Over the next few weeks, Girlboss is exploring what it’s like to work in crypto. We’re speaking to women at different ages and stages, and who work across the industry in operations, culture and community and education. Next up, Shirin Bucknam, the co-founder of Crypto Witch Club, specializing in Web3 and blockchain education for women.
This content is funded by Coinbase for Girlboss.
How did you start working in crypto?
I launched Crypto Witch Club with my business partner in September 2021. At that point, I had been invested in crypto for about four years. We felt that there were not many inclusive organizations for women to learn about blockchain technology. Additionally, me and my business partner ran a digital agency for eight years and we just needed a project that was close to our hearts and that was something that we owned and we had control over. We thought that we needed to bring blockchain education to everyone. Women and marginalized groups are often left out of financial education, and to create equity in the space, you have to have education. Crypto Witch Club is a fun and inclusive community. We now have 6,500 people.
How do you deal with the misconceptions and skepticism surrounding crypto?
We deal with it with kindness. I really understand why people have a knee-jerk reaction, because, to me, it’s really early internet. There’s scams surrounding it, and people who are not educated in the space. What’s key to understanding are the fundamentals of crypto and what blockchain technology is and what it does. Once you understand that, you can tell the difference between what’s real and fake.
One thing I’ve noticed is that people make assumptions about crypto and blockchain is that the market is really volatile, and on the whole it is. But there’s also stable coins that are backed by carbon credits or US dollars or gold that have no more volatility than the US dollar.
You have to break your brain to imagine a world without banks being a central role. But there’s certainly a role for banks to play. People forget that blockchain is a tool.
What are some of your challenges?
It goes back to misconceptions about crypto, which is why we’re always trying to demystify it. One of our biggest convos is the environment, and how to invest in ethical solutions and which projects are more sustainable and which ones are less so.
How is the culture around crypto changing to become more inclusive?
In the past, some women felt intimidated by the crypto community and were scared to dive in. Now, there are so many women in the space and so many tight-knit communities. I’m a big believer in supporting other women and being “stronger together.”
What’s your advice to anyone looking for a career in crypto?
I think there’s something so valuable about people with limited experience. It’s actually almost a benefit, if you’re outside the space and you’re just starting to learn you can digest those ideas and figure out how to explain it to people. If you went to a crypto exchange as a marketer with limited crypto knowledge, you’re going to use terminology that’s more palatable to people vs somebody who has been in the industry for 8 years.
There’s a lot of value that new people can bring, you just have to be curious and learn to think in a new way. My business partner always says, we’re not selling a pair of blue jeans, we have to teach people what blue jeans are first. There’s this extra layer in the funnel. The more we can expand on education, the better.