Our very own Keirin Rebane is one of a growing number of female artists, entrepreneurs, coders, business leaders and investors embracing NFTs and cryptocurrency. Together they advocate for women to enter the blockchain movement and NFT space, thus bridging the gender gap in this quickly expanding sector.
NFTs give those who find traditional forms of investing puzzling and intimidating a path to financial independence or an opportunity to collaborate.
"There are very few women in this space. And it is often thought that women can only work in soft areas. Still, there are several examples where women can also lead technology projects very well. Women shouldn't be afraid of leadership and expressing their views. For the field not to become too male-centred and unbalanced, women need to stick together more and be particularly loud about their opinions; as different views enrich the field." – Keirin Rebane, Co-founder, Supplain.
Why NFTs are important
An NFT is an asset that constitutes an entity or object. It could be a form of digital art, book, cryptocurrency token, a tweet, music, a video game or anything that can be created (minted) in a digital format.
NFTs are linked to the blockchain where other cryptocurrencies, including Ethereum and Bitcoin, are found. Since these blockchains are decentralised and secure, NFTs become highly unique. They cannot be counterfeited or fraudulently faked.
The value of the NFT is recorded on the blockchain that offers public access, thus proving its genuine authenticity.
So, what makes NFT the next big opportunity, and not only for women?
NFTs and crypto represent an exclusive and fresh source of creativity and innovation. From personalised art creation to unique collectables, exclusive music or even avatars, creators and developers can push and defy boundaries to produce unique outcomes.
As institutional investors became involved and pushed bitcoin (and subsequent altcoin prices) to record highs in 2021, the adoption of cryptocurrencies grew amongst younger investors and developing countries. Now, anyone with a mobile phone using a wallet can bypass the formal banking system.
NFTs have reached an enormous market value
Meanwhile, sales of NFTs amassed to $23 billion in trades in 2021, increasing from the previous year, according to research from DappRadar.
However, still more than two-thirds of U.S. cryptocurrency investors are men. About 60% of them are white, according to recent research by CNBC and Acorn. This gender gap is wider than in other financial investment sectors like stocks, bonds and mutual funds.
As cryptocurrencies shift from the fringes of finance to the mainstream, with investors, companies, and countries adopting them as an asset, more of us now accept them as a hedge against inflation and economic uncertainty.
NFTs have also caught the attention of celebrities, investors and artists. Their enthusiasm has led to record digital art sales from Beeple's digital collage selling for $69 million to Pak's 'The Merge' selling for $91.8 million in December 2021, making it the most expensive NFT sale at the time of writing this article.
More women in the NFT artist space
Research by ArtTactic found that only 16% of NFTs on the market are created by women artists, exposing the underrepresentation of women in the NFT art space.
It led many to launch initiatives to inspire more female artists to venture into the NFT space, with NFT communities like the World of Women emerging to aid females to enter this male-dominated market.
Subsequently, this worked. Last month, some outstanding female-led projects sold out, including the Women Rise project.
Other female-only projects include Girls Riding Things, Fame Lady Squad and Rebel Society. Their creators found that they eventually sold out even after a post mint lull. The spotlight on women NFT artists helped raise awareness of their involvement. Although women still make up less than 20% of the NFT space, these little shifts made a huge difference.
Women in the blockchain industry
Since the blockchain industrys' inception, women in blockchain have played critical roles in strengthening the global influence of the technology.
Like most of the tech sector, women have been slowly gaining dominance. Yet, they still only hold around 25% of jobs in technology. Interestingly, approximately 20% of startups in tech have female founders. At the same time, the number of women in blockchain technology is considerably low.
Presently, only 12% of women are involved in the crypto sector with contributions in the roles of founders, developers and investors, meaning the remainder are primarily male. Such numbers clearly state the necessity of changing the blockchain industry's inclusion of women.
According to Rebane, co-founder of blockchain protocol Supplain, the world needs more women in blockchain for the following reasons:
- they can offer better communication skills
- can create and define products that cater to women as well as men
- can provide a balance in the blockchain ecosystem
- are great at community-building
- fill a void in top tech talent that is missing in national economies
The call for gender diversity
Keirin Rebane has a passion and dream – to be seen and recognised in areas like blockchain technology, cryptocurrency and NFTs and to reimagine how to solve an age-old problem of supply chain issues.
Rebane's and her co-founders' mission with Supplain is to bring more women into the web3 market and support them on their blockchain journey. It's why she took the chance to delve into the NFT space and collaborate with WoF Labs and Supplain.
Based on her experience with WoF Labs and Supplain, she has found that no matter your role in, whether an artist or blockchain developer, anyone can create an entity of their own into an NFT – even without prior knowledge.
Rebane had no previous crypto experience before entering this field, only becoming involved with NFTs in August 2021. Today, she and her team have successfully launched their own NFT collection, Play2Earn NFT game, and they are now building a whole new blockchain protocol. All in only 6 months.
"With the abilities and talents that women are proud to showcase, there is no doubt that diversity in the NFT space can be achieved. The realm is vast and ever-growing, and it's a promising industry where anyone can flourish," says Rebane.
Women entrepreneurs and crypto enthusiasts are no exception; they, too, can reap significant rewards if they enter this rapidly expanding sector.
About Keirin Rebane
Keirin Rebane has a master's degree in business and technology management and is the founder of an Estonian-based development company. She has helped to build various e-shops, online platforms, and applications in her career. During that time, she has been in different roles: a manager, product owner and designer. Having a previous technological background helped her orient herself in the NFT world, primarily when they were creating their own collection where all the NFT parts were hand-drawn in digital form and later generated in collaboration with code. Today, she is the product owner and art director in the World of Freight and Supplain teams.
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