckerberg believes NFTs (non-fungible tokens) are a “fantastic gateway” for women to break into crypto.
“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,” said Zuckerberg. "For anyone out there, who's a newcomer into crypto, NFTs are a great way to dip your toe in and really learn about the industry in a deeper way.”
Zuckerberg is a “huge” NFT collector and says her collection is unique because each NFT has been created by a female artist.
OKcoin is committing $1 million dollars to bring more women into the cryptocurrency market, and it hopes to lead by example. CEO Hong Fang, formerly of Goldman Sachs, is part of the 5% of women currently in leadership roles in the cryptosphere.
Fang told Yahoo Finance Live that young people, women, and developing nations were the biggest growth drivers on the OKcoin platform in 2021, and for the first time since the crypto exchange launched in 2013, there were more long-term holders of crypto than ever before.
“If you actually zoom out a little bit more to see the crypto history ... when there was a bull market and bear market, that's when a lot of newcomers actually either left or stayed on to become believers,” said Fang. “I think different cycles like this in the market actually create little windows for people to, quote unquote, convert into believers.”
Fang adds she's working to change the perception that crypto is a male dominated industry. "If I look around at my team, and also looking at a lot of the friends I've made through crypto ... there is a lot of female thought leadership and also a lot of significant female participants and contributors in this space,” she said. “We just need to give [women] a lot more voice to change that perception."
Alexis Christoforous is an anchor and reporter for Yahoo Finance. Follow her on Twitter @AlexisTVNews.
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