Crypto Enthusiasts Are Mainly Young White Men. Here's Why I Think Everyone Should Invest in Crypto.

Men are still much more likely than women to own and invest in crypto. According to The Motley Fool Ascent's 2024 Cryptocurrency Investor Trends Survey, nearly half of all women surveyed (46%) say they are "very unlikely" to invest in crypto, and another 23% are "somewhat unlikely" to. That's despite the recent upturn in the crypto market and the launch of new investment products for Bitcoin (CRYPTO: BTC).

So what's going on here? It's easy to chalk it up to "women invest differently than men," but let's dig deeper into the numbers to see what's happening. Surely, more than 15 years after Bitcoin launched, we shouldn't be seeing the same type of gender gap as we saw during the early days of crypto.

"I don't know what to do with it"

One of the major concerns of skeptical women can be summarized as, "I don't know what to do with it." In fact, more than a third (35%) of women surveyed cited this as a major concern about investing in cryptocurrency.

That might explain why even the launch of the new spot Bitcoin exchange-traded funds (ETFs) is not having much of an impact. People are still struggling to understand what you can actually do with it.

Investor with laptop working from home.

Image source: Getty Images.

And that's a shame, because some of the strongest voices for expanding the opportunity set for Bitcoin are women. For more than two years, for example, Cathie Wood of Ark Invest has been banging the drum for why it is such a fantastic long-term investment. At the same time, she has been helping to explain the potential uses for it.

While Bitcoin is best known as a long-term store of value (similar to gold), did you know that one of the most popular uses for it is sending cross-border remittances to friends and family? Or that it is becoming more popular as a form of payment in less-developed nations? Mobile devices are now ubiquitous around the world, making it easy for anyone to send Bitcoin with a few clicks and taps.

Elizabeth Stark, chief executive officer of Lightning Labs, has also emerged as another prominent voice explaining the potential uses of the digital currency. Her company is helping to build and expand the Bitcoin Lightning Network, a super-fast payment system built on top of the core Bitcoin blockchain.

As Stark explains, the Lightning Network is becoming a "programmable financial layer for the internet." The more you can program this financial layer, the more you can do with Bitcoin.

"I don't understand how to buy it"

Another concern of women in the survey is the perceived complexity of buying cryptocurrency. Granted, before the launch of the new spot Bitcoin ETFs, you definitely needed at least a rudimentary understanding of how crypto worked in order to buy it.

But that has all changed. You can now purchase it as easily as you purchase your favorite tech stock. As a result, the new spot ETFs should level the playing field for women and other underrepresented groups in crypto.

And since these ETFs were created by major firms like Fidelity Investments, you no longer have to worry about trusting your money to the likes of Sam Bankman-Fried. That should help to alleviate another major concern women mentioned: security. The price of Bitcoin might still be volatile, but at least you don't have to worry about your investment disappearing overnight!

Men are from Bitcoin, women are from Ethereum?

If you are still convinced that "men are from Mars, and women are from Venus," then maybe it's time to explore the crypto market beyond just Bitcoin. There are literally thousands of different digital currencies, each supported by a blockchain ecosystem and a dedicated community of investors, developers, and users.

When you invest in Ethereum (CRYPTO: ETH), for example, you are investing in more than just a "coin" or "token." You are investing in its entire ecosystem. This includes decentralized finance (DeFi) projects, decentralized apps running on the blockchain, non-fungible tokens (NFTs), and plenty of niche blockchain projects powered by smart contracts.

And if you don't like Ethereum, there's always Cardano (CRYPTO: ADA), Solana (CRYPTO: SOL), or Avalanche (CRYPTO: AVAX).

All of which is to say: If you think that crypto is only for young white men, then you're very much mistaken. There's something for everyone. So if you're still on the fence about investing in crypto, it might be time to start looking into the diverse ecosystems at the heart of every major cryptocurrency.

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Dominic Basulto has positions in Bitcoin, Cardano, and Ethereum. The Motley Fool has positions in and recommends Avalanche, Bitcoin, Cardano, Ethereum, and Solana. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.

The views and opinions expressed herein are the views and opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Nasdaq, Inc.


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