Five big reasons women in tech are natural champions of cryptocurrencies

Cryptocurrency

Article by Katharine Wooller, Managing Director, Dacxi

Women who work in tech have a natural advantage when it comes to understanding cryptocurrency for five reasons:

  • They understand that the most important thing about tech isn’t knowing how it works but the benefits it delivers
  • They ‘get’ the fact that technology has to be the servant of a good idea
  • Women drive the world economy
  • They know at first hand just how quickly tech can drive change
  • They are perfectly placed to embrace high concept ideas like blockchain and decentralisation of autonomy

If there is one common mantra in our digital world it is this – people don’t buy tech, they buy the benefits it delivers. People don’t have to know that GPRS stands for Global Packet Radio Services, and how that works, to be able to use a small hand-held device to make telephone calls or send and receive emails. In the same way people don’t need to know how their dishwasher or washing machine comes to have 10 different wash programmes – they just want the option of choice.

The same is true of cryptocurrencies. At the end of the day people don’t need to get hung up on tech terms like ‘Proof of Work’ or ‘Proof of Stake’, or that ‘halving’ matters or HODL stands for ‘hold on for dear life’. The essential issue is whether crypto has any sensible use or value, either now or in the future as a means of saving, spending or investing.

The fact is that women have much more practical experience of evaluating tech and have long been early adopters of technology. Traditionally this was in a home environment where technology and automation meant labour savings which returned valuable time. Today women spend more time on the internet than their male counterparts, 72% of the female population shopping in a digital environment.  Women ‘do digital’.

Women also ‘get money’. They drive the world economy, research showing that they are responsible for between 70-80% of all purchases. As such the vast majority of tech development is focused on what women will buy next. The challenge for developers is that such experienced purchasers are very discerning. Whereas men may buy ‘tech for tech’s sake’ and ‘boy’s toys’, women demand technology that enhances an already valuable idea.

Tech needs to be sensible and sensible tech drives change at an exponential rate. You don’t need to work in tech to know that digital upgrades and new versions come ever more quickly – anybody with a mobile phone knows that. But if you are an industry insider you’ll see that digital technologies like AI, AR and VR are rewriting the rules. There is a new world just around the corner, a virtual digital world, the Metaverse, that will require digital currencies to function.

One of the big challenges faced by those outside of tech is that the debate around cryptocurrency is largely being driven from within a central banking and finance sector that still has a legacy obsession with ‘real money’ and issues surrounding security. Essentially this can be seen as protectionism for what is rapidly becoming an economic dinosaur, perpetuated by governments that fear digital currencies are beyond their control.

This flies in the face of the fact that 80% of the UK population already happily banks and transacts digitally online. As to the security issue, those in tech know that blockchain transactions are as secure, if not more secure and immutable than many already established banking protocols.

In terms of the big picture, everybody in tech works on a global playing field. Tech knows no international boundaries. Ideas and developments are shared and deployed on a cross-border basis. As such the concept of DeFi (decentralised finance) comes naturally to those in tech, and it is the corporate need for DeFi efficiencies and savings on a worldwide basis that will drive the adoption and inevitable growth of crypto.

At an individual level, for those women driving the world economy and making 80% of purchases, DeFi will make day-to-day living cheaper by reducing foreign currency exchange costs when buying online from abroad. The same too for foreign holidays. The only shame is that only 9% of the UK workforce work in the tech sector, and only 26% of that 3,000,000 are women. We need to share the bigger picture and the benefits that brings to a much wider female community.

At Dacxi, the UK’s pre-eminent crypto wealth building platform, we are already doing that and are seeing an increasing number of digitally savvy women acquiring a holding in cryptocurrencies as an investment for the future.  Not surprisingly many of them work in the tech sector – from our perspective women in tech are natural champions of DeFi and the development of crypto as a game-changing idea for the global economy.

Dacxi runs a Facebook group for women who are interested in learning about all aspects of cryptocurrency: https://www.facebook.com/womenwhocrypto

Katharine WoollerAbout the author

Katharine Wooller is managing director, UK and Eire, Dacxi – a digital crypto fintech platform specialising in bringing cryptocurrency to the ‘crowd’.


Why crypto is the smart choice for women who want to build wealth

Cryptocurrency

Article by Katharine Wooller, Managing Director, Dacxi

Over the past few years reports from respected commentators such as the FT, the well-known investment blog The Motley Fool, and Forbes have shown that women are better investors than men.

There is one main reason for this – women tend to think more strategically and are, in my experience, more patient when the market moves in a way they didn’t expect.  Whereas men want to trade the market, trying to make a ‘fast buck’, women are far more likely to buy and hold.

