- "There was something that really clicked with me for crypto where it was like, wow this really levels the playing field," says Deanna Burke, co-founder of Boys Club.
- The mission of Boys Club is to teach women and non-binary people about cryptocurrency, but all are welcome.
- Boys Club is a DAO or a decentralized autonomous organization, meaning it's "owned and governed by the community," Burke says.
Cryptocurrency has a gender problem. Twice as many men as women invest in it: 16% of men versus 7% of women, according to a CNBC and Acorn's Invest in You: Next Gen Investor survey, conducted in partnership with Momentive in August 2021.
In 2021, to help diversify the crypto space, Deanna Burke and her co-founder Natasha Hoskins created Boys Club, a company tailored towards inspiring or, helping educate crypto-curious women and non-binary individuals. Burke calls it a "no-bro zone for the crypto curious."
The organization is a DAO, which stands for decentralized autonomous organization, Burke says: "Which is a bunch of fancy words for, in our case, it's a way to structure a company that is totally decentralized. The most important characteristic is that the DAO is owned and governed by the community."
The mission of Boys Club is to teach women and non-binary people about cryptocurrency, but all are welcome. "We're not in the business of policing gender," Burke says.
No prior crypto experience is required to get involved. "There's all of this money and power that's moving in the cryptocurrency space, and we just want to give a more diverse range of people a seat at the table," Burke says.
In 2017, during a bitcoin boom, the price of the cryptocurrency rose to almost $20,000 per coin in December after starting 2016 below $1,000. "During the last crazy bull market, I was like 'Ok, I want a piece of this,'" says Burke.
"When I first got into the space, there were Lamborghinis parked out front of crypto conferences, and the attendees were predominately men," Burke says. "I was like 'Man, this really doesn't feel like a place for me,' but there was something about that that made me want to explore it even more."
Before being introduced to cryptocurrency, Burke felt frustrated by the U.S. financial system. "I didn't grow up with money, I don't come from generational wealth, and I've always felt like there's a financial system that works really well for people who have money and can make their money work for them," she says.
Burke saw cryptocurrency as a wealth equalizer. "There was something that really clicked with me for crypto where it was like, wow, this really levels the playing field, and it's not about your pedigree, or what you were born into, but it's about your curiosity for it and about it," she says.
But even cryptocurrency language can feel gendered, Burke says. "The language of crypto has always been sort of steeped in sports metaphors and finance metaphors, which is great, but for a certain type of person, that's not going to draw them in," she says.
Boys Club is interested in creating a different way to talk about crypto that attracts a different type of person, she says: "There's room for all of us. We're just interested in trying this different take and seeing if it works, and so far, it's working."
For now, Boys Club holds group dinners, events and has a chat for members. It's free to join. Boys Club also has big aspirations: "We're hoping to onboard the next 1 million women and non-binary individuals to Web3," says Burke.
Video by Courtney Stith
Web3 is a movement that aspires to be the next phase of the internet. Instead of Instagram and Pinterest owning your data, the idea is that, eventually, users will be able to own it, and earn money off of it.
The infrastructure of Web3 runs on blockchain, which is a decentralized digital public record that acts as a platform for all sorts of other things in cryptoworld, from nonfungible tokens to decentralized finance applications to other digital currencies.
"All of these things like the metaverse, DOAs, web3s, NFTs, this whole world is happening," Burke says. "It looks really fringy right now, but that's not always going to be the case. In about 3 minutes we're going to be living in these worlds in one way or another.
"So my pitch for women is, I want you to be witness to all of this money and power moving around in the space," she continues, "and then you can decide whether or not you want to get involved."
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