Are women and people of color being excluded from cryptocurrency? An examination of the needlessly complex process of obtaining cryptocurrency, and how the space is perfectly designed to keep out women and people of color.

You’ve heard of Bitcoin’s atmospheric rise from pennies to thousands of dollars. TV, radio, internet — it’s everywhere. And maybe you’ve had the thought that you might very well want to become one of these Bitcoin millionaires.

Easy, right? Even the old folks are doing it. Just head on down to the corner shop, buy a few Bitcoins, stash them away and leave your descendants something grander than holiday trinkets and quaint cutlery.

Not so. The process of obtaining Bitcoins is so labyrinthine and headache-inducing that what was proclaimed to be a democratizing system is actually one of the unfairest systems ever devised. As of 2018 it is still the exclusive domain of pasty creatures from dark recesses of the internet, and, recently we learned, even right-wing lunatics.

I overstate the monopolization just a little bit for effect. Some women and non-white folks have fought and elbowed and dimed and hustled their way into the game and they’re making a killing. But spend two seconds finding out who owns Bitcoins and who does not and it becomes painfully obvious that entire groups of people have in fact been excluded from the party and it was all rigged from the get-go. Most affected are women and people of color.

Related: Why Are So Few Black People Using Bitcoin? — The Atlantic

Bitcoins launched in 2009 and women and PoC have been proud netizens since at least the smartphone revolution (2007). Hell, Grace Hopper basically invented that damn internet thing, or rather the code running the machinery.

So how is it that Bitcoins have come to be so overwhelmingly owned by straight white males? Why is it that a group of society that already owns everything got to exclusively benefit from the greatest wealth transfer of this century?

It’s a complex issue that requires nuance. But let’s start to explore it by looking at just a taster of the kinds of exotic terms a Bitcoin hopeful is required to understand before operating in any kind of cryptocurrency space.

Example of a Literacy Test used to suppress PoC participation.

Blockchain.
Satoshis.
51% Attack.
PoW.
PoS.
Nodes.
Forking.
Ledgers.
Hashrate.
Public/Private Keys.

Is your head spinning yet?

And the problematic themes don’t stop with what’s effectively a racist voter Literacy Test from the Jim Crow era.

Fact sheet about voter IDs from ACLU

Because participation in CoinBase, the only source of cryptocurrency for people who don’t feel like sending their credit card info to dodgy websites run by dudes named Igor, requires a valid driver’s license. You heard that right. You’re not getting a single satoshi’s worth of Bitcoin without it.

ID requirements have time and again been proven to be a bar on entry for people of color, and voter ID laws have repeatedly been stomped into the ground by decent courts from sea to shining sea. So severe is that bar that we, rightly, call it racist suppression, and we, rightly, don’t require IDs for democratic participation.

It’s a Literacy Test and voter ID double whammy and basically, we are all fucked. Well, most of us.

Related: Bitcoin: By The Privileged, For The Privileged — ThinkProgress

I think you are starting to form a pretty good picture of what is going on, but remember I also said it’s a complex issue.

People at the top of the power hierarchy in any given society — in our case, straight white males — have always been paranoid of new guys or guyettes knocking them down, especially if they come in a different shade and get jiggy with the dope street vernacular. And what better way to strangle competition than excluding it from participating to begin with?

It’s not purely malice, it’s also simple economics. If fewer people own Bitcoins then the Bitcoins become more valuable. If everyone were able to have a Bitcoin and become rich then Bitcoin’s pale cartel wouldn’t make out like crooks.

So tell me if you are a person of color or happen to bleed once a month and I will tell you if you have Bitcoin.

Because numbers don’t lie. But Satoshi Nakamoto did.

We want you to write for FEMoid whether you care to put your name on it or not. Always available, forever discreet: [email protected]

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Walterpaich
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learn this here now https://ssn.is

DelbertPoick
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check out this site https://ssn.is

What the...
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What the...

This is literally the dumbest thing I have ever read in my life. Bitcoin is perhaps the most fair and equal system in the world. Anyone can participate regardless of age, gender, financial status, social status etc. You are making yourself look dumb by writing this article saying how you don’t get it. If you had just spent the amount of time on writing this article researching bitcoin and buying you’d probably be up 100pct already.

Crypto is not racist lol
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Crypto is not racist lol

Stupid feminist loosers who write these articles… Just cause your too simple to wrap your head around the concept doesn’t mean that every one else is down in your level. Checked the website here, its pathetic, who the bloody hell pays for this rubbish ???? ….

you're dumb as fuck
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you're dumb as fuck

LMAOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO.

asd
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asd

this retarded author thinks that you can only get bitcoins off of coinbase, is this advertisement perhaps?