We’re talking about men who are amateur or hobby investors. If they buy something that doesn’t quickly go up, they get bored, sell out and buy something different. This could equally translate as ‘all the gear and no idea’ – you’ve may have come across men like this in all walks of life!

In truth this is really quite bizarre as the legendary ‘alpha male’ professional investors like Warren have a philosophy of buying into good ideas then sitting and waiting. It might not drive much adrenalin, but Mrs Buffet is probably very happy they have male partners who buck the trend.

Of course, on a day-by-day basis, cryptocurrency looks to be something of an adrenalin driven sector. But, in my experience, there are two sorts of investors in the cryptosphere. The first are those with a gold rush mentality who are trading and trying to ‘game the market’ looking for short-term returns to turn back into their local fiat currency. The second, however, believe that crypto is the future of finance and that, unlike fiat currency where sovereign governments can print money at will, blue chip coins with a finite quantum will increase in value over the long term.

Of the many reasons I believe crypto is a natural fit with women who want to invest, one of the foremost is that we feel a natural affinity with decentralised finance or DeFi.  In global terms governments, still predominantly male driven, waste fortunes whilst enabling financial institutions to make millions from bank charges on cross-border transactions.  Crypto, for many reasons is fairer, more democratic, and – to be blunt – doesn’t care about your gender.

Decentralised finance, facilitated by cryptocurrencies, will save a fortune on the digital purchases we want to make from the USA, China, or the rest of the world. Whether they come direct, or are manufactured there and sold here, there will be currency costs. DeFi and crypto will dramatically reduce these costs. The fact is that women buy 90% of just about everything, and no one likes to pay over the odds, as anyone who has had the misfortune of being on the end of my haggling skills will attest!

Recent statistics suggest that as few as 15% of those who invest in crypto are women. My business, Dacxi, a dedicated wealth building platform for crypto investors, recently staged its first post-lockdown event in London. I am enormously proud to report that at least half of the investors that attended were women.

We have been running a dedicated ‘Women Who Crypto’ group now for a few years now, to introduce women to the cryptosphere and enable them to invest. We run webinars and events, and, through the Dacxi platform, you can start to invest for as little as £100. If you want to know more about crypto, why not come and join our community? Find out how at https://dacxi.com/womenwhocrypto

Katharine WoollerAbout the author

Katharine Wooller is managing director, UK and Eire, Dacxi – a digital crypto fintech platform specialising in bringing cryptocurrency to the ‘crowd’.


Females finding financial freedom

Katharine Wooller, managing director UK & Eire, Dacxi

CryptocurrencyThis is dedicated to a topic, for obvious reasons, very close to my heart: financial freedom and empowerment for anyone of the female persuasion. 

I find it very odd that next to none of the dialogue around finance is tailored to a group that makes up exactly half the population. That which is out there, tends to be rather patronising: the colour pink features heavily, as does pictures of pre-school children, which I am not sure is appealing to a very wide audience.

I am beyond proud to host a group called “Women Who Crypto”, which we believe to be the largest online group of women with an interest in wealth creation and crypto.  Our attendees come from many countries, backgrounds, ages, and relationship statuses.  There are those, like me, who work full time in crypto, and those who have a passing interest as a ‘side hustle’.  Attending is, of course, free, and the sessions are every few months, in the evening, and the invite is clear that a glass of wine is encouraged, if you are partial to that sort of thing.

Frankly the crypto industry is missing a trick.  A poll of our members showed that that primary factor limited their interaction with crypto was lack of knowledge, with 43% saying this was a barrier to entry.  Despite this, 97% of them saw crypto as a feature of their long-term wealth planning.  This is a huge potential market.  Certainly, women feel under served by the industry – the FCA’s summer research note suggests that 79% of the current owners of crypto are male.  Interestingly, a lot of the major exchanges found a strong uptick in female users over the year, with Cointelegraph reporting numbers growing between 22% and 160% over 2020.  Hopefully, the erroneously held belief that crypto is male-dominated, and just for super-hip millennials bros, will soon be put firmly to bed.

There is some really interesting data about female investing.  Let us start with the battle of the sexes – the girls come out on top!  Warwick Business School conducted a study of 2,800 UK men and women investing tracking their performance over three years. Not only did the women outperform the FTSE 100 over the time period, they also achieved better returns than their male counterparts, beating men by 1.8%.   When you add some compounding over, say, 10 years, the difference in performance will be eyewatering.  One of my favourite quotes, seems relevant:  Charlotte Winton, who was a feminist trailblazer in her own right as first woman mayor of a major city in Canada claimed, “whatever women do they must do twice as well as men to be thought half as good”. Conveniently, she goes on to say: “luckily, this is not difficult’.

