Cryptocurrency investor and computer science expert Skye Dunworth launched bitcoin payment app Spendher earlier this month.
Speaking to Nest Egg, she said that she hopes the app, while designed to be easy to use, also acts as a “gateway” into investment for women.
She explained, “Last year more than $240 billion profit was made in bitcoin investing alone, so that's just bitcoin and only 5 per cent of investors were female. That’s just one statistic.
“There’s a huge wealth gap going on and [we’re] basically using cryptocurrency as a tool, or a gateway to engage more females in investing more broadly.”
The fact that cryptocurrency is so volatile, and – in her opinion – exciting, means that it’s a good medium for broader lessons about investing.
“You learn pretty fast in an exaggerated environment,” Ms Dunworth said. With investing in bitcoin, it’s easy to learn about long and short-term investing, with many aspects amplified due to the nature of bitcoin, she continued.
Ms Dunworth said she had been focusing on building and launching the app, but that a bit of focus would now shift to education.
Noting that most reports point to lower financial literacy for women than men, she said her aim was to remove the intimidation factor from investing.
Ms Dunworth said, “With finance I have a very good understanding of how the monetary system works and how it is delivered to the mainstream in a very convoluted way when it doesn't need to be.
“Now I’m on the flipside [working in the sector], I’m like, why do they say it like that? It's completely unnecessary.”
She said her job now is to translate the intimidating jargon into accessible language.
Questioned about how she and the app achieved this accessibility without being patronising, Ms Dunworth said Spendher would remain on the right side due to her own experience.
While she has done stints at Deloitte and in management consulting positions, Ms Dunworth said that she hasn’t always been money-savvy.
“I used to be hopeless with money, so I'm able to speak on it from a place of where i come from personally,” she said.
“Because I’ve come from that place to where I am now, and the lessons I’ve learnt and the success I’ve had. It's almost impossible for me to be patronising because I wasn't always this way.”
Nevertheless, it is something that Ms Dunsworth is aware of.
“That's why with the app I've tried to make it a little bit neutral but on my [Spendher] Instagram, there is a bit of pink in there but that's my personality. I am the brand, so I can't completely shut myself out of it or it just won't work, but … it can be tough,” she said.
Spendher describes itself as a “beautifully simple” means of buying, selling and storing bitcoin. It also features a guided service for investors looking for support and instant verification using medicare, driver’s licence or passport details.