Survey shows gender differences in cryptocurrency education
But across the board, there's a real hunger for more cryptocurrency education.
A new survey from eToro has found, among other differences, a gender gap in cryptocurrency education, and how this is shaping the likelihood of someone wanting to trade cryptocurrencies.
The findings suggest a considerably difference, with 51% of women identifying a lack of education and knowledge in the space as the main reason they're not trading. Only 39% of men said the same. At the same time, 76% of women were more likely to describe themselves as not being well-versed in cryptocurrency trading, while only 54% of men said the same.
And yet, the desire for more cryptocurrency education was identical across both genders, with 61% saying they were interested or very interested in more crypto education.
Not entirely unexpected
The results mirror a wide body of research conducted in finance more generally, which has generally found that women might tend to have a stricter definition of "well-informed" than men, and that women will typically want more information than men do before taking a risk based on that information.
In that light, it's worth noting that the survey response doesn't necessarily suggest that the women surveyed were less well-versed in cryptocurrency than men, so much as that they were using a different definition of "well-versed."
This difference might be contributing to the gender disparity in cryptocurrency.
Either way, most people across the board were keen to learn more about cryptocurrency, and those who are already involved in crypto trading were almost universally keen on learning more, with 97% of crypto-trading respondents saying they were interested in learning more about cryptoassets.
This is problematic though, eToro notes, given the current lack of clear structures and reliable sources for cryptocurrency education.
According to the survey, 67% of respondents say they learn by observing online trading, while 43% said they take to social media for guidance. On the social media front, YouTube and online crypto chat channels such as Telegram were the top sources.
That YouTube is considered one of the top educational platforms in crypto might be mildly concerning, given how rife the place has historically been with shills and Ponzi schemes. Most notably, BitConnect, one of the most successful Ponzi schemes in cryptocurrency, found its legs on YouTube and drew in a lot of victims through the platform. YouTube and Google were actually named as defendants in the class action lawsuit started by defrauded BitConnect victims, as were the paid YouTube crypto "experts" who promoted BitConnect.
It also had a music video. Its lyrics include gems like: "close your eyes and just imagine all the things that you can get now, that you're financially free now thanks to BitConnect."
It's worth being wary of social media cryptocurrency promoters, and one of the upsides of the ongoing crypto slump throughout 2018 might be that it's imbued a lot of people with a healthy degree of scepticism, if not outright hostility, towards cryptocurrency promoters on social media. This might see more people looking for reliable information.
And a good time to start providing that education might be now, said eToro US managing director Guy Hirsch.
"Late 2018 has seen the cryptocurrency market take a huge tumble, but that has not stymied investors' interest in the asset class and its potential," he said. "Online investors are still keeping their eye on cryptocurrencies, but this survey revealed that there is a serious lack of educational resources available to those who would like to invest in or learn more about crypto. As we move toward a future where assets will become increasingly tokenised, it's important to give investors access to the resources they need to invest in the assets they want and truly consider cryptoassets as part of their long-term investment plan."
The hunger for reliable education is probably good news for eToro, whose social trading platform lets people see what top traders are actually doing, and even automatically copy their trades if desired. And in a cynical world, it's also a useful way of seeing whether cryptocurrency promoters are actually putting their money where their mouth is.