The way that women invest is also fascinating. Other academic findings have suggested that women have a more long-term investment perspective than men, and that female investors investors tend to be less likely to make risky financial decisions than men. The global BlackRock Investor Pulse survey shows that 72 per cent of women rejected investments in “riskier” categories, as opposed to 59 per cent of men.  I can’t help but think some of this is coloured by the fact that in an economic downturn, those most effected are at the bottom of the financial pile, which, regrettably, often includes women.

The psychologists suggest that women seem to favour a more rounded style of decision making.  Research shows that men and women differ dramatically in their strategies for information processing and decision-making.  Women tend to be more comprehensive and take both subjective (customer reviews) and objective information into consideration, while men tend to favour objective information (facts and figures).  Overall women consult a broad source of information, and are more community focused in sourcing this infromation.  For this reason, we bring together a broad range of female experience on our sessions; we hear from women who are single, married, divorced, had kids, or have chosen not to.  They all have their own reasons for investing, whether its financial security, a marriage insurance policy, or for their childrens’ futures. We rarely have professional speakers, rather we prefer “normal ladies” to talk about their personal crypto experience, be it the good, the bad, or the very ugly.  Interestingly, most industry research, across both sexes, show that crypto is predominately purchased on the basis of recommendation.

I also want to give a nod to the women that invest on “gut feel”, and prioritise an intuitive decision making process.  Lots of crypto fans, myself included, feel that the world’s financial system leaves a lot to be desired, and that crypto is about a fairer system and the democratisation of wealth.  In my opinion, to be involved in crypto now, is not about waiting for the mainstream, it is about helping to make something mainstream. Tokenisation, via crypto, across every asset class, is the obvious next step of this evolution of our financial infrastructure.

Katharine Wooller About the author

Katharine Wooller is managing director, UK and Eire, Dacxi – a digital crypto fintech platform specialising in bringing cryptocurrency to the ‘crowd’.

Katharine Wooller has had a long UK fintech career, as Investment Director at industry leading peer-to-peer lender, and in senior roles at a specialist investment banking SAAS supporting tier one banks, asset managers and hedge funds.  More recently she has held advisory roles for blockchain businesses and is currently MD for a retail crypto exchange. She leads the Women Who Crypto initiative.


If you are a job seeker or someone looking to boost their career, then WeAreTechWomen has thousands of free career-related articles. From interview tips, CV advice to training and working from home, you can find all our career advice articles here


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COVID is casting a spell on financial decision making, but it needn't be like that

Article by Katharine Wooller, Managing Director, UK & Eire, Dacxi

women-in-finance-Like many people, I was delighted to hear the recent news that Pfizer’s coronavirus vaccine has 90% effectiveness; the FTSE jubilantly jumped 5% on hearing the news.

Other vaccines are now under the spotlight as well, showing varying degrees of high efficacy rates in trials.

The politicians who are charged with looking after our economy, and the lockdown strategy, were less enthusiastic, pointing out both that the vaccine needs regulatory approval, and that it would take an extended period of time to inoculate a significant proportion of the population.

The rhetoric from Boris was clear; warning people not to “rely on this news as a solution” to the pandemic.  In terms of an end to the Covid nightmare, England’s deputy chief medical officer, Prof Jonathan Van-Tam, (who I think we can safely assume is more motivated by scientifically observable truths than political rhetoric) was keen to stress this is no quick fix, saying there would only be a “much better horizon” by the spring.  Indeed, the news that school exams are, now, being cancelled for Summer 2021, and that the furlough scheme will run until March suggests not much will change in the near term.

It led me to think how difficult it is to make financial decisions currently.  The sensible mantra seems to be: Hope for peace, prepare for war.  Whilst I have previously written about the opportunity in chaos, many are quite rightly focused on wealth preservation.

In fact, the medium-term outlook demands it.  Even if Covid finally disappears in the rear-view mirror we have political uncertainty in the US, and the cluster-bodge that is Brexit. Frankly there’s not many places for cash to hide and wait it out.  Commercial property primarily relies on the strength of our High Street and our need for offices, both of which are at an all-time low.

Buy to let property is crippled by 6-month minimum notice periods.  Whilst the stamp duty holiday is providing brief respite, let us not forget that the forecasts for property next year make grim reading – the Bank of England predicting a 16% drop, and CEBR a 14% drop.  The major central banks have printed so much money that inflation can run amok; I also believe the stock market to be artificially propped up by all this nigh-on-free money and due a major correction next year.

