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Digital Currency, Blockchain, and the Empowerment of Women

By March 17, 2022March 23rd, 20227 minute read
Note: This blog is written by an external blogger. The views and opinions expressed within this post belong solely to the author.

Everyone has heard of blockchain, yet only a tiny percentage of us are familiar with the notion it represents. Despite the tech industry rapidly moving forward with the research and implementation of blockchain, the majority of the common folk continue to debate its existence, legality, and implications of its application.

There is a chance that you are already familiar with – decentralized digital currencies such as Bitcoin, Ethereum, and the like. A central authority or any other third party is not required to operate these currencies. It is all because of the disruptive innovation of blockchain technology, which is at the heart of this revolution.

To put it another way, blockchain is capable of far more than just running cryptocurrency. The next frontier of women’s economic empowerment may be driven by this technology, which can protect everything from personal documents to contracts to payments.

Blockchain & Cryptocurrencies: A Push towards empowering women

In the last decade, women’s empowerment has been on the rise; every day, women claim the control they were formerly denied. We are defying prejudices and promoting equality. But what is the role of blockchain? For women, blockchain is the future. That implies higher incomes and more women making a difference.

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The future of blockchain tech is promising, but there is a severe lack of informed professionals. Blockchain bridges gender disparities by connecting them to the world economy. The possibilities for blockchain-based products are tremendous, as are the opportunities for women. Many industry experts have multiple positions. While a technical background is preferred, it is not a prerequisite for a blockchain enthusiast. Women in blockchain have taken on technical, academic, commercial, regulatory, marketing, and public relations responsibilities.

The development of blockchain technology relies heavily on collective wisdom. Many blockchain initiatives are developed on open-source platforms where anyone can engage and contribute. Everyone must meet the same standards to join and contribute to the blockchain. Code is code, no matter who provides the source for it. Women are more likely to develop blockchain solutions that match with corporate social responsibility, community building, and the sharing economy.

Besides blockchain, women are also actively entering the traditionally male-dominated investment sector. According to a BlockFi survey, more women are interested in cryptocurrencies. One-third of the women in the survey were interested in acquiring digital assets.

Other research suggests that the scenario is similar in India as well. In spite of India’s second-place position in crypto adoption, women make up only a small percentage of crypto investors. Data acquired from multiple cryptocurrency exchanges suggest that 10-15% of crypto investors are female.

How can this emerging tech help?

A growing number of women are being compensated for their labor – and are able to keep the money they make.

“A woman’s work is never done,” goes the age-old saying. Perhaps the phrase “a woman’s work is never compensated” is more appropriate. According to one UNDP report, in Africa, women make up more than half of the population and contribute to 75% of agricultural labor, but females hold just 1% of assets and earn 10% of overall wages.

Many women in Afghanistan are forbidden from working away from home by their male family members. Physical abuse and having their earnings confiscated by their male family members are possible consequences for those who do not. This problem was addressed by Afghan entrepreneur and philanthropist Roya Mahboob, who was named one of Time’s 100 Most Influential People. The ladies were not only compensated, but they also had a say in how much they made.

If you’re a small-business owner, you may want to consider accepting cryptocurrency payments. Entrepreneur magazine reports that “thousands of small vendors currently accept Bitcoin payments,” and the website even provides instructions for Etsy sellers on how to accept Bitcoin as a form of payment for their goods.

Better access to financial services.

Just 18 percent of men and women in the Middle East and Africa have savings accounts, “compared with 89 percent of the population in high-income countries,” The Economist reported back in 2014. Globally, the “unbanked” percentage of women is seven percentage points greater than that of men, according to a newer World Bank report. Years later, the situation has improved but still has enormous room to be better. 

“Digital payments can promote women’s economic empowerment by facilitating greater account ownership and asset accumulation and increasing women’s economic participation,” the report persisted.

“Payments provided via an account can provide the on-ramp to financial inclusion and in many cases the first account that a woman has in her own name and under her control. Opening an account can be an important first step for an entrepreneur’s introduction to the formal economy.”

