In July 2010, you could buy a Bitcoin for AU$1.05.
As of the 15th of December 2017, you could sell a Bitcoin for over AUS$24,850.
The clever people who took a gamble on the cryptocurrency – which, in the simplest of terms, looks to cut through foreign currencies and banks to provide a global money system without transaction fees or exchange rates – won big. The people who invested in Bitcoin in its infancy and early years are now sitting on a goldmine. A very confusing, tech-jargon-y, penis-y goldmine.
Apologies for that term, but it’s true. It’s reported around 95 per cent of the people who invested in Bitcoin at the most lucrative times were men.
In 2013, Zero Hedge reported: “The ‘average Bitcoin user’ is male (96%), 32.7 years old, libertarian/anarcho-capitalist (37%), non-religious (61%), with a full time job (43%), and is in a relationship (56%).”
See? Very penis-y.
This shouldn’t exactly shock us – women’s resistance to invest money compared to men is well documented – but when you see it laid out so brutally, it stings. It feels like we’re failing. Probably because we are.
On the whole, as women, we are being meek and scared with our money. We’re not being brave enough to take the gambles – educated gambles – our male counterparts make, and in the end we are losing.
In January, money expert Sallie Krawcheck wrote for Bumble:
We women default to keeping some 68 percent of our savings in checking and savings accounts instead of in diversified investment portfolios that historically have higher yields over time. Why does that matter? Consider these numbers: Let’s say you are making $85,000 a year and setting aside 20 percent (good on you!), but putting it into a savings account rather than investing.
Any guess what that costs you over a decade? It’s $100 a day!
This isn’t our fault. It would be foolish and narrow-minded to think that women don’t invest money because we are born risk averse, or financially illiterate. But over centuries, we have been conditioned to falsely believe that money, maths, and investing aren’t our business. We’ve been relegated to a place where talk of money is muted; inappropriate and crass, even.
The reasons behind this are multi-faceted and insidious, says financial expert Canna Campbell.
“Investing is not rocket science, but I think the reason so many women haven’t invested is that a lot of the marketing and language is directed towards men,” Campbell tells Mamamia.
“Even down to the notes, a lot of the people printed on them are males. Colours used in advertising are tilted towards men, there are lots of blacks and greys and blues. Everything to do with money and finance has a very masculine energy about it.”
We don’t invest because it feels overwhelming. And because it’s overwhelming we feel helpless. So we just… leave our money in our bank accounts.