It is difficult to know where to turn, but there a few assets which have strongly beaten the market.  Year to date figures are encouraging on gold (22%) silver (34%), traditionally seen as the “safe havens” in times of downturn.  At Dacxi we have seen a great response to our new product, which provides a bundle of gold, silver, and platinum together in a tokenised form, with an entry level of £200.

Crypto of course continues to do very well, with bitcoin seeing 109% growth, Ethereum 254% and Litecoin 42% so far this year.

So, what are the lessons here?  Diversify.  Preserve the hard-earned wealth you’ve got.  Ask yourself one critical question: Can you afford not to?

About the author

Katharine WoollerKatharine Wooller is managing director, UK and Eire, Dacxi – a digital crypto fintech platform specialising in bringing cryptocurrency to the ‘crowd’.

Katharine Wooller has had a long UK fintech career, as Investment Director at industry leading peer-to-peer lender, and in senior roles at a specialist investment banking SAAS supporting tier one banks, asset managers and hedge funds.  More recently she has held advisory roles for blockchain businesses and is currently MD for a retail crypto exchange. She leads the Women Who Crypto initiative.


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The tipping point | Adventures of a Unicorn

Katharine Wooller, Managing Director, UK and Eire, Dacxi

CryptocurrencyGetting crypto to be taken seriously sometimes feels like pushing a very large snowball up a hill; at some point it has to have the critical mass to gather its own momentum!

Over the last few weeks it feels as though, finally, the industry has come of age, hastened greatly of course by a global pandemic, and the implosion of all major economies.

It seems as in the David and Goliath fight that is crypto Vs banking, that the first-round bell has gone off, with surprising results.

The industry news of recent weeks is enlightening, affirming confidence from institutional investors.

The asset manager Stone Ridge Holdings Group has purchased 10,000 BTC (approx. £88m at the time of writing) as a “primary treasury reserve asset”.  Micro-strategy has purchase $425m worth of BTC, and Square has invested $50m.  Mode Global Holdings, a London Stock Exchange-listed company, has announced plans to make a substantial purchase, as it looks to convert 10% of its cash holdings as part of a strategy “protect investors’ assets from currency debasement.”

Grayscale Investments, whose clients are mainly institutional and professional investors, announced a record quarter, with over $1 billion raised in three months, more than four times the amount for same quarter last year.   Even the investment banks have had reason to pause on their usual scorn: JP Morgan issued a research note on bitcoin stressing the “vote of confidence” from Square’s recent treasury purchase of $50 million worth of BTC.  If the institutional interest is there, crypto is finally being taken seriously as an asset class.

To my mind, the industry is now a force to be reckoned with.  It is no longer only a niche interest for hipsters, millennials and PHD computer scientists.  This week a PWC report on investment in crypto related businesses suggests that the industry is all grown up, with $1.1bn being deployed via venture capital.  The value of these deals in the first half of 2020 has already eclipsed that of the whole of 2019.  The rate of progress is clearly ramping up.  Around $597m has been spent on 60 deals in 6 months, mostly focused on crypto exchanges (in my opinion a long overdue consolidation) and trading infrastructure – again a sign of a maturing industry.

These changes are best seen via the lens of a global shift to blockchain technology, which is now omnipresent across a large number of industries, not just banking and payments, but also supply chain logistics, gambling, gaming, healthcare and agriculture.  I would go so far as to say it is necessary progress for mankind.

PWC estimates that blockchain technology stands to boost the global economy by $1.7tr in the next 10 years –  at 1.4% of global GDP this is significant in our current predicament.  PWC’s economists are very specific about timescale, forecasting a tipping point of 2025 if blockchain technologies are adopted at scale across the world, suggesting that the UK stands to benefit by around $50bn over the decade.  They also identify that financial services stands to generate $224bn worth of value from blockchain, unsurprising therefore that the blockchain industry is “eating the lunch” of traditional banking businesses.

It is no surprise to me that Paypal, one of the world’s largest payment businesses, has finally confirmed, officially, in the last few days they will be offering crypto to their 300m+ users, nor that the prices reacted very positively to this news – at the time of writing the last 24 hours have seen Bitcoin rally 6%, Ethereum 9% and Litecoin 12%.

The rate of progress has noticeably ramped up in the last few weeks, and in my opinion, we are past the point of no return.  Great news for the industry, and early investors alike.  I’ll raise a glass to that!

Adventures of a unicorn is a business blog documenting the daily life of tech start up in hypergrowth.  Dacxi is a unique crypto business in the crowd lending space.  

