- The North American Bitcoin Conference booked a Miami-based strip club for a networking event, according to Bloomberg News.
- The event ran until 11 p.m., at which point nude performances started up again. Many of the attendees stayed at the club, wearing their conference badges.
- The decision shines light on a space that is dominated by men.
A cryptocurrency conference in Miami hosted a networking event at a strip club last month.
As reported by Bloomberg’s cryptocurrency watcher Lily Katz, The North American Bitcoin Conference booked the Miami-based strip club E11even club to close out the week-long conference of panels and discussions.
The networking event ran until 11 p.m., at which point the nude performances started up again. “Plenty of attendees kept their conference badges on and stayed to party,” Katz reported.
Katz quoted one crypto trader who said: “We’re a bunch of dudes with a lot of money in our 20s. We like naked girls.”
The event, which was open to all conference attendees and sponsored by cryptocurrency Dash, made many women feel uncomfortable, Katz reported.
Zineb Belmkaddem, a crypto trader who decided not to attend the event, told Bloomberg it made her feel un-welcomed.
“There was a message being sent to women, that, ‘OK, this isn’t really your place,”‘ she said. “‘This is where the boys roll.'”
One blockchain tech startup founder took to Twitter to share her experience at the event, where one person suggested she “get on stage.” Here’s Hadjar Homaei in a tweet:
Keynote, the firm that organized the event, told Bloomberg they regretted hosting the event at the venue, but only after originally defending the decision.
“Having the networking party at E11even was a misstep,” Keynote CEO Moe Levin said in an email. “We always aim to be as inclusive as possible and create a safe environment.”
Ryan Taylor, the chief executive of Dash Core, said in a statement “we were unaware that the event we sponsored would be held at a venue featuring adult entertainment.”
The decision to host the event at such a venue reflects the male-dominated environment in the cryptocurrency world. Bloomberg reported in December that just four out of 30 initial coin offering projects had a female cofounder. And statistics from Coin Dance suggest Google search activity related to bitcoin is overwhelmingly male. Here’s a chart:
- Coin Dance
Some metrics, however, suggest that the crypto-world is opening up to women. A survey from January found bitcoin users were 71% male, down from 90% in 2015.
This story has been updated to include a statement from Dash Core chief executive Ryan Taylor.