Encouraging women in crypto investment

Crypto investment allows them to diversify their portfolios and invest in a global asset class, says Luno M’sia


WITH women now being a big part of the workforce in Malaysia and around the world, their financial independence means that they are continually looking for new investment assets, including cryptocurrency.

Crypto investment allows them to diversify their portfolios and invest in a global asset class, which typically is not affected by local politics, especially in a country like Malaysia, said Luno Malaysia Sdn Bhd partnership lead Scarlett Chai.

She said young people nowadays come into the workforce and look to bitcoin and crypto assets as an investment option compared to gold.

“We will continue to see more of that, especially now that the Securities Commission Malaysia (SC) has fully approved of Luno being a recognised market operator (digital asset exchange).

“Luno was the first cryptocurrency exchange in Malaysia to receive this approval, and we got to the point with a local team where women are well represented; 40% of our workforce in the country are women and 33% of them are of the management team,” she told The Malaysian Reserve recently.

Women in Malaysia can open Luno accounts and make their first crypto investments with as little as RM3. They can choose to invest in bitcoin, ethereum or XRP.

“Think of it this way, when sending an email, you are not required to perfectly understand how the back-end works to be able to write a message to a friend,” Chai gives an example.

“This logic applies to crypto assets. There is no need to understand the underlying technology in detail in order to begin investing,” she added.

On Dec 4, bitcoin fund operator Grayscale published a study result which showed 43% of respondents interested in bitcoin investments were women.

To date, half of Binance’s employees are female and in India, women make up most crypto investors.

Meanwhile, Luno regional head of compliance in South-East Asia Sonia Mayenco said cryptocurrencies and blockchain have the potential to be as big as the Internet.

“Getting involved may seem daunting or overwhelming with safety always a challenge and concern. In this regard, the best advice I can give other women is to only invest with reputable and compliant companies.

“There are a few things that they can do to secure their funds: Make sure to only use products created by companies that are fully approved by the SC in Malaysia, and look for information about the company in the media, whether they have been covered by well-known publications and the reports are positive,” she added.

Additionally, they could also check for the Anti-Money Laundering and Know Your Customer policies.

“Conduct some due diligence on the company that will be holding your funds and look at whether there are prominent investors backing the company. Check their reputation and make sure that the private keys of the exchange’s cold wallet are held by different parties in the company.”

Mayenco said finance and technology face similar challenges and are still very much working to achieve gender equality in their management and leadership.

However, women are the majority of users of many technological and financial products.

“The same can happen in crypto where women can take over investments even if it takes the broader industry a few more years to close the employment gap.

“The challenge at this time is to educate and attract women to be pioneers and become involved in this nascent industry,” she said.

Mayenco added that women need to be intimately involved in the innovation process of the future financial system and benefit the most from it.

Technologies like cryptocurrencies are particularly important for underserved communities as they offer opportunities to get the attention of traditional and, in certain instances, oppressive systems.

For women, this new financial system does not only mean financial inclusion but also empowerment to harness their own values.

Luno’s endeavour is to make people aware of the usefulness of crypto assets and blockchain — the technology that powers the network.

Its mission is to give Malaysians access to this new asset class in a safe and easy manner.

“In this regard, a lot of our work is focused on education through workshops, events and webinars,” Chai said, adding that Luno aims to establish as a trusted platform for people, especially women, to come and explore, learn and buy crypto assets.

“We also have a structured marketing function focused on acquiring and engaging customers, both online and offline.

“This includes having the right partnerships locally on the ground with distribution partners with which we have been very successful,” she added.

Recently, Luno announced a partnership with Fave, where 80% of its users are women.

“This is a very efficient way of reaching them and getting them to try their hand at crypto assets,” Chai said.