Anna Tutova is the CEO of a crypto-consulting agency Coinstelegram, one of the influential women personalities in the crypto space, and she has expertise in international law. When she was introduced to bitcoin by one of her friends in early 2017, she got interested in the cryptocurrency industry. Unfortunately, her parents did not allow her to invest in digital tokens at that period.
She bought Ether and a fraction of Bitcoin after attending a crypto conference in Moscow, Russia, in mid-2017. That was her first investment despite being an asset manager at an early age. Anna spoke to Blockchain Papers about her journey in the crypto space and highlight issues related to gender inequality in the decentralised and mainstream financial ecosystem:
Q1: How empowering is this industry for women as per your experience?
In October 2017, I started investing in my first financial asset in the form of cryptocurrency, and I still have crypto tokens in my portfolio. I bought a fraction of Bitcoin and also invested in alternative coins (Altcoins). I do not have any other financial investments except crypto tokens.
As per my journey in the industry, my Ukraine-based office got shut down during the 2018 crash, but I continued to enhance my blockchain knowledge. I opted for a blockchain cruise conference in Barcelona, Spain.
Crypto is much easier to invest in if we compare it to mainstream asset investment options. Especially, the expansion of decentralized finance (DeFi) and decentralized exchange where you do not need documentation as compared to stock-market brokerage account requirements.
Q2: A recent survey suggests that women are underrepresented in the crypto industry. Being a leader in decentralised space, do you believe that crypto could bridge the gender gap in the finance sector by the next decade?
Men have more interest in different investment opportunities, not just crypto. In the blockchain industry, more men are software developers than women. In crypto and blockchain, much fewer women have representation as men dominate the engineering community.
I don’t see this as an issue because it’s about investment preferences and career options. It is a matter of education and interest.
Q3: Do you think crypto could offer equal financial opportunities for all irrespective of gender?
From the start of the pandemic, more women have entered the crypto space, according to the CoinMarketCap report. As per data from exchanges for 2020-21, more than 160% surge in young women who have started investing in crypto, and their age varies from 25 years to 44 years.
Also, women influencers have been attracting more participation irrespective of gender across social media platforms.
Q4: Without doing prior research, most users get influenced by social media-based personalities. Do you think there is an educational deficit in the crypto industry?
I think there is so much data available over the internet related to blockchain and crypto. The real issue is whether people want to learn or not. Some people just go with existing myths, such as crypto is very complicated to understand. They just prefer to stick to their traditional way of investing. Despite the rising crypto content, conservative investors do not open an article on blockchain or crypto. People are getting into the crypto industry by seeing booming prices, but they are too lazy to read about catalysts behind such a rally.
But the availability of blockchain data and different educational resources are in plenty out there,
Q5: What sort of measures should the blockchain industry and crypto firms take to bring in a more diverse working culture? Also, do you believe that women could take over men when it comes to crypto marketing and social media-based educational strategy?
I don’t think women will take over men, but I believe that more financial education should be taught at the school level. Lessons like “How to manage your money or making an investment in different opportunities” should be provided at an elementary level at schools.
To invest in any financial assets or crypto, you need savings. There is a pay inequality, even in developing countries like Ukraine, people earn a little. They don’t make savings. Thus, they can’t think about investment and financial independence.
Hence, at an early age, people can learn about virtual assets and how to start investing in crypto.
Q6: Out of curiosity, I would like to ask you– what are your favorite crypto projects? And what is your HODL token?
I have plenty of altcoins. Last year, I didn’t invest in altcoins, and I was mostly holding bitcoin. But, this year altcoins are doing great. For example, most crypto investors love Polygon (MATIC) as well as different blockchain platforms and Non-Fungible Tokens (NFT) tokens.
I generally follow who the investors are in the project, and only after my own research, I opt for any investment.
I hold some Dogecoins and played with Shiba Inu before its listing on Binance. Both of them are now listed on Binance.
Q7: Women may be better at addressing risk factors; what’s your take on this?
It is true, women are less risk-averse, even during bear markets they hold their crypto tokens patiently. Meanwhile, most men go with the panic sentiment and sell their holdings.
Q8:What’s your experience with decentralized exchanges (DEX), like PancakeSwap and UniSwap? How are they different from centralized exchanges?
I mostly use centralized exchanges to invest in digital assets. If there are any exclusive token listings on DEX, I use my MetaMask wallet to buy them. However, Ethereum-based DEXs have high fees against the mainstream exchanges.
I am holding Osmosis tokens which are available only on its native exchange. I also use UniSwap decentralised exchange.
When it comes to the number of steps to invest in crypto, I will prefer to use DEXs. But, we still need viable solutions to minimise the high fee issues, which is very important. Centralised exchanges are fine to me, and few exchanges are also self-regulatory.
Q9:What’s your approach to disseminate crypto information at Coins Telegram?
Coinstelegram is a group of companies: we have fund, news media(news website and YouTube White Crypto) and PR agency. Our own media covers important news updates. We introduce our audience to big projects and emerging DeFi platforms. We also provide analysis on NFTs and DeFi. Additionally, we interview key crypto personalities.
Q10: Are NFTs worth investing in right now? Do you think NFTs have a future?
Some of the NFTs are over-hyped, but some of them have crazy use cases. But the number of traders and investors is still very small in this segment.
If you don’t have a name in the industry, you won’t have more buyers for your NFTs. As of now, I don’t see the utility in them. However, gaming and sport NFTs are getting good traction from fans.