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Bitcoin: why is it so male-dominated?

来源:FT中文网    2018-02-09 06:51

        A decade older than my brother, I take some things for granted. I have a professional job, a degree, a credit card; he stays up later than me, knows the cool music and can travel for months at a time. So it came as a surprise to find that his investments were raking it in — because, unlike me, he has put money into bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies.        比弟弟大十岁的我,觉得有些事情是理所当然的。我有一份专业工作、学位、信用卡;他比我睡得晚,懂很酷的音乐,可以一次旅行几个月。因此,发现他的投资赚了大钱让我感到意外,因为他跟我不一样,他把钱投进了比特币等加密数字货币。
        Perhaps even more painful to admit, he encouraged me to buy bitcoin five years ago, when it was worth about $100, far below the $7,088 it is at the time of writing (or the almost $20,000 it was at its peak). It was an offer only a 17-year-old boy could propose: give me your money, I’ll invest it in bitcoin and give you a share of the proceeds. It turns out — even after the recent fall in bitcoin — it was an offer I was foolish to decline.        或许更令人痛苦的是承认,5年前他曾鼓励我购买比特币,当时比特币价值约为100美元,远低于我写这篇文章时的7088美元(或者它曾经逼近的2万美元峰值)。这是一个只有17岁男孩才会提出的提议:把你的钱交给我,我会用它投资比特币,然后给你收益分成。事实证明,即使是在最近比特币下跌之后,我那时拒绝这个提议仍是愚蠢的。
        I am not alone. Ask most people outside Silicon Valley whether they own any bitcoin, and the answer will still probably be no.        愚蠢的还不止我一个人。问问硅谷以外的大多数人是否拥有比特币?答案很可能是没有。
        So what do early adopters have in common? One factor is gender. As bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies such as Ethereum have soared over recent months, it is mainly men who have bought in.        那么,很早接纳比特币的人有何共同之处?一个因素是性别。最近几个月,当比特币和以太坊(Ethereum)等加密数字货币的价格飙升时,买入者主要是男性。
        Accurate data on who holds the anonymous currencies are hard to find, but Uphold, a virtual currency wallet service that does background checks on its users, says 75 per cent are men, while Coin Dance, which tracks statistics on the bitcoin community, found 97 per cent of engagement was from men. If men like my brother were riding high on returns, why weren’t women?        关于谁持有这类匿名货币的准确数据很难找到,但对其用户做过背景调查的虚拟货币钱包服务Uphold表示,75%的用户是男性,而追踪比特币社区统计数据的Coin Dance发现,97%的参与者是男性。如果像我弟弟那样的男性获得了高回报,为什么女性没有呢?
        Cryptocurrencies are, of course, risky: their price is highly volatile and in some cases their digital exchanges have been hacked.        当然,加密数字货币是有风险的:它们的价格剧烈波动,在有些情况下,它们的数字交易所遭到了黑客侵入。
        Anna Dreber, an economics professor at the Stockholm School of Economics, studies differences in risk tolerance between men and women. She cites one study that showed a 64 per cent probability that a random man would be prepared to take more risk than a random woman. Yet that alone is not enough to account for the difference between male and female bitcoin investors.        斯德哥尔摩经济学院(Stockholm School of Economics)的经济学教授安娜•德雷贝(Anna Dreber)研究了男性和女性在风险容忍度方面的差异。她引用的一项研究显示,随机选取一男一女,男性比女性愿意承担更多风险的概率为64%。然而,仅凭这一点还不足以解释男性和女性比特币投资者之间的差异。
        Much is down to information flow. Bitcoin and cryptocurrencies first became popular in the geekiest parts of the tech and finance industries, both male-dominated. The early word was spread mainly on Reddit and forums for discussing video games. Mt Gox, once the biggest exchange for virtual currency before it was hacked, started life as a platform for trading playing cards for a fantasy game called Magic: The Gathering.        很多事情取决于信息流。比特币和加密货币首先在科技和金融行业“极客”最集中的角落流行起来,而这些角落是由男性主导的。最初,相关消息主要在Reddit以及讨论视频游戏的论坛上传播。在被黑客入侵前曾是最大虚拟货币交易平台的Mt Gox,起步时是一个交易幻想游戏《万智牌》(Magic: The Gathering)卡牌的平台。
        Stephanie Hardesty, an investor who also describes herself as a bitcoin anthropologist, says she became interested in the currency in 2013 for two reasons. First, a male friend who was a software developer started telling her about bitcoin. Second, she found bitcoin allied with another interest of hers: cross stitch. After discovering she could cross stitch the QR codes that link to bitcoin wallets, she now keeps her public address as cross-stitch code on her desk at work and her private key safely offline, in a cross-stitched cold-storage wallet.        自称是比特币人类学家的投资者斯蒂芬妮•哈德斯蒂(Stephanie Hardesty)表示,她在2013年对比特币产生兴趣有两个原因。首先,一位身为软件开发员的男性朋友开始向她介绍比特币。其次,她发现比特币与她的另一个兴趣——十字绣——吻合。在发现她可以把链接到比特币钱包的二维码做成十字绣之后,她现在把她的公共地址二维码十字绣放在她的办公桌上,把她的私钥安全地离线存放,放在一个有十字绣的冷存储(cold-storage,指离线存放——译者注)钱包里。
        Hardesty believes that as cryptocurrencies become more mainstream, they are attracting more diverse investors: more women, more people of colour and more leftwingers.        哈德斯蒂认为,随着加密数字货币变得更加主流,它们将吸引更为多元化的投资者:更多女性、更多肤色的人和更多左派人士。
        Many in the field are working to make cryptocurrencies more accessible. There are women leading crypto-related companies and in top roles at banks such as Blythe Masters, a former JPMorgan Chase banker who runs blockchain start-up Digital Asset Holdings, and Amber Baldet at JPMorgan.        许多业内人士正在努力使加密货币更容易获得。有一些女性领导着加密相关公司,或者在银行担任相关的高层职位,例如摩根大通(JPMorgan Chase)前银行家、目前经营着区块链初创企业Digital Asset Holdings的布莱斯•马斯特斯(Blythe Masters),以及摩根大通的安布尔•巴尔代(Amber Baldet)。
        Of course, now bitcoin is more mainstream there may be far less money to be made — and there’s a lot of risk attached, as its price drop of almost 50 per cent since the start of the year shows. When we spoke, Hardesty thought it would be better late than never for me, a “sad no-coiner”, to buy bitcoin.        当然,既然比特币已经更加主流了,可赚的钱也许更少——而且还有很多风险,正如自今年初以来其价格暴跌近50%所表明的那样。当我跟她交谈时,哈德斯蒂认为,对于我这个“悲哀的无币者”,晚买比特币也好过永远不买比特币。
        Her advice is to avoid the sometimes complex process required to buy and store cryptocurrencies, head to a bitcoin ATM and lock the receipt in a fire-safe box. Or I could just ask my brother for help. Then again, given the latest market turmoil, maybe I’ll start calling myself a “lucky no-coiner” instead.        她的建议是,避免购买和存储加密货币所需的有时复杂的过程,而最好是找到一台比特币ATM机,然后将收据锁在一个防火箱里。或者我干脆找我弟弟帮忙。但是话说回来,鉴于最近的市场动荡,也许我会开始自称为“幸运的无币者”。
        Hannah Kuchler is an FT correspondent in San Francisco        汉娜•库赫勒(Hannah Kuchler)是英国《金融时报》驻旧金山记者

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