In a Thursday notice, House Financial Services Committee chair Maxine Waters along with Representatives Joyce Beatty, Al Green, Bill Foster and Stephen Lynch penned a letter requesting U.S.-based crypto firms provide information on “how and whether the industry is working toward 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 Horowitz, Haun Ventures and Sequoia Capital.
“There is a concerning lack of publicly available data to effectively evaluate the diversity among America’s largest digital assets companies, and the investment companies with significant investments in these companies,” said the lawmakers. “We believe transparency is a critical, first step to achieving racial and gender equity.”
#RELEASE: Chairwoman @RepMaxineWaters, Representatives @RepBeatty, @RepAlGreen, @RepBillFoster and @RepStephenLynch Send Letter to Digital Assets Industry Requesting #DiversityandInclusion Data | https://t.co/jJCkRqofSE pic.twitter.com/XzPJBhCNuf
— U.S. House Committee on Financial Services (@FSCDems) August 5, 2022
According to a sample letter, the House representatives requested diversity and inclusion data and policies from the 20 firms starting in January 2021. The inquiry seemed to be made in response to investigations from the House Financial Services Committee in 2020 and 2021 that concluded “there is still much work to be done to increase diversity and inclusion” at major banks and investment firms. The lawmakers asked the companies to respond by Sept. 2.
Data from other groups seemed to support the conclusions of U.S. lawmakers. A 2020 report from Digitalundivided showed Black women and Latina entrepreneurs received less than 1% of venture capital investments, and Crunchbase reported that 0.9% of female company founders in fintech raised venture capital funds.
“By default, Web3 is very much dominated by men, and we do not see many female-focused brands getting into the space right now,” said Jenny Guo, co-founder of metaverse platform Highstreet. “But, similar to the tech industry, more and more women creatives will join the industry with time.”
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