Women in Blockchain: CryptoWendyO talks about her motivation
I never did get to find out CryptoWendyO’s real name. Not a huge surprise in the pseudo-anonymous world of cryptocurrency. But you can’t blame me for trying. She might not even be called Wendy. And, confusingly, she says her husband calls her Pete. [She could have been messing, here, but you never know.] Obviously, her daughter calls her Momma.
What is clear is she’s been involved in crypto for just 12 months and she regularly gives her video analysis of the market from her Twitter account via YouTube.
She’s gained a lot of knowledge, quickly, and has amassed a large following of more than 19,800 people.
She’s a SoCal crypto meetup host, a YouTube media creator and educator who says she’s been “chasing red candles since November 2017.”
She told me: “I first heard about crypto in 2011/2 when a family member asked me if he could borrow my credit card to purchase a thing I had never heard of called Bitcoin. I was like: ‘You are crazy!’
“He ended up buying a bunch of expensive computer parts. Lol!”
‘I was struggling’
Describing her journey into the world of crypto, she says: “I started to hear about Bitcoin in 2016/7 on libertarian radio. I was in a really bad mental state, I was struggling with post-partum depression and was getting close to going back to work.
“I always wanted to start my own business and get out of the rat race, but I didn’t know exactly, how or what I was going to do. I remember holding my daughter, she was screaming and I was crying from the stress.
“I called my husband and told him I was going to invest in Bitcoin.”
Her husband sent over a few places to purchase crypto and she made her first purchase on November 2017, and describes it as “the best decision of my life.”
As a child, she wanted to be an archaeologist or an attorney. “I ended up studying biology and mathematics and then changed my major to finance and then, eventually to marketing.”
“Before I fell down the rabbit hole, I worked at the largest HIV/AIDS non-profit in the world, coordinating patients’ care and providing community support.”
It was a position she had held for seven years while attending college part-time and running a small e-commerce business.
She recalls a week like the last one just 12 months ago when she first got into crypto with the segwit crash.
“I was so scared and so new that I had no idea what was going on”, she says. “I held out and was fine.”
In her latest video, she talks about it taking a while before the bear market gets bull-ish again, so I ask her to clarify are we talking weeks or months?
“Months”, she replies. “Market sentiment is very bad and until we get new money coming in along with mass adoption we will remain bearish, possibly until the halving.”
Even with the imminent Thanksgiving holidays in the US, the markets won’t stop. “This is a rough time for Bitcoin to be correcting so violently”, she explains.
But why is it such a male-dominated space, I ask?
“Most women, in general, aren’t into tech – it’s just the way we are wired”, she says. “I don’t think crypto is mainstream enough to attract women from the traditional workforce into the Blockchain jobs. It’s coming, though.”
There are no barriers, as such, she says to prevent women from reaching the top in crypto, Blockchain and Fintech.
“There aren’t barriers, it’s the desire and interest”, she tells me. “Also, learning about Blockchain tech, trading and other tech aspects is hard. Today, our current society likes to be handed everything.
“Crypto is so new that one has to have the drive and the willingness to learn on their own – it’s really about perspective.”
“Sometimes”, she concedes, ”I feel I’m treated differently than men in the space because of my gender, but it’s not enough to make me not feel welcome. This is the first time in my life I’ve felt like I completely belonged.”
Wow, that’s quite a statement and a powerful endorsement for other women to get involved in the tech.
She adds: “I don’t believe there are barriers. I feel that if a woman is interested, they can start learning, or come to local meetups to become involved.”
She doesn’t regard herself as a role model, as she says: “I feel equal to everyone in the space. We are all here learning and growing together.”
There’s so much negative energy directed at crypto from mainstream financial institutions because the public “doesn’t like change.” “Because crypto is intangible, it’s hard for the masses to understand.
“We saw this with the internet and credit cards. If you notice, the group of folks present when credit cards became mainstream still write cheques – as time progresses, so will the masses.”
The recent falls after the hard fork mean the market – which is basic supply and demand – needs a “catalyst to bring in new money.”
WendyO says: “There’s nothing we can do individually to stop negative price action. What we can do is support one another and continue to support the entrepreneurs building in the space. They are the key to mass adoption.
“Once Blockchain projects are seamless and make life easier for the masses, they will come.”
Asked by me why people are panicking so much, she believes: “Price impacts the human psyche so much. People are entering into positions without proper risk management and education.
“Trading is hard and so is investing. It’s scary to see Bitcoin correct so harshly. People let their emotions get involved.
“Sometimes it’s best to take a step back and watch the market.”
Do people need to calm down instead of turning on each other, I ask?
“Of course they do”, she concurs. “With the holidays around the corner, it brings out the worst in people. I experienced this first-hand while working in healthcare.
“Holiday emotions and this massive correction we are facing is driving people to be salty.
“I don’t think they realise their actions. On Twitter, people hide behind faux profile pictures and they detach from reality and human emotion.
“I guarantee this saltiness wouldn’t occur if all of crypto Twitter was sitting in a room together. I attend multiple conferences and meetups and everyone is super nice.
“To be honest, it’s just a few folks that have their own baggage, they feel the need to lash out at others to make themselves feel better. Not only does this not help them solve their internal issues, but it hurts the community and pushes us backwards.”