Research: Women Write less than 5% of Codes in the Cryptocurrency Industry

Woman Holding the Cryptocurrency Bitcoin

Less than 5 percent of the code commits to the top 100 cryptocurrency projects were made by women, finds a report by journalist Corin Faife. The author posted his findings in a blog post on Medium.

Faife gathered over 1,026,804 code commits for his research and out of those only just 47,678 were made by a female name. That makes up only 4.64 percent of the total amount. Commits by a developer with a male name amounted to 691,134. These numbers represent a reoccurring pattern and are not surprising for crypto industry veterans.

Using the GitHub API, a custom Python script, and Genderize.io, Faife dug through a million lines to find contributor names in each project. He processed the code commits gathered through the GitHub API, using the python script to identify their real names and finally, using Genderize.io to identify the gender of the developer based on their names.

Faife targeted big projects like TRON and Binance and found that 54 cryptocurrency projects had less than 100 commits made by women while 31 had less than 10. The tool he built, however, failed to verify 100 percent of the developers’ gender because of factors such as the developers not submitting their real name or having a gender-neutral name. Which is why the developers identified as male-only totaled to 67.3 percent.

Another interesting finding from Faife’s research was the fact that projects based in Asian countries such as NEO and Theta Token had a much higher percentage of commits made by female developers.

Furthermore, male developers made 13 times more commits than their female counterparts, found Faife. He states:

“It paints a clear picture of a field that is dominated by male developers across almost every major project. It’s worth examining what the broader causes of such a gender imbalance are, and what steps the industry could take to encourage more women to take up blockchain programming.”

Similar Findings in Other Studies of the Crypto Industry

There have been multiple reports that show similar results. In 2017, GitHub conducted a study that found that 95 percent of the open source collaborators were male. Another recent investigation found that new blockchain startups in 2019 had only 14.5% women as team members and only 7% in executive positions. Back in January, events-oriented software firm Bizzabo found that 79% of attendees at crypto events are male.

All of these studies paint a clear picture of where the IT industry as a whole and blockchain sector specifically stands in terms of inclusion and representation for women in both technical and executive positions.

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