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To Natalie Demary (she/her), these two things are very clear.

That’s precisely why she founded CryptoFemme in November, 2021, a community that seeks to connect, engage and educate “women and femme-identifying people” who want to know more about crypto — regardless of whether they want to start investing, learn how to leverage blockchain technology for their business, or even start a career in the space.

“I was exposed to crypto via a blockchain-based startup, for whom I provided marketing consulting services. I was enamored by the vast opportunities in crypto, and I learned everything I could about it in a very short amount of time. I soon realized that women weren’t getting the same access in the space as men were. Right now, there’s a huge disparity between men and women in crypto, and the CryptoFemme team and I are working to address it.”

A recent study from CoinTelegraph showed that despite showing interest, 80% of women found crypto to be difficult to understand and 72% believed it was a risky investment.

But Natalie’s mission is to change that statistic. Her community, which started in Austin, has grown to over 550 members across the country in half a year. Natalie’s long term goal is to create a thriving space for one million women in crypto by 2030.

Part of the growth strategy is to encourage active participation with the new currency. Members of CryptoFemme were gifted future guaranteed access to ‘Founding Member’ NFTs, Bitcoin and Ethereum have been given away as raffle prizes multiple times, and CryptoFemme has plans to create both a DAO rewards token ($FEMIA) for the community, as well as a more investable DAO governance token ($CFT). The goal isn’t to bribe people with flashy gifts, but rather get them engaged and excited about the new and fascinating world of crypto, and to provide sufficient education and mentorship to set members of the community up for success.

“Thanks to blockchain technology you can essentially be your own bank, and the difference this makes for people is profound. Crypto comprises currencies that free us from constraints that come from traditional banks. People in third-world countries can now access digital funds, even in local regions where bank accounts are unavailable, or in dictatorships where keeping one’s money in a bank is risky. But as with anything, the first steps toward mastery in crypto is through education and practice. We’re providing this to our members now, so that they will be ahead of the global mass adoption curve.”

The way forward for female entrepreneurs can be filled with roadblocks—especially for women of color and trans women. But as a trans founder herself, Natalie always keeps her head up. Even while serving in the Texas Army National Guard for more than 12 years, she lives out and proud.

As Co-Chair of StartOut’s Austin, TX Programming Board, Natalie is continuing with that spirit and boldly continuing her mission to educate. Through local events at the Texas capital, and soon in other cities and states, she’s growing her community and finding new ways to bring more women into the space.

“Years ago, it was uncommon to see a highly successful woman in the coaching or consulting industries, but look at us now. Women today are dominating coaching and consulting, as evidenced by the ‘BossBabe’ movement, and thanks to spaces for mentorship and resources, such as those offered by StartOut to queer women. It’s really encouraging to see us moving in that direction, and there’s still so much work that needs to be done to narrow the gap for women in crypto.”

And to all women who find themselves wanting to launch their startup or online business, Natalie has one piece of advice: Validate your idea. In other words, make sure it’s something that people need and want, and make sure that it’s something you’re truly passionate about providing.

Connect with Natalie on LinkedIn for the latest updates on CryptoFemme, and follow our blog for more CryptoFemme news, features, and stories!

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