Katharine Wooller About the author

Katharine Wooller is managing director, UK and Eire, Dacxi – a digital crypto fintech platform specialising in bringing cryptocurrency to the ‘crowd’.

Katharine Wooller has had a long UK fintech career, as Investment Director at industry leading peer-to-peer lender, and in senior roles at a specialist investment banking SAAS supporting tier one banks, asset managers and hedge funds.  More recently she has held advisory roles for blockchain businesses and is currently MD for a retail crypto exchange. She leads the Women Who Crypto initiative.


If you are a job seeker or someone looking to boost their career, then WeAreTechWomen has thousands of free career-related articles. From interview tips, CV advice to training and working from home, you can find all our career advice articles here


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A Need for Speed and Valuation Madness | Adventures of a Unicorn

desk-with-laptopIt is a truth universally acknowledged that speed kills, particularly in start-up land. Every new tech business is obsessed with the maximum addressable market and getting the “hockey stick” of hyper growth.

For most immature and cash-strapped businesses, understandably, the quicker they can scale, the better, and ideally aided by VC/PE funding. Timing can be live or die.

Interestingly, numerous fintech businesses that are not revenue generating or have a large client bank with non-viable account levels, have achieved eye-watering sale prices. It can be postulated that some of the tech industry valuations defy logic. Great for founders, not so hot for hype-driven investors.

It is therefore interesting to reflect on the speed of adoption, and the journey to becoming a dominant technology. Previously, there was much talk around the “first mover advantage”, where being the first business to dominate a niche was usually the victor. Interestingly, technology businesses tell a more subtle story, with good examples being Microsoft coming up with a tablet a full decade before the iPad which ultimately triumphed; and Friendster (amongst others) beating Facebook as first to the lucrative party that is social media.

Crypto is a particularly interesting case study in adoption vs value, and a quick google search will reveal as many evangelical fans as doom mongering naysayers. However, it is a fact crypto currency cannot exist if the local currencies are effective.

The most interesting tech businesses drive innovation and delivers something the world does not yet know it needs, thus making the market. Annoyingly, the word disruptive has been often overused. Uber did not invent cab rides, any more than eBay did not invent e-commerce, nor Airbnb the holiday let. They simply provide a better more fit-for-purpose version. Crucially, they provided the right product, in the right place, at the right time. Certainly, recent economic events suggest that the global financial infrastructure is not up to scratch, and the major crypto coins have recovered harder and faster than traditional assets.

What is more interesting is whether crypto is in its “iPhone moment” where it reaches the tipping point to become the dominant technology. Indeed, the attention from hedge fund managers, asset managers and tier one banks, who are finally taking it seriously as an asset class, would suggest so.

We must acknowledge there have been some heinously bad ideas in the crypto industry, toxic coins, poorly executed exchanges, and bizarre hybrid financial instruments. Crypto suffers, rightly, from an image crisis and increasing interest from regulatory bodies should provide a much needed clear out, particularly in the privacy tokens arena.

Bitcoin’s investment cycle to date has been complex; the major returns running to thousands of per cent, seen in late 2017 early 2018, were a quick burst bubble, motivated by hype rather than solid fundamentals. At one point during these heady times, Ripple’s co-founder, was richer, on paper than the founders of Google and Facebook. Hindsight is a beautiful thing!

The further bitcoin deviates from standard asset classes, and it is widely held to now be decoupled from traditional markets, the harder it is to analyse. Like the dot-com boom of the noughties, the previous explosive growth was based on irrational speculative values, but what it has achieved is to lay the groundwork for “2nd Wave” businesses. Interestingly, in the previous internet mobile tech boom, this created some of the most valuable companies in history. The second crypto wave, the evidence suggests, is here.

Adventures of a Unicorn is a business blog written by Katharine Wooller, Managing Director, UK & Eire, Dacxi.com. It documents the daily life of tech start-up in hypergrowth.

Katharine WoollerAbout the author

Katharine Wooller is managing director, UK and Eire, Dacxi – a digital crypto fintech platform specialising in bringing cryptocurrency to the ‘crowd’.

Katharine Wooller has had a long UK fintech career, as Investment Director at industry leading peer-to-peer lender, and in senior roles at a specialist investment banking SAAS supporting tier one banks, asset managers and hedge funds.  More recently she has held advisory roles for blockchain businesses and is currently MD for a retail crypto exchange. She leads the Women Who Crypto initiative.

 

 


If you are a job seeker or someone looking to boost their career, then WeAreTechWomen has thousands of free career-related articles. From interview tips, CV advice to training and working from home, you can find all our career advice articles here