In October, Sarah Monson learned that Facebook was Changing its name to Meta and shifting its focus to something called the metaverse, an immersive virtual world that didn’t exist yet, but which the company said would one day take over the internet. Monson, a 44-year-old mother and business writer who recently moved to Hawaii, found the news disturbing.
“I thought, oh my God, Mark Zuckerberg is going to drag us all into this creepy metaverse whether we like it or not, and we have nothing to say,” he said during an interview last week at NFT LA, a cryptocurrency conference in downtown The Angels.
Monson thought her 6-year-old daughter would encounter some version of the metaverse in the future, and she wanted to be prepared. He decided that the best thing for him to do was learn about the technologies that many metaverse advocates believed would support him, including CRYPTOCURRENCIES Y NFTor non-fungible tokens.
“My main point was that I want to educate myself,” Monson said. He, too, did not want to miss out on what seemed to him to be another great technological boom. “I lived in Seattle during the dotcom bubble and had no voice or power to do anything,” he said.
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Monson started investing in cryptocurrencies several years ago. But he spent the last five months immersing himself in the market, listening to NFT podcasts, joining discord servers, and connect with other moms on Twitter. Now he is preparing to launch his first NFT art collection, which he called The Latchkey Childrena reference to members of his generation born in the 1970s and 1980s. On the second day of NFT LA, he wore a face mask and a T-shirt emblazoned with the colorful cartoon goats he helped design for the project.
The younger American men are more like To say they’ve heard a lot about crypto, a small but growing number of moms, like Monson, are getting into the industry. For them, the stakes when investing in cryptocurrencies may be higher. Most of the six mothers interviewed for this article said they expected cryptocurrencies and NFTs to significantly change their families’ financial security for generations to come. They said they felt his perspective was different from the “crypto bros” often associated with the market.
“With more and more parents entering this space, we have a different mindset,” said Olayinka Odeniran, founder of the Black Women Blockchain Council, an organization that supports Black women seeking careers in the blockchain and fintech industries, which has a 12 – daughter of years. “Our approach is different from single guys or girls who are here solely to invest. We are here really because we want to leave something for our family and we want them to be able to participate in our space.”
Odeniran and other mothers like her represent a minority of the crypto industry. Only 13% of American women in their 30s and 40s say they have invested, traded, or used cryptocurrency, compared to 43% of men in their teens and 20s, according to a Pew Research Center. study published in November. Overall, twice as many men invest in crypto as women, according to CNBC poll found.
The lack of women is so pronounced that it is often the butt of jokes. During the conference Monson attended, comedian Kristin Key mused onstage that maybe NFT stood for “no women today.” (Audience did not laugh.)
But now, in the midst of another bull market, a new wave of women’s-themed organizations have emerged saying they want to encourage more women to get involved in crypto.
Deana Burke, a mother of two children under the age of 5 and co-founder of the Boys Club, a crypto collective designed for women and non-binary people, said there is more enthusiasm to enter the industry among women than when she first joined a few years ago. years. .
“I couldn’t get anyone to care,” Burke said. “But now there is this environmental curiosity.”
One of the best known “Crypto Moms” is Securities and Exchange Commissioner Hester Pierce. She was given the nickname by members of the crypto community, who often see her as an ally to their industry. Ella Pierce said that she generally doesn’t mind being called a mother, even though she doesn’t actually have any biological children. But she also thinks that her role should not be considered as a parent.
“I think it’s kind of bad that a government official is seen in parental terms, because my philosophy for regulation is, look, this country is built on freedom and people making their own decisions,” he said. “I’m certainly old enough to be a lot of the mothers of these crypto people, so from that perspective, it’s not too crazy either.”
Pierce isn’t the only person referred to as a crypto mom. Brenda Gentry, a full-time cryptocurrency trader based in San Antonio, has marked herself online as “MsCryptoMom”. His motto: “The mother knows best.”
Gentry, 46, grew up in Kenya and previously worked as a mortgage underwriter for USAA, a financial services firm for members and veterans of the US military. She resigned in October, after she and her husband estimated their retirement accounts would be worth around $400,000 to $500,000 if they continued to work for the next 20 years, about the same amount Gentry said she had already earned through cryptocurrency trading. Gentry said that she is excited about the financial opportunities that crypto presents, but she is also aware of the risks involved.
“Sometimes I see these little kids on Twitter saying, ‘I made a lot from this NFT and I’m going to quit my job,’ and I’m like, what?” Gentry said. “They forget that we have bad markets. You know, you have to think about that too.”
Gentry said he protects himself by only investing in crypto projects that reveal the real names of the people behind them. She believes that investment opportunities in space are more likely be scams if they are run by anonymous founders.
“I wouldn’t invest money if I don’t know who the team is. If I don’t know, if they are anonymous, I walk away. The only one who is anonymous is Satoshi,” Gentry said, referring to the creator of bitcoin, whose true identity remains unknown.
looking for opportunities
Brenda Cataldo, a real estate agent and mother of five living in Palm Bay, Florida, said she sees crypto as a rare opportunity to build wealth for her family and a community at large.
“If I can earn money, I can help everyone around me. I don’t think that’s a bad thing,” she said. “If you don’t take care of yourself, how can you take care of others?”
Cataldo has been investing in cryptocurrencies for a few years. But she started learning about NFTs on TikTok last fall. She is now preparing to launch her own NFT collection called fancy ladies, which was inspired by his mother, who immigrated to the US from the Philippines. She said 20 percent of the proceeds will go to support foster children.
“I just think how lucky and blessed I was to have a mother who was so supportive of me,” she said. “I want to give back a little bit to kids who don’t have that.”
Other moms interviewed also said they see crypto as an avenue to raise money for charitable causes. Gentry said she and her husband have run a nonprofit supporting poor families in her native Kenya for years, but the extra money from cryptocurrency trading has made a big difference.
“When my parents came back to Kenya in January, instead of helping the 20 or 30 people that we usually help, they were able to help 200 people,” she said. “So it’s not just generational wealth for my grandchildren, my children’s children that they haven’t had yet, but for other families as well.”
But Shailee Adinolfi, mother and strategic sales and account director at blockchain software company Consensys, cautioned that it’s not necessarily easy for people today to transfer the money they earn from crypto to their families or other organizations.
“What if you want to pass crypto on to your kids? There are no shared accounts,” she said. “We need to think about all kinds of people and how they interact with systems and not just develop them for the same group of people who usually code.”
Monson said she wants to convince more mothers like her to participate in NFT’s art collections. But she said that many of them worry about the environmental impact of bitcoin and how much electricity it uses.
Burke noted that there are a number of new blockchain technologies already in use they are designed to consume fewer resources. She said that there are many people in crypto who want to address the damage being done to the environment, rather than contribute to it.
“The world that I am a part of in web3 and crypto is very, very, very climate conscious and actively working to improve the situation,” he said.
Monson said he expects the industry to continue to evolve. For now, he plans to continue exploring what the world of cryptocurrencies could mean for his and his family’s future.
“I love my job and I love what I do, but I am more than just a mom, and I feel like a lot of other moms, we need more,” she said. “This is an exciting new life change.”