A group of five lawmakers from the United States House of Representatives has requested data on the diversity and inclusion practices of 20 major companies involved in cryptocurrencies and Web3.
In a post Thursday, Maxine Waters, chair of the House Financial Services Committee, along with representatives Joyce Beatty, Al Green, Bill Foster and Stephen Lynch, wrote a letter requesting US-based crypto firms to provide information on “how and whether the industry is working towards a more equitable environment for everyone.” The lawmakers sent letters to 20 companies, including Aave, Binance.US, Coinbase, Crypto.com, FTX, Kraken, Paxos, Ripple and Tether, as well as venture capital firms Andreessen HorowitzHaun Ventures and Sequoia Capital.
“There is a worrying lack of publicly available data to effectively evaluate the diversity between America’s largest digital asset companies and the investment companies with significant investments in these companies,” the lawmakers said. “We believe transparency is a critical first step towards achieving racial and gender equality.”
#RELEASE: Chair @RepMaxineWatersRepresentatives @RepBeatty, @RepAlGreen, @RepBillFoster and @RepStephenLynch Send a letter to the digital asset industry with a request #Diversity and Inclusion Data | https://t.co/jJCkRqofSE pic.twitter.com/XzPJBhCNuf
— US House Committee on Financial Services (@FSCDems) August 5, 2022
According to a sample letter, House representatives asked for diversity and inclusion data and policies from the 20 companies that started in January 2021. The investigation appeared to have been initiated in response to investigations by the House Financial Services Committee in 2020 and 2021 that concluded: “There is still a lot of work to be done to increase diversity and inclusion” at major banks and investment firms. Lawmakers asked the companies to respond before September 2.
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Data from other groups seemed to support the conclusions of US lawmakers. A 2020 report from Digitalundivided found that black women and Latina entrepreneurs received less than 1% of venture capital investments, and Crunchbase reported that 0.9% of female founders of fintech companies raised venture capital funds.
“Web3 is male-dominated by default, and we don’t see many female-focused brands coming into the space right now,” said Jenny Guo, co-founder of metaverse platform Highstreet. “But, as in the tech industry, over time more and more female creatives will join the industry.”