Crypto Megan, creating a place for women in Web3
Describing herself as curious, persistent and optimistic, Crypto Megan – formally known as Megan Nilsson – is a high-end NFT and crypto portfolio consultant for large companies, investors and celebrities. However, Megan doesn't just have a passion for helping those with big names: she’s also focused on encouraging more women to enter the Web3 space by providing quality information that's reliable and trustworthy.
“Crypto Megan was launched because I had a deep desire to help newcomers and to advocate for those who don't see themselves in the Web3 world yet,” Megan says. “The Web3 and financial worlds can be intimidating and it’s hard to know where to start, especially as it’s male-dominated and there’s complex terminology to grasp. But it’s truly revolutionary so I wanted to empower others to keep pushing to find where their space is here.”
And, for those who are still a little unsure about what the Web3 space actually is, Megan describes it as a third, more advanced layer of the internet. “Web3 is value-based,” Megan explains, “it’s the free transfer of value and digital ownership, because there's now a way to prove that a transaction has been done without duplicating itself.”
So, in layman's terms, Web3 allows users to transfer value while having ownership of it, which is still a very novel aspect for many of us. Yet more people are warming to this ‘futuristic’ way of transfer as it gives users the freedom to operate on their own terms – cutting out the middle man.
Moving more women to Web3
The world of Web3 can feel like a lonely place, especially if you’re just starting out and are yet to create connections with others – something that Megan remembers all too well. “I felt like I couldn’t talk to anyone about it when I first entered the space,” Megan says, “not even my husband. I was first introduced to Web3 when I attended a reunion for my Master’s degree. Blockchain developers attended and the concept absolutely blew my mind – it was as if they planted a seed in my brain that just kept growing. I fell down the rabbit hole, and, at first, was too unsure of talking about it because it wasn’t widely understood. Eventually, I educated my husband on the topic, he caught my enthusiasm and we kept going from there.”
The world of Web3 typically has fewer female faces – mainly because it combines two male-dominated sectors: finance and technology. As a result, there’s a heavy ‘bro culture’ present, with 33% of respondents stating it’s the biggest impediment to women, according to Web 3 Career Market Report.
As a member of Bored Ape Yacht Club, a top NFT collection in the US, Megan shares that bro culture rears its head in many different forms – from literally being a ‘bro’ to shops only selling shirts that come in male sizes. Although these small but noticeable factors reflect how male-orientated the space is, little by little, these aspects are being challenged to make Web3 more inclusive for women. Megan has also made it her mission to challenge and change these instances, but also highlights the unconscious self-sabotaging behaviours that hold women back.
“There are a number of reasons why we see fewer female faces in Web3, and, after having conversations with women all over the world about this topic, most generally agree that it’s because a lot of women have a fear of failure,” Megan says. “We tend to think we have one shot to prove ourselves in an industry, but Web3 isn’t like that. There’s room for everyone to learn and grow.
“This is the greatest opportunity of our lifetime. Web3 is a financial and cultural revolution, and even companies can make so much of an impact if they start learning about this technology.”
Breaking boundaries within Web3
As with every male-dominated industry, there needs to be trailblazing women that pave the way for others to follow. But having fewer female faces in an industry can be a deterrent in itself.
“It’s great to say to others ‘I broke through these barriers, so you should, too’, but it’s not always the best way to encourage women into the environment,” Megan says. “I believe it’s important for women to network, attend events and join clubs because they make you feel like you’re part of a family, which makes the whole experience much more enjoyable.”
When Megan first started out, she had to delve into the depths of the internet to teach herself everything. As there’s no rule book on blockchain or NFTs, she found herself fumbling around the industry, making mistakes that she wants to help others avoid.
“A lot of it is about terminology,” Megan says. “For example, I’d hear many people talking about smart contracts – but what is a smart contract to a regular person? When I first started, I found myself doing and signing things that I probably shouldn’t have, but other than my husband and my family, I didn’t have any other support.
“To navigate through this, I found it important to tune out the noise of others,” Megan says. “The key factor that led to my success is trusting my instinct and not listening to the concerns and negativity of others. A big part of this is expanding your skill set and practising what you do.
“My hope is that the younger girls growing up in this generation won’t have to face the resistance that I had, so they have an easier path. It’s incredible how many possibilities there are in Web3 and within blockchain technology, so regardless of your occupation, there is space for everybody.”