The male-dominated cryptocurrency industry could provide more employment opportunities for women, according to the head of Australia’s largest digital-asset exchange. 

Blockchain needs greater female participation and offers opportunities as the industry becomes more mature and acceptance of decentralized finance grows, said Caroline Bowler, chief executive officer of BTC Markets in Melbourne. The sector welcomes fresh thinking and allows for flexibility, Bowler said.

“There are lots of entry points into cryptocurrency and into blockchain businesses and you don’t have to be a developer or specializing in blockchain in order to find your place within this ecosystem,” she said.

Bowler’s encouragement flies in the face of crypto’s notorious bro culture, as well as Australia’s checkered record on gender equity. As in much of finance and tech, the digital asset industry remains largely male dominated, though figures on the gender split in the industry remain hard to come by. Men also dominate crypto investing. 


“It’s not perfect, there is that whole ‘crypto bros’ subsection that still exists and I have no doubt will continue to exist,” said Bowler, who once worked at Bank of America Merrill Lynch and sits on the board of Blockchain Australia. “But as crypto becomes increasingly mainstream and more women come in, the impact of that crypto bro is diluted and the normal mainstream acceptance comes through.”

The trajectory of traditional finance suggests it won’t be easy to boost the ranks of women working in the digital asset domain. While the rise in the number of female fund managers was the biggest ever in the Citywire Alpha Female 2021 report, the percentage of women who manage money worldwide rose to just 11.8 per cent from 10.3 per cent.

The most famous woman in the industry is probably Blythe Masters, the former JPMorgan Chase & Co. banker credited with inventing the credit-default swap, who went on to found blockchain startup Digital Asset Holdings in 2015. But for people who see the value in gender equity, there’s still a long way to go.

“We have to get more women in the industry,” Anthony Scaramucci, founder of SkyBridge Capital, in an interview last week where he discussed the situation in financial services and crypto. “The more diverse we are, the smarter we are. We can draw on people from all over the place. I don’t know how we do it, but we have to.” SkyBridge offers Bitcoin and Ethereum funds.