The latest statistics from Coindirect show that the ratio of women to men actively trading on the platform is 1 to 3. Photo: REUTERS/Benoit Tessier/File Photo/File Photo

DURBAN - Earlier this year a report published by fintech firm Bitpanda and market research company GlobalWebIndex indicated that 1 in 5 European crypto holders are women. 

The latest statistics from Coindirect, South Africa’s over-the-counter (OTC) crypto brokerage, show that the ratio of women to men actively trading on the platform is 1 to 3. 

"Cryptocurrency has long been an industry dominated by men, but increasingly, women are throwing their hats into the ring. Users, from large volume OTC investors to everyday traders, are becoming more varied, not just in the gender split, but across a number of other demographics including career, age, and primary interests," said Nic Haralambous, COO, Coindirect. 

The expansion of demographics is a point in cryptocurrencies’ favour as it indicates a wider pool of users who are interested in and, more importantly, transacting with crypto. The industry will need to rapidly grow this base in the medium term in order to secure mass adoption over the next decade. 

Haralambous said, "Digital currencies will absolutely change the way we transact in the near future".

He added, "Around the world, we have seen major companies like Walmart and Facebook announce digital currencies of their own, as well as governments beginning to formally address cryptocurrencies in regulation and usage – however contentious that may be. These changes may be related to why we have seen a growth in the number of women who are trading cryptocurrencies". 

Women make the majority of consumer spending decisions (an article on Entrepreneur.com put that figure at 70 to 80 percent). As the industry matures and finds its feet as a new financial system, women will have a large role to play in driving its adoption. One of the most natural fits for cryptocurrency usage is as a payment solution for retail and e-commerce businesses, which undoubtedly look to women as their primary market opportunity. 

He said, "We hope to see growing numbers of women trading cryptocurrency and becoming familiar with the system in 2020".

"It’s encouraging that the women currently trading crypto are from emerging markets in Africa and Asia. The more diverse the user pool becomes, the more potential Bitcoin and other decentralised currencies have for addressing the inadequacies of our current financial system," concluded Haralambous

BUSINESS REPORT ONLINE