According to Entrepreneur, Bitcoin is the most successful digital currency thus far. Supporters of this cryptocurrency include Bill Gates, Eric Schmidt, and Sir Richard Branson. As of now, there is only a small number of women among the many crypto enthusiasts. Those who have entered the circle have told uncomfortable experiences of being ignored. Incidents with Mt. Gox and Silk Road do not make Bitcoin more appealing, either.
However, female interest in cryptocurrency has been growing in the recent months. Though it has taken time, women investors have finally seen benefits of Bitcoin. Here are some ways the female population can take advantage of the cryptocurrency:
People have been using bitcoins to generate serious start-up capital. It has provided a new way to raise funds, thus shifting the investment status quo. This can be highly advantageous for female founders who the male-dominated Silicon Valley has overlooked.
There have already been several success stories with regards Bitcoin-funded startups. One example is Tezos, spearheaded by CEO Kathleen Breitman. Tezos has raised $232 million in July 2017.
Of course, Bitcoins do not only tap into big investment projects. They can also be used as microloans.
According to Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, women are a major untapped labor pool. They use funds better and have a higher chance of paying them back. However, women receive only 40% of loans according to the International Monetary Fund (IMF). Luckily, with microfinance, more and more women have access to cheaper and faster loan transactions that do not discriminate.
Sending and Receiving Remittances
Immigrants usually send money back home through remittances. The remittance industry generates about $430 billion annually in the US alone. However, international money transfer has high fees and complex process. Women sending and receiving remittances are all too ready for a better money transfer method. And Bitcoin might just be exactly what they’re looking for. In fact, it almost seems like the cryptocurrency is built for this purpose.
Promoting Women’s Economic Empowerment
Around the world, 40% of women lack access to accounts and services provided by financial institutions like banks. However, with digital payment methods like using Bitcoins, women have more control over their finances. This level of account ownership can increase their participation in the economy of their country.
Already, countries like Kenya are using mobile banking where people can transfer money through SMS. Several groups have also been working towards ramping up women’s access to different financial products. These groups believe that improving the female population’s financial status will have positive implications for the country’s health and education outcomes.
Paying Work Done and Keeping Earnings
In Afghanistan, women can’t work outside their homes. When they do, their earnings go to the male members of the family. In Africa, on the other hand, women make up 75% of the agricultural labor. However, they only get 10% of the overall earnings and hold 1% of the assets.
Roya Mahboob, founder of the Afghan Citadel Software Company and the first female IT CEO in the country, has solved this problem by using bitcoins to pay female contributors to her website. With bitcoins, she believes that women gain and keep control of their earnings.
Women have an equal chance to participate in the bitcoin revolution. It is for you to decide whether you will take the chance or not.