While traditional asset classes fail to foster broader adoption among women, crypto seems to have found success in bringing women on board, according to a recent survey.
Data sent to Cointelegraph by the eToro team highlighted that crypto is now the second most widely-owned asset class for women, second only to cash. This comes from eToro’s latest Retail Investor Beat, which surveyed around 10,000 global retail investors in 13 countries.
According to the survey results, there is a significant rise in crypto ownership among women. Data shows that ownership increased from 29% in the third quarter of 2022 to 34% in the last quarter. According to the eToro team, this suggests that crypto is “succeeding where traditional financial markets have sometimes failed, " which is by bringing in more women.
While crypto adoption among women has taken flight in the last quarter of 2022, ownership among men only increased by one percent in the same time period.
Meanwhile, despite crypto being considered last year’s worst-performing asset class, the overall amount of global investors owning crypto rose from 36% to 39% on a quarter-on-quarter basis.
Apart from being driven by women jumping in, the data was also influenced by older investors buying the dip. Retail investors holding crypto aged 35–44 and 45–54 rose by 5% each, suggesting that older investors are also accumulating crypto.
As for why more investors are getting into crypto, 37% of the survey participants said they are taking the opportunity to make high returns, while 34% said that they believe in the power of blockchain and think crypto is a transformative asset class.
Apart from retail investors expressing their belief in blockchain technology by investing, businesses are also starting to do the same. On Jan. 12, Casper Labs found that among the 603 businesses that participated in a survey, 90% have already deployed blockchain in some capacity.
If the foreign exchange market starts using decentralized finance (DeFi) protocols instead of the current centralized systems, the cost of remittances could be reduced by “as much as 80%,” according to a Jan. 19 paper jointly published by researchers at Circle and Uniswap.
The paper, titled “On-chain Foreign Exchange and Cross-border Payments,” was written by Uniswap Data Scientist Austin Adams, Circle Chief Economist Gordon Liao, Mary Catherine Lader, David Puth and Xin Wan.
The authors studied the trading activity of Circle’s U.S. Dollar Coin and Euro Coin (EUROC) on Uniswap from July 2022 through January. They found that the coins had $128 million in total volume, with some days having trading volume as high as $8 million.
During this time, the stablecoins USDC and EUROC traded within a few basis points of exchange rates found in the wholesale forex market for their backing currencies, USD and EUR. In the authors’ view, this showed that the DeFi forex market was providing a reasonable alternative to traditional forex, with good price efficiency, despite its smaller trading volume.
However, the researchers wanted to know if using DeFi protocols like Uniswap could provide savings to participants in the forex market. So they analyzed the costs associated with the traditional “correspondent banking model” of forex vs. those associated with DeFi forex.
They used World Bank estimates to determine the price of a $500 remittance done through the global banking system. They then compared this with the cost of buying stablecoin (either USDC or EUROC) through an exchange, swapping it for the other coin on Uniswap, sending it to another person, and having the other person cash it out at an exchange.
The researcher concluded that the DeFi model causes users to incur many different fees, including exchange commissions, DeFi trading fees, network fees and fees for transferring cash to and from an exchange. Even so, the fees are up to 80% less than the average price of remittances, based on World Bank estimates.
Decentralized exchange (DEX) aggregator 1inch Network is the latest cryptocurrency platform to move into the hardware wallet industry amid the rise of self-custody.
On Jan. 19, 1inch officially introduced the 1inch Hardware Wallet, a proprietary hardware wallet developed by an independent team working within the 1inch Network.
In order to provide maximum security, the 1inch Hardware Wallet is “fully air-gapped,” meaning that it has no direct connection to the internet and does not require any wired connection.
“All data is exchanged using QR codes or, optionally, with NFC,” 1inch said, noting that the 1inch Hardware Wallet also doesn’t have any buttons.
The upcoming hardware wallet comes in the size of a bank card, featuring a 2.7-inch E-Ink grayscale touch display. The waterproof crypto wallet is equipped with a damage-resistant Gorilla Glass 6 surface and stainless-steel frame. The device supports wireless charging, with the Li-Po battery designed to last for roughly two weeks of use.
One of the specific features of the 1inch Hardware Wallet is that it replicates the design of the Apple product line. The wallet comes in five colors, including hex, graphite, sierra blue, silver and alpine green, matching the iPhone 13 lineup.
“There will be two limited editions in pink and gold with some design changes and corresponding NFTs,” a spokesperson for 1inch told Cointelegraph.
1inch is not the only crypto firm promoting its hardware wallet in an attempt to benefit from Apple’s popularity. Last year, French hardware wallet provider Ledger announced a collaboration with Tony Fadell, the inventor of the iconic iPod Classic model, to develop its latest crypto wallet, Ledger Stax.
According to a spokesperson at 1inch, the firm started the development of the hardware wallet in early 2022 and expects to launch the product in Q4 2023. The firm also plans to proceed with development and security enhancements in the near future.
“Next month, we will be launching the contributor program, so everyone will have an opportunity to improve the device truly on their own,” a 1inch representative said, adding that documentation and source codes will be available on GitHub.
1inch’s entry into the hardware wallet industry comes amid the rise of self-custody amid the distrust of centralized crypto exchanges (CEX). Major hardware wallet providers like Ledger and Trezor recorded a significant surge in traffic and sales as crypto investors were triggered to offload their holdings from CEXs amid the FTX collapse in November 2022.
This Daily Dose was brought to you by Cointelegraph.