Linkyroo
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Linkyroo

This is by far the most disingenuous and misinformed article about crypto ive ever read. Your comparisons to Jim Crow era oppression is…simply ignorant.

Not to mention that if you had taken 15 min to figure out what those “labyrinthine” things were that sent your head spinning, you might have seen how easy and simple it actually is.

Your editors should fire you for dumbass shit like this lol

Schlong Shekelberg
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Schlong Shekelberg

My wife’s son (who is a POC) agrees with this article.

QED
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QED

If women of colour aren’t buying cryptocurrency, that’s pretty much proof that women of colour are more intelligent and responsible than white men and we should put them in charge

Emma Wayfield
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Emma Wayfield

I am daily visitor of this site and this article is basically harrassing women and PoC…? So are you telling me women and PoC are too stupid or lazy to buy Bitcoin? Isn’t this article a little bit racist? I….

I have owned Bitcoin for years and I have told everyone I know about bitcoin. Some people have bought and some have not. I personally got involved with crypto becouse I’m interested in investing. I have my main portfolio which is basically filled with more safe traditional investments. But then I wanted to do some extremely risky long-term investments and Bitcoin was ovvious choise for me. Yes, I wish I had bought my first bitcoins before 2016 but I’m not blaiming white men for that I didn’t ffs.

Youtube is filled with very good instructions for anyone wanting to buy bitcoin. Mostly it seems to be lazyness what keeps people out. It gave me a headache for the first time and will give a headache FOR EVERYONE. But just fight through it if you really want it. It’s equally hard for everyone to figure out how to buy bitcoin.

And sincere question for the author: Which would have been more benefical for women who are interested in crypto:

A. To write and article and share a link to a youtube video that shows you how to invest in crypto
B. Blaim white men for everything and complain about stuff that can easily be googled.

Here is some good stuff for anyone interested. I do not understand the tech at all, I don’t understand 100% how blockchain works like I dont understand the tech behind my Mastercard. You don’t have to. Anyone can buy Bitcoin, even if it is just a fraction of a bitcoin.

This is very simple and trusted exchange but there are MANY others too. I like this being the most friendly UI:
https://www.coinbase.com/buy-bitcoin

Good video explaining blockchain:
https://youtu.be/6WG7D47tGb0

Good video explaining bitcoin:
https://youtu.be/41JCpzvnn_0

Good video explaining smart contracts:
https://youtu.be/ZE2HxTmxfrI

Merry christmast for all, don’t let the nerdy stuff discourage you! There is a _plenty_ of very talented women, PoC and trans people working in this scene. Bitcoin is for everyone

xoxo

Non-envy person
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Non-envy person

Wow the writer is so jealous. Amazing. Stay poor.

josif
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josif

NOOO YOU ARE GETTING RICH FROM BITCOIN AND I AM NOT REEE!!!!! DAMN WHITE MALES FOR MAKING IT SO DARN HARD FOR ME TO BUY BUTTCORN. WHY ISN’T THERE JUST A SIMPLE BUY BUTTON?

THIS MUST BE RACIST AND MISOGYNIG IN SOMEWAY! IT HAS TO BE!!!!!!!

S. Taze
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S. Taze

I agree on this artical on the premise that when we get more people using bitcoin the bitcoin neurals network becomes smarter from more nodes. And who knows. Maybe a Black woman joining one day from reading an artical like this is why bitcoin became artificially intelligent and can help us as mankind. And Black women saved bitcoin like we save elections.

BitPositive
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BitPositive

When BTC go high again we learn that still minority and women are excluded from cryptocurrency with only small 0.056% participation by demographics who aren’t asian male or white male. What can we do to increase participation instead of doing excluding? Needless to say, such conditions produce lower price and you are more poorer as a result. It is all of our interest to improve more participation in cryptocurrency.

Hope to see ideas and results in future. Greetings from Singapore investor.

Lmao
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Lmao

HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA
Pathetic. Also, extremely funny. Keep it up. Had an amazing laugh.

Sneed
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Sneed

Top kek

Wendy Zeimer
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Wendy Zeimer

I’m pretty sure the articles on this site aren’t sincere and they’re written to inflame readers to get the articles to be shared and spread, thus farming clicks.

Fck White Supremacy
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Fck White Supremacy

Non-argument from a white supremacy defender.

A Woman, Scorned
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A Woman, Scorned

>I can’t grapple with arguments, here have a conspiracy theory
You’re an embarrassment to womenfolk

Chosen Person
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Chosen Person

The goyim know, shut it down

Anonymous
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Anonymous

You gotta be fucking kidding me. I might not bleed once a month anymore (thanks, birth control), but as an Asian-American woman, I am outright offended. Seriously, fuck you.

