If you’re active on crypto Twitter, chances are that you’ll have come across Crypto Wendy. She is one of the most prominent content creators in the crypto world today and has garnered a very large following owing to her insights on Bitcoin, NFTs, and much more. We caught up with her to find out her reasons for getting involved in the world of digital assets, the challenges she has faced as a woman in crypto, and why she’s particularly bullish on the future of NFTs.
How and why did Wendy first get involved in crypto? She told Disruption Banking that she “first heard about Bitcoin 2011 but didn’t invest until 2017 because [she] didn’t know what it was – nobody knew what it was back then. We just knew that some people were using it as a form of payment to buy stuff on the Internet.” However, she was ultimately attracted by some of the libertarian ideas on which the original crypto movement was partly founded:
“I started hearing about Bitcoin on libertarian radio channels. I like to align myself with people that are free-thinking and people that think for. I like to have my own opinions based on my critical thinking alone. So I was very entrepreneurial; at the time I decided to take a chance and to invest in Bitcoin and crypto, and to see what that happened. I was working in healthcare, for the largest HIV-AIDS non-profit in the world.
“I wanted to figure out something to do at home. I looked at trading stocks, but needed $25,000 to start which was absolutely ridiculous. Most Americans don’t even have $500 in their savings account for emergencies. So I decided to get into crypto instead, where none of those barriers exist, and it really changed my life for the better.
“What was really enticing to me about Bitcoin and crypto is that anyone can participate in the market. You don’t need somebody to tell you “oh, you need $25,000.” If I want to put in $20 I could put in $20. If I want to put in $20,000, I can. I don’t like being told what to do. And I don’t think that people should gate keep and tell other people what to do.”
Wendy thinks her background and childhood contributed to these ideas. She grew up “super, super poor” and, as a result, has long felt there’s a need to democratise finance. She sees crypto as part of the answer to financial inequality, and an alternative to a system that concentrates money and power in very few hands. “There’s more of us than there are of the elites,” she says.
Challenges in Crypto
However, she’s also faced challenges within the crypto community. Having become a full-time content creator in 2018, and growing her YouTube channel to be the largest female-run channel in crypto, Wendy told us that she still faces “all kinds of sexism in the industry:”
“You have to understand most of the people with crypto, they’re dudes. They’re upper-middle class dudes, who who’ve been spoon-fed and coddled their entire lives. Mommy and daddy paid for college, they haven’t really experienced a lot of hardship, and they have a very distorted image of women.
“But we’re now in a place, in society, where women have to work. And women have to be in the workforce. So that image they have, that they’re somehow better than a woman, isn’t going to fly anymore.”
While not unique to the world of crypto, Wendy said discrimination is “always worse when money is involved.” She’s been subject to “awful” treatment when doing business deals:
“I’ve had really awful business deals happen to me, I’ve been treated awfully. When I get on phone calls to do consulting, or speak with people, I have to have a male lead just to make sure that the business deal goes properly. Because what happens is they see a woman and, regardless of how you portray yourself, they think that they can walk all over you. I’ve spoken to friends who work in other areas, and they get the same treatment. Especially those in finance.
“I’m not using my gender as a way to say “oh my god, feel sorry for me. I’m a woman, do business with me.” No, I don’t want anybody to feel sorry for me. I don’t want people to feel the need to do business with me because I’m a woman. But at the same time, if you don’t respect me, I don’t want to work with you. If you don’t respect me, you’re not going to come on my channel. And I’m not going to engage, you’re not going to be in my network. You’re not going to eat with me at my table.”
Bullish on NFTs
We ended our discussion by talking about NFTs, which Wendy has been supporting since around 2018. Wendy accepted that “it’s a brand new space” and that there remain many challenges – not least fighting the perception that they’re simply worthless gifs that are bought and sold for ridiculously large amounts. The “real power” of NFTs, in Wendy’s view, is much more meaningful:
“The real power of NFTs comes from musicians, artists, poets, writers, creators, photographers, people who have been treated terribly and marginalised in third-party, predatory industries. The music industry is probably by far the worst. And I know this is because I lived in Hollywood. I dated musicians. I saw what happened. I saw a lot of my friends are immensely talented, but unfortunately, because they didn’t look a certain way, or they weren’t a certain weight, and they didn’t buy into the industry bullshit. They didn’t make it, despite being immensely talented musicians.
“I also learned how shitty the industry was. So when I see NFTs, I think this solves so many problems for artists. If you have a big enough fan base, you don’t have to go get a record deal. You can create an NFT. You actually get to own your IP rights, and your merchandising, and your licencing rights.
“I’ve had Bitcoin maximalist say to me “oh, you’re an idiot. You support NFTs?” No, I’m actually very smart. I support NFTs, because I know that it gives power back to the artists.”
Wendy said there may still be a place for speculative NFT trading – “the beautiful thing of a truly decentralised economy is having people with different perspectives and the ideas that come into it.” There’s “no reason” why NFTs can’t be both a speculative asset and something tied to real-life use cases, in Wendy’s view. “The lazy man’s way of thinking is just to dismiss NFTs as a scam. But people should keep an open mind.”
Wendy remains extremely bullish on NFTs, Bitcoin, and cryptocurrencies generally. She suggested the current bear market is getting rid of those who are in crypto as a “get rich quick” scheme and argued that “you’re going to get what you give.”
“If you put the energy in, if you work hard, you’re going to get results. It’s not guaranteed, because it’s a dog-eat-dog world. But people should put a bit more trust in themselves and focus a lot more on critical thinking and self-education.”
Author: Harry Clynch
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