The Factors Influencing Diversity and Inclusion in Crypto Markets

May 29, 2022

When cryptocurrencies were first invented, they were the answer to the complications of sending money overseas. At the time, available technology was unsuitable for the rapid scaling of our global market, and banks and governments were offering low exchange rates with high fees attached.

Bitcoin took off, and, in 2022, the crypto market has evolved into a powerful and influential financial platform with multiple applications. It now offers regular working-class citizens the chance to invest, borrow, buy, and sell with low barriers to entry.

Who Uses Cryptocurrencies?

Today, blockchain technologies provide anyone with the chance to make their own fortune, with low-income countries India, Nigeria, and Brazil totalling 125 million crypto owners - roughly 40% of the worldwide userbase.

When we look at the spread of international users, it’s easy to assume that the blockchain market has become an inclusive environment for all - regardless of race, gender, income, and sexuality. This is not yet the case.

Is the Crypto Market Diverse?

Worldwide, there are clear trends in the demographics of cryptocurrency owners.

Today, the five main factors influencing DEI in the market are:

1. Income Brackets: 36% of crypto owners report an annual income of over US$100k.

2. Gender: 79% of crypto owners are male and 21% are female.

3. Education: 82% of crypto owners hold a Bachelor’s degree or higher.

4. Age: 58%of crypto owners are aged under 34.

5. Trust: 53% of populations do not trust cryptocurrencies (Source: YouGov)

This shows that despite crypto’s original intent… the market is not as diverse as it should be. An analysis of Source Control’s talent pool shows that 87% of candidates are men.

To match TraditionalFinance, there's still some progress to be made. The gender divide is smaller (77% men and 33% women), and the majority of these are over 41 years old - an untapped market that crypto could benefit from.

How Do We Increase DEI in Crypto?

To continue encouraging the growth of crypto at a CAGR of 7.1% (Source: Markets and Markets), the market has to be welcoming for all.

This starts with diversifying our employment teams, recruiting internationally, and destigmatizing investment into crypto.

Ultimately, studies show that 34% of our prospective consumers are considering diversity and inclusion when making decisions (Source: PR News Wire) and 64% are “at least somewhat more likely to make an immediate purchase after seeing a diverse product ad.”

At the moment, the lack of diversity spreads through to employees - where 85.77% of people involved in bitcoin communities are men (Source: Forbes), and 62% are white.

How to Diversify Recruitment in Crypto

Therefore, to close the increasing gaps in the international market, businesses need to first focus their attention within. By changing their recruitment practices, they can provide prospective cryptocurrency investors with:

- Experts who speak their language and can confidently answer queries.

- The chance to see people who look like themselves endorsing cryptocurrencies.

Step 1: Increase Education

Consumers who don’t know much about cryptocurrencies aren’t going to start investing in them any time soon, and the same can be said for employees.

Businesses that want to build diverse recruitment teams have to recognize that they are asking financial and technology talent to take a huge leap of faith, even if they’re uncertain how their skills will transfer to the industry.

To counteract this, we suggest:

- Providing entry-level positions for young workers.

- Sponsoring training for qualified talent in other sectors.

- Producing informative content on social media and blog pages.

- Taking extra care to answer questions during the recruitment process.

Potential employees are worried that they won’t be able to adapt to or understand the market, shrinking the potential recruitment pool to people who can afford to take chances and creating barriers to entry for those that can’t.

Step 2: Hire Based on Potential not Qualifications

Eagre talent with the right skills won’t automatically have the confidence to work with emerging technologies such as Web 3. This creates an issue for otherwise qualified candidates and reduces diversity. You need to:

  1. See the potential of each employee rather than only looking at their current skillset.
  2. Be prepared to support new hires and help them transition.
  3. Create opportunities for workers to learn whilst being paid, as, historically, unpaid internships extremely disadvantage ethnic minorities (Source: Forbes).

Step 3: Reduce Stereotypes and Bias

In today’s recruitment market, there is no place for bias. Still, as humans, we automatically make assumptions about people who are of a different ethnicity or gender from ourselves.

This needs to stop, and it starts from ground level. There is no use in recruiting diversely if these same individuals soon leave the crypto space because of microaggressions, discrimination, or racism.

Businesses who want to increase inclusion need to:

  1. Eradicate false beliefs with extensive DEI education schemes.
  2. Expand their recruitment and hire diverse leaders.
  3. Build a clear communication channel that allows employees to report issues.

Crypto companies would also be well advised to participate and contribute to schemes such as “Women in Blockchain” to encourage more entrants into crypto. Evidence shows that women are willing to embrace emerging technologies, they just need support. EA Sports recently found that 50% of their market is female (Source: Games Industry Biz), and this creates huge potential for the future of our industry. Women and other diverse candidates need hiring managers to remain conscious of their immediate bias and prejudice when extending offers and making recruitment decisions.

The Importance of DEI in Crypto & Web3

Diversity has been proven to boost productivity by 132% (Source: NBS), and increase revenue by 19%. However, despite ongoing progress in the sector, there are still some issues that must be addressed:

  1. Anonymized Profiles: Avatars on crypto platforms are allowing women and POC to build a reputation for their quality of work. At face value, this has seemingly created bias-free opportunities for diverse candidates. However, it’s simultaneously adding to the difficulty many entry-level candidates are facing: a lack of role models.
  2. Binary Culture: Many community members have a belief about the correct way of performing in the crypto space. This has created a culture of toxicity for anyone who tries to make headway and vary from the norm (such as innovative, diverse employees). Such individuals are facing the threat of doxxing, and therefore will be unwilling to stay in a market that doesn’t appreciate them.

A focus on solving these issues will not only help a company with its recruitment and talent retention, but will also improve brand reputation and customer relationships in a world where many consumers prioritize ethical standards. Plus, by enforcing DEI schemes across our Human Resource practices, we can start to make a positive change.

Building Diverse Teams with Source Control

An easy tactic for expanding the diversity of your recruitment is to work with Source Control.

We pledge to:

  1. Train our staff to eliminate bias when selecting the perfect candidate for your team.
  2. Find, select, and place vital niche talent who enhance workplace harmony.
  3. Work with ethical clients who share our DEI business values.
  4. Learn from thought leaders in the space and keep an open mind.
  5. Review how we can better support diverse candidates.
  6. Listen to the voices of those around us.

We are the global experts in the placement services of technical professionals from low-latency and distributed systems engineering backgrounds into Blockchain, Crypto & HFT.

We place top-tier talent at all skill levels from junior to executive hires on a permanent, contract, contingent, or retained basis. If you’ve been looking to advance your company, contact our specialist consultants today.


Have a scroll through out informative and topical blog posts. From how to get employed in tech to intersting articals on crypto markets, we have something for you.