Blockchain. Satoshis. 51% Attack. PoW. PoS. Nodes. Forking. Ledgers. Hashrate. Public/Private Keys.

It takes just ten, maybe twenty minutes of reading to learn what those terms mean. Plug those words into a search engine, click something, and you’re set. Regardless, this is all beside the point! While I highly recommend researching new technologies before trying to use them, you don’t need to know any of this to use cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin. There are a crazy amount of services available that makes using them even easier than opening a bank account.

Actually, that brings me to my next point. For all your whining about ID requirements, have you done even a few seconds of research before spraying your ignorant vitriol all over this lovely site? Coinbase, like any other bank in the United States, is required by law to request ID due to a set of laws known as KYC (for those of you who find search engines overly complicated, that’s short for “Know Your Customer”). If you don’t like KYC laws, call the IRS, call your representatives, and vote! Don’t mindlessly shit on tangentially related emerging technologies.

Even still, cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin are decentralized. You can buy them with cash on the street. You can buy them from ATMs at convenience stores. You can buy them using online DEXs (again, for the lazy and incapable, “decentralized exchanges”). There are so many options outside of the centralized banking system.

This isn’t some grand racist or sexist conspiracy. The demographics of cryptocurrency line up with the demographics of the tech industry, and both are becoming more and more diverse by the day. I’ve managed to get many of my friends into playing with cryptocurrencies, many of whom are PoCs like me, many of whom are women like me, many of whom would also be offended by your myopic nonsense.

None of these lovely people were held back by their race or their gender, and I sure as hell wasn’t either.

Graham Wellington
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Graham Wellington

You’re Asian you have an average IQ of 105. A purebred Negro as an average IQ of 72. Blacks are mentally retarded by White standards. It’s really too much for them to figure out. We need to just give them free shit so they can be equal.

Anonymous
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Anonymous

You can’t open a bank account or credit card without an ID anyway, so you wouldn’t be able to buy bitcoin anyway, at least through typical sites like coinbase.

There are ATMs with 5-10% fees, but that’s probably a good thing for people incapable of getting an ID… they have higher priorities to tackle than lack of bitcoin.

bitcointalkwin
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Technically speaking, a bank account or credit card isn’t even required to obtain Bitcoin. It would be a pain in the ass, but possible.

Anonymous
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Anonymous

You’re fucking right. Holy shit, we really have to kill whitey right fucking now.

Ron Burgandy.
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Ron Burgandy.

I agree about the drivers license issue. Requiring a drivers license is going to exclude those too poor to own a car, which will disproportionately exclude non-whites. However, saying that the terminology excludes women is ridiculous. Women are already better educated than men.http://time.com/4064665/women-college-degree/ Are we really supposed to believe that women can earn more academic degrees than men, but not master the same technical terms as men?

Cynthia T
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Actually, Coinbase and sites like it also accept state issued IDs that are not drivers’ licenses. I don’t drive because of medical reasons, but I have a Coinbase account. And I managed to figure out how cryptocurrencies work despite my obvious handicap of being a woman.

Nigel Saxony III
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Nigel Saxony III

Bless your heart, it’s so hard for Women and brown people to figure things out for themselves without an omnipotent White man just giving them everything. You have made an incredible achievement despite not having a penis.

Anonymous
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Anonymous

This is a shill article, but it does point towards Bitcoin’s biggest failure. The working man would never be capable of using Bitcoin properly: he has a tough time using an eight letter password properly as is. This also applied to women, and perhaps more so, as women are more likely to be technologically illiterate. Perhaps this is why we need fiat.

Ron Burgandy.
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Ron Burgandy.

I agree that it would be better if Bitcoin and other crypto-currencies were more intuitive. However, saying that the counter-intuitive terminology is exclusionary towards women and people of color only makes sense if you think that those groups are less capable of grasping esoteric subjects than white males. In other words, It seems like you are admitting that the white supremacists are right.

Anonymous
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Anonymous

they are dumb af, spending unnecessary money in stupid shit
>it’s whites fault, minorities and women don’t invest for their future
please explain how? Because unless you’re brain dead, getting bitcoins is the easiest thing to do, if you have a job. So stay mad nocoiner idiots, this article is nothing but envy of the ignorant
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Anonymous
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Anonymous

Womyn and beople of color are not being excluded from cryptocurrency at all.

Dumb people however will be excluded from cryptocurrency by their own idiocy 🙂

Graham Wellington
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Graham Wellington

Equality of opportunity is just not working out for the blacks and browns, we need equality of outcome. We really just gotta start giving them free everything.

Yeah
Guest
Yeah

Hey there friends, we made bitconnect for you and now it has x.

