More Malaysian women interested in crypto

Bitcoin has shown to be the best-performing asset class as it gives a booster to Luno’s female investors

By HARIZAH KAMEL / Pic source Luno

THERE has been a steady increase of interest among Malaysian women in cryptocurrency.

The first Securities Commission Malaysia-approved digital asset exchange in Malaysia, Luno Malaysia Sdn Bhd, revealed the percentage of its female users has grown from 12% to a steady average of 20% since its relaunch in 2019.

In addition, the average transaction volume of its female users has increased from an average of 6% to 15% per month, indicating a positive trend of cryptocurrency investment among female users in Malaysia.

Luno marketing and partnerships lead Scarlett Chai said it is encouraging to see so many Malaysian women exploring the world of cryptocurrency with most of them looking at the digital money capability to help them achieve financial independence.

“Female participation in the cryptocurrency industry is growing in Malaysia. At Luno, we are proud to have 38% of our team consisting of inspiring women.

“This shows that women are open to joining this exciting and fast-growing industry, and playing an important role in developing it,” she said during a virtual media session on cryptocurrency for women last Friday.

Moving forward, she said Luno is planning to host more women-focused talks on cryptocurrency and personal finance by working with personal finance groups and independent content creators.

Its goal is to encourage more women to take part in the technology as Luno believes it has the potential to make meaningful and long-term positive impacts on all members of society.

According to Luno, 96% of its female users in Malaysia buy cryptocurrencies for investment purposes, with bitcoin being the most preferred cryptocurrency at 56% due to its popularity as an alternative store of value.

The majority of transactional activities came from female users between the age of 30 and 39 (more than 60%), followed by ages 50-59 (13%) and 40-49 (12.4%).

Luno shared that the majority of female users are from diverse career backgrounds, including education, accounting and healthcare.

As for other cryptocurrencies offered by Luno, ethereum has a market share of 22%, ripple at 16% and litecoin at 6%.

In explaining the factors that drove the increase in female investors in Malaysia, Chai said the potential gains played a significant factor.

“I would say women are more realistic in some way in that we want our investment to bear more profit. I think this is one of the most important factors on why women investors are starting to consider crypto as part of their investment and add to their portfolios.

“Bitcoin has shown to be the best-performing asset class compared to the traditional alternatives, so it gives a booster to our female investors,” she explained.

The second factor is the availability of information, especially with more women content creators talking about bitcoin and sharing their experiences in investing in crypto.

Chai believes women are receptive to the new way of gaining information and awareness of the topic.

Accessibility is another factor. Female investors in Malaysia can now just download the application needed and get involved in cryptocurrencies, said Chai.

“Since Luno was approved back in 2019, I would say we did a decent job in educating the public, as well as providing a stable and functional platform for people to invest in. I think women investors see this and they notice the good reviews from other people,” she said.

Personal finance YouTuber Suyin Ong said to encourage more female participation, there needs to be more representation of women of different backgrounds.

She said women sharing the stages of their journey of investing in cryptocurrencies can help other women who are starting out to identify their situation.

Personal finance blogger Suraya Zainuddin remarked that “crypto is not for everyone and that’s okay”. On the other side of the spectrum, she pointed out Tesla Inc CEO Elon Musk, who recently announced that Tesla will now start accepting bitcoin as payment for its electric cars.

Just last week, Musk tweeted “you can now buy a Tesla with bitcoin” and that paying by bitcoin will also be available to customers outside the US later this year.

He added that Tesla will only use internal and open-source software and that any Bitcoin paid to the company will be retained as bitcoin and not converted to a fiat currency.

“I think it’s part of the discussion on the Internet or maybe human nature for some group to induce another group. We just have to be aware of what they say, know their position and make our own informed choices,” said Suraya.

Chai echoed the same sentiment, saying that as an informed and responsible investor, one must decide for oneself and at least understand the topic.

“The trick to understanding cryptocurrencies is we must realise that it doesn’t really fit neatly into any of the descriptions of any assets that we know.

“With Luno, we have provided a regulated platform for people to buy and sell. The market is available 24/7, whereas the equity space is limited to the market time. We’ve seen people come to our platform and trade whether manually or using application programming interface, so it is rather advanced,” said Chai.

She commented that it is still a long way for bitcoin to become a form of payment due to the volatility of the cryptocurrencies, and digital currencies are held by less than 2% of people globally.

“Buying things using crypto is still early. In Malaysia, crypto-currencies or digital assets are not recognised as a form of legal tender.

“When we say legal tender, it means that it is similar to the US dollar or Japanese yen, you can’t force it down people’s throats but if merchants are allowed or open to accepting bitcoin, there is no regulation that can stop you from doing it. Currently, due to volatility, people mainly use it for investments,” she added.