How many times do you see adverts advertising the latest cryptocurrency event or conference? How many times have you clicked on these adverts only to find ticket prices in excess of $800.00? How many times have you then sat and wondered who the hell even goes to these events?
Well, according to a new report published by Bizzabo, the majority of these attendees at the majority of events are males from the United States who work within the finance sector. For a community that is supposed to be democratic, transparent and decentralised, this doesn’t sound right does it?
According to Bitcoin.com, the research has been carried out across the attendees of 100 cryptocurrency and blockchain conferences in 15 countries. Each event attracted visits from within the crypto industry and other related industries such as finance, fintech and computing. The results of the study find that gender seems to be the biggest split, with 79% of all attendees identifying as male. This proves many of the theories that state the gender divide is still big within blockchain technology, no matter what some of the leaders are saying.
In an earlier study, Bizzabo also found that 70% of prolific speakers are the majority of cryptocurrency events are also male, so perhaps the gender divide is so unequal here as females just aren’t being given the opportunity to present at these events?
Alon Alroy, the Chief of Customer Success at Bizzabo has weighed in on the gender disparity:
“Like the tech industry, at large, there is a lack of gender diversity in the overall virtual currencies space. We’re seeing that reflected in the attendance for these events, as well as the speakers. One cryptocurrency conference recently featured 84 men onstage and three women. That has to change.”
Of the attendees at the 100 measured conferences, 43% came from the United States, 28% from Britain and then 5% from Belgium, the rest of the attendees come from all over the world, but seem to be heavily underrepresented. In terms of their professional status, 57% of attendees from the 100 measured conferences work within the finance sector, and 37% from from within the technology sector. 6% of attendees work within management consulting, so again, this is hardly a wide variety of attendees, is it?
Part of the issue is that the pricing and location of these events means that they can only be attended by people with money, who work in jobs that allow them to go out of work to attend conferences, this means, they only really attract managers and high level staff, all of whom have the money to attend. By operating in this manner, the conferences are limiting opportunity for lesser paid workers and less well off members of the community who can’t afford tickets, nor can they get the time off work to attend. Moreover, by only attracting management level workers, the international gender divide seeps into crypto as well.
This all has to change, perhaps as more research like this gets published, we will see changes made.