Anonymous
Guest
Anonymous

I can see some larger issues that could keep black people out of crypto, namely poverty/fucked up family means you have less access to wealth, difficulty in acquiring ID, and are less likely to have experience with tech stuff meaning you probably heard about crypto later than most people and have a larger hill to climb in learning about it.

The latter two are larger issues for which tougher access to crypto is a symptom of not a cause of and could be described as poverty and intergenerational dysfunction being passed along. Also tech stuff not being “cool” until recently means that people tend to self select out of bothering to learn it. Their loss, can’t blame everyone but yourself for this part.

The former though fuck that, I put in crypto money by saving from my shitty job and living below my means and not spending money on things I can’t afford, like a kid.

Getting money off crypto requires some starting resources but these are not outside the means of someone who even has a more difficult time getting them to acquire. They are understandable, basic parts of participation in society and if you can’t deal with that you are going to have a bad time in other areas of life too. We technically could engineer society in a way to make them less of an issue, but at that point we would be getting rid of a lot of free market and innovation incentivizing parts which are its strength in exchange for a more structured society, which do not have great track records in recent history.

Consider this
Guest
Consider this

I watched a documentary called “debugging the gendergap”, about why girls have a hard time getting into the field. During the doc they addressed why there needs to be diversity in tech fields with an example involving airbags. The people that were designing standardized airbags were all white males at average height and while designing and testing they would use dummies with similar dimensions as the people on their team. Because of this airbags were killing people because they were not designed for more petite women. This is just an example but it caused me to reflect and reconsider my previously held beliefs regarding inclusion. So, thanks for this. Keep in mind if we get women and PoC into crypto everyone will be better off, even the cis white males.

Nigel Saxony III
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Nigel Saxony III

Why don’t you just make your own shit? Why do you need to be “included” in things White men have built. Just separate yourselves and make it how you want. Are you people really that useless?

Anonymous
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Anonymous

Lol, this is the greatest article I’ve ever read. Whoever wrote this may be the most intelligent human in history.

Editor
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Editor

Thanks for the Gold kind stranger!

Anonymous
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Anonymous

Imagine being new to crypto and reading this trash

Alex Jones
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Alex Jones

This is the dumbest article I have ever read. Anyone can buy bitcoin. If you are to stupid to get involved that is on you. Maybe if you were less focused on makeup or the newest Jordan’s you would have caught the crypto currency rush.

SHENEEQUA
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SHENEEQUA

IM A BLACK WOMAN AND IM TOO FUCKING STUPID TO FIGURE OUT HOW TO BUY BITCOIN.

RACIS SEXIS WHITIES R KEEPIN ME DOWN

Anonymous
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Anonymous

Alt-right joining in for some classy “conversating” I see

Andre Anglin kick you off /r/T_D or what’s the matter little boy?
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Anonymous
Guest
Anonymous

>t. idiot who can’t get cryptos because is too stupid
stay mad faggot

Truth
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Truth

>it’s too difficult for me so it must be racist
current feminism in a nutshell

zzz
Guest
zzz

Lol
>Too busy browsing pinterest to pay attention to anything else
>Complain that you missed the boat.

kk

Sergey
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Sergey

Everyone in the cryptocurrency sphere dislikes ID requirements. The government financial regulations forces exchanges to require an ID. It is the government’s racist policy of requiring IDs, decentralized monetary systems (bitcoin) actually want ID-free money, separated from racist institutions. Bitcoin wants freedom, democracy. It is a natural ally of PoC and women.

Anonymous
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Anonymous

This a joke right?

Anonymous
Guest
Anonymous

No, you are a joke,

Sergey
Guest
Sergey

No, I am serious.

Sergey
Guest
Sergey

Go to reddit and see tons of people complaining about ID requirements. Exchanges tell users that it is required by the government, or the government will shut the exchange down and/or fine heavily.

pepe
Guest
pepe

fucking kek

Paul
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Paul

This must be satire. If you don’t manage to buy bitcoin you shouldn’t own any.

Anonymous
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Anonymous

nice research on this. crypto will die without women, because women are the future according to new studies.

Fck White Supremacy
Guest
Fck White Supremacy

This and we see it happen since article was written, bitcoin down $15k or whatevre

Anonymous
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Anonymous

This is the dumbest shit I’ve read all year, and it’s fucking February.

Tyrone
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Tyrone

.MUP DA DOO DIDDA PO MO GUB BIDDA BE DAT TUM MUHFUGEN BIX NOOD COF BIN DUB HO MUHFUGGA

Anonymous
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Anonymous

comment image

Alex Jones
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Alex Jones

Yet this article argues wome and black are incapable of what whites are.

Jay
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Jay

Sorry, but if you could not understand what Tyrone was saying then that makes you the racist. I understood what they commented just fine.