NFT art shown in Times Square, New York.
Over the past week, one may have noticed that the streets of Times Square have been populated by men dressed in hoodies and sweatpants, with oversized lanyards hanging around their necks.
As NFT NYC comes to an end, Tech Twitter has been fed an abundance of content that has pointed out the lack of diversity in the crypto space.
A survey by CNBC and Momentive shows that almost twice as many men invest in cryptocurrency as women, and that is true for all racial and ethnic groups. The NFT space is no different.
According to a report by ArtTactic, women make up only 16% of the NFT art market. Although the space has definitely given more opportunities for more women to be recognized for their artwork, the top ten NFT artists have been predominantly male, and men still account for 77% of all primary and secondary sales.
“The thing about crypto is that you need access to financial and educational means to be able to invest, the space is currently dominated by white white cishet men right now because they have more access to it,” Clare Untalan, Founder of web3 baddies told The Org.
“Not only do marginalized people oftentimes lack the financial means to invest, but they also oftentimes lack the financial means to build and create. Many of the baddies in our community have awesome projects that they are building or ideating, but oftentimes do not have the necessary funds to launch their projects.”
When Untalan first learned about NFTs in March, she found resources online difficult to understand and wanted to find a safe space to learn about NFT’s and crypto without feeling judged.
“I didn't feel like there was a safe space for me to be a complete newbie and I was intimidated to ask questions. So I thought, let me just create a community and have a group chat of besties where we can talk and research together,” Untalan said.
She founded web3 baddies, a safe space for ‘the girlies, gays, non-binaries, & baddies in web3’ in mid-September and overnight the group received 15 applications from people who were interested in joining. Web3 baddies currently has around 60-70 community members who are all actively involved in the space.
“I want to make sure that our members get value out of the community. Even as we’re growing, I want to make sure that our members feel like you can talk with anyone in the group, and just really focus on keeping the best friend vibes in the server.”
As the NFT space continues to grow and attract artists from all walks of life, support for female creatives is also becoming a more important topic.
A notable group that spoke during the NFT NYC conference was the Women of Crypto Art (WOCA), a community that was created to promote, collaborate and support any artist who identifies as a woman in the crypto art space.
The community was initiated in 2020 by NFT artists and collectors Etta Tottie, Angie Taylor, Stina Jones, Gisel Florez and Sparrow, and it currently has over 200 members.
“There was talk of wanting a space where we could speak together and have conversations about our experiences in crypto,” Giselle Flores, Co-founder of WOCA said. “So WOCA was established especially for that connection.”
Members of WOCA are actively working on NFT projects for women in the space. This is true for Sarah Maryam Moosvi, who became interested in NFTs during the pandemic when she saw a shift toward digital art on the blockchain.
“One of the main reasons I started working in this space was to give a voice and lend support to women, to people who had technological or linguistic barriers and expand the scope of what was possible in terms of communities that were beginning to grow last year,” Maryam Moosvi said.
Although there is still a long way to go in terms of growing diversity in the NFT space, many artists are hopeful that there are positive changes being made.
“Male artists were always dominating in the art market. Also, it’s still the very beginning of NFTs, and I think many women just haven’t discovered it yet because it’s so new. But more and more women are starting to create NFT art and projects, and there is growing participation in this space,” Glam Beckett, an artist from Sad Girls Bar, told The Org.