Mobile banking is prevalent in countries like Kenya, where money can already be exchanged via SMS, and organizations like the Praekelt Foundation are also striving to increase the accessibility of financial goods for women. The organization has teamed with the blockchain platform Stellar to launch a product that allows customers to convert phone minutes into currency using the existing Vumi app. These kinds of ventures might take off using blockchain technology since more digital money transfers and corruption-proof financial security could be made possible. The Praekelt Foundation believes that improving the financial situation of women has “positive implications for a nation’s education and health outcomes.”

Women can aid their families via faster and cheaper remittances.

Immigrants’ practice of remitting part of their income to loved ones back home is known as remittances. Over $80 billion is sent back and forth each year by Indians living abroad to their loved ones back home. However, international money transfers can be expensive, time-consuming, and complicated by the legal status of the sender. Using blockchain technology would not only make these transactions more cost-effective and safe, but it would also make the entire process more convenient for all parties involved in the transaction. Women around the world are just as likely as males to send remittances and more likely to receive them.

Gender parity in Bitcoin/Blockchain will make it more likely that developers will address issues like remittances that affect women around the world more thoroughly.

The use of smart contracts as a form of ownership protection.

There is a lack of adequate land titling for the vast majority of the world’s people. Insecure land ownership is a particular problem for women. According to the data, women make up only a small percentage of landowners. Furthermore, in many countries, women’s land rights are discouraged because of a lack of enforcement of land legislation. Women’s land ownership rights are also affected by the structure of patriarchal power and the discrepancies between customary law and constitutions.

The practical implementation of smart contracts for equitable ownership distribution in this scenario can be made possible by blockchain education for property selling institutions. The technology can easily detect false documentation. Using the support of its global members, blockchain networks are able to validate every transaction. Because of this, there is a low probability that member nodes will not speculate on false data. The immutability of blockchain-based data is also a result of this.

Taking control of their land rights will be made easier for women as a result of this initiative. In addition, it will prevent any male family or government official from tampering with the ownership information. Once the blockchain records the document, no one will be able to refute that the land’s ownership information is linked to the specific lady.

Safety of personal records and establishing immutable digital IDs

According to the World Bank, in underdeveloped nations, women are less likely than men to have an official ID because they lack a birth certificate or other essential documentation. As a result of the blockchain’s ability to securely keep personal details in a cost-effective manner, women could get access to land and bank accounts, as well as prospects in the formal economy through digital IDs.

Careers in Technology

This is rather obvious.

Increasing interest in digital technology is being driven by the growing number of women who use blockchain and cryptocurrencies for both personal and corporate purposes. Women’s interest in the blockchain enables them to participate in emerging business endeavors as well as transact in the blockchain.

Because of advancements in technology, women can now work from home under more flexible schedules, lowering the financial burden of child care while maintaining their productivity and profitability.

Increasing the number of women working in blockchain-related jobs has not only improved the lives of women but has also boosted innovation and economic growth.

Looking ahead

Those mentioned above are just the tip of the iceberg. Every day the rapidly expanding blockchain and cryptocurrency industry presents new opportunities for both women and men alike. However, compared to the traditional sectors, the blockchain space has come out to be much more inviting for women with no barrier to entry.

In order to be clear, blockchain is not a magic wand. It will not, in any way, alter the social norms. But it has the potential to be a game-changer.” In addition to enhancing women’s employment prospects, this policy could also boost their involvement in the workforce. People that are unable to work because of a lack of infrastructure may find it more difficult to assert their rights.

Laws that drastically limit the economic opportunities for women are still in place in the vast majority of nations around the world. In areas where women’s equality is legally recognized, customary law may even supersede statutory law. Assuming this scenario plays out, we can’t anticipate blockchain to significantly impact the law or society in general. However, it can serve as an innovative channel for increasing women’s access to economic advantages. As a result, blockchain can be helpful in places where women’s rights are needed, but the infrastructure is lacking.

Disclaimer: Cryptocurrency is not a legal tender and is currently unregulated. Kindly ensure that you undertake sufficient risk assessment when trading cryptocurrencies as they are often subject to high price volatility. The information provided in this section doesn't represent any investment advice or WazirX's official position. WazirX reserves the right in its sole discretion to amend or change this blog post at any time and for any reasons without prior notice.
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