A group of five lawmakers from the United States House of Representatives has requested data on the diversity and inclusion practices of 20 major firms involved in cryptocurrencies and Web3.
In an announcement Thursday, House Financial Services Committee Chair Maxine Waters, along with Reps. Joyce Beatty, Al Green, Bill Foster and Stephen Lynch, wrote a letter asking US-based crypto firms to provide information on “how and whether the industry is working toward a fairer environment to all.” 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 troubling lack of publicly available data to effectively evaluate diversity among America’s largest digital asset companies, and the investment firms with significant investments in those companies,” the lawmakers said. “We believe transparency is a critical, first step to achieving racial and gender equality.”
#RELEASE: Chairman @RepMaxineWatersRepresentatives @RepBeatty, @RepAlGreen, @RepBillFoster and @RepStephenLynch Send letter to Digital Assets Industry Request #Diversity and inclusion Data | pic.twitter.com/XzPJBhCNuf
— US House Committee on Financial Services (@FSCDems) 5 August 2022
According to a sample letter, House representatives requested diversity and inclusion data and policies from the 20 firms starting in January 2021. The request appeared to be made in response to House Financial Services Committee investigations in 2020 and 2021 that concluded that “it is “still much work remains to increase diversity and inclusion” at major banks and securities firms.The lawmakers asked the companies to respond by Sept. 2.
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Data from other groups appeared to support the conclusions of US lawmakers. A 2020 report by Digitalundivided showed that black women and Latina entrepreneurs received less than 1% of venture capital investments, and Crunchbase reported that 0.9% of female fintech business founders raised venture capital funds.
“By default, Web3 is very much male-dominated, and we don’t see many female-focused brands entering the space right now,” said Jenny Guo, co-founder of metaverse platform Highstreet. “However, like the tech industry, more and more female creatives will join the industry over time.”