on me 59 million adults in the US use cryptocurrency As of 2022. However, women own half of what men own. As ownership is broken down by race and ethnicity, this ownership gap widens even further, with 24% Latinx, 8% Black, 6% Asian and other races/ethnics. Britt Morin And the Jaime Schmidt They think this is due to a lack of access and understanding about Web 3, which is why they were founded BFFan open access community that aims to help more women and non-binary people get education, communication, and reward in coding and the web 3.
The company recently launched several new initiatives to continue its mission of expanding access to education, including free education Newsletter written by journalist Caroline Fairchild and the Affiliation and Subject Councila diverse group of individuals who will create programs and initiatives to support under-resourced communities, including professional development programs, partnerships with BIPOC organizations, and more.
I spoke to Maureen and Schmidt after launching the Belonging and Objective Council (BMC) last month.
Amy Schwenthal: tell me about BFF And how did you work together to create this community.
Britt Maureen: I have been in the crypto ecosystem for about a decade now. I hosted the Cryptocurrency Summit in January 2018 so Brit + CoMore than 20,000 women attended. This is where we started learning about basic things like Bitcoin, Ethereum, and blockchain.
It turns out that the number of women investing in cryptocurrency has decreased recently, 15% to 9%. So I called Jamie, whom I’ve only met once before and said, ‘I want to help me build a truly inclusive community that gives women the information and education they need, and of course, the opportunity to invest if they want to?’ This is how BFF was born.
Jaime Schmidt: I booted Schmidt NaturalsThe personal care brand acquired by Unilever. So I wanted to help companies that were also booting up. I was very active in the Clubhouse when people started talking more and more about web3, so my husband and I started our first project called CPG: Goods Packed with Cryptocurrency. we’ve got Genesis Group About 300 members. That’s what caught Brett’s interest. When she contacted me, I was excited to have an even greater impact on women in this field.
Schwenthal: Where does the name BFF come from?
Maureen: We wanted to create a community of women and non-binary people who could work together to invest in industries that have financial risks. The woman is actually More thoughtful investors from a man. But their risk tolerance tends to be much lower. We wanted to make this community feel like an easy place to go, where you’re not afraid to ask questions, as if you were talking to a friend. From here the name comes.
Schwenthal: You just said that women’s risk tolerance tends to be lower than men’s. Do you really think so?
Schmidt: That’s what the data says, but I had a hard time coming to terms with that statement because I’m thinking of my own story of getting involved as a seasoned entrepreneur with no experience and just doing it. It may be less about aversion to risk and more about a desire to be thoughtful and educated. That’s why we needed to create a space where women feel welcome but also get the education they crave.
Schwenthal: What are some of the challenges you both faced as women in crypto?
Maureen: The typical snag is that there are all these groups already formed, mostly men who allow each other to enter into new deals and opportunities. You kind of knock on the door and ask to be part of that group, but you don’t look or sound like them.
We figured that if men wouldn’t allow all women to join their groups, why not create ours? How can we tell people this new thing that’s coming up the pipeline and not feel left out?
We don’t think about the limitations of being women in Web 3. We think about the opportunities for us to build a broader network that allows others to join in.
Schmidt: The challenges we face are typical of any startup and are not necessarily a gender issue. There are a lot of brands in the space. What can we do differently? How do we stand out, how do we catch consumers’ attention and let people know we’re serious?
Schwenthal: I just announced the Affiliation and Subject Council, It is another step in building what appears to be equality and inclusiveness in web3. Can you tell me a little bit about that?
Schmidt: We wanted the council to be a group of people with the same intentions for equality and diversity in space. It’s a relatively new initiative and we’re excited about its possibilities.
Maureen: I’m really excited about the founding members of the board. We have everyone from actress, activist and entrepreneur Natasha Rothwell, for transgender leaders, lawyers, and everyone in between. We try to practice what we preach and make sure we have a vision for all kinds of underserved communities. We have to make sure that we don’t just do it as a verbal assignment, but actually build actions around it.
We want to show up at big events, multicultural festivals, and other places where we can create learning paths for people who still think Web 3 isn’t available. We also want to have some BFF community leaders, many of whom are venture capitalists or CEOs, helping guide and support people from these communities.
Schwenthal: It sounds like you’re really trying to make connections to people who don’t have that access yet, which speaks volumes about all the possibilities that exist in Web 3. However, I would also like to acknowledge the state of the market at the moment and what has happened over the past few months. Talk to me about snorkeling. What does that mean for people who are now more skeptical about investing?
Schmidt: Everything is fun and roses until the market collapses. This is just part of the normal cycle. For our community to go through that together and understand that this is the reality is really important.
Maureen: Remember, we’re too early. Only a single digit percentage of the world knows what coding and web 3 are. Once you get used to early adoption, you learn that things are fickle, which is really the nature of being early. Slowly, over time, more and more infrastructures will be built and regulation will be instilled. The last drop is that the cryptocurrency will be a file A $10 trillion market by 2030. I would say that this projection is fairly accurate.
It will take nearly a decade for cryptography and web 3 to become mainstream. The key to branding now is knowing how to attach real benefit to NFT projects. I just saw that Ticketmaster is now issuing tickets as NFTs. Pearson created NFT Books for college students, which makes sense when you think about how college students resell their books. There is so much value in the technology itself and so many use cases that we barely scratch the surface.
A lot of people could look at the market and think, this was just a fad. People who were only here for heresy will go. There will be less competition. This is where the real innovation will happen. I think 12 months from now we’ll see some really radical ideas emerge from this bear market.
Schwenthal: What do you think of what the future of cryptography and web3 will look like?
schmidt: I think infrastructure will still be really important. Think about how consumers make purchases, share purchases, and get messages from wallet to wallet. We’re building the basics of web3 just like we built the internet in the ’90s. When email was a new thing, people were like, Hey, I can send you a message and you’ll get it right away, and then you can message me again? This is madness.
People are just starting to think of NFTs as a real utility, not just a beautiful piece of art or a brand. Now there are membership communities, and only NFT reservations at real-life restaurants and social clubs.
Crypto and web3 can also be used to make things that are currently illiquid. It is really difficult nowadays to buy and sell real estate or for the average person to invest in a business. You can’t just decide to sell your house someday with a one-click transaction. There is an opportunity to make these transactions simpler. People building will now have a front row seat to take advantage of all this white space as new innovations emerge.
Maureen: We’re very early, but it’s not a zero-sum game. I really want us to be able to spotlight each other and share the wealth. And frankly, we need everyone to play and win if we really want to get more people into the fold. Fortunately, there is room for everyone to play and win.