Mastercard is leading an effort to make Web3 and cryptocurrency more accessible to women and nonbinary people through The Belle Block, a community focused on educating them on the technologies and their capabilities, according to a company press release Thursday (June 23).
The Belle Block platform “prioritizes education, listening and learning from a diverse community — bringing more people into the digital ecosystem safely and securely,” the release stated.
“We are energized to collaborate, listen and co-innovate in support of business and consumer needs,” said Mastercard Chief Digital Officer Jorn Lambert in the release. “Today marks the start of an exciting and forward-thinking journey to together bring more women and underserved communities to the table in the Web3 and crypto world.”
About three-quarters of women who are familiar with crypto said they would use it more if they understood it better, according to the release. Men and women are both using digital currency for investments as well as buying, trading and opening wallets.
The Belle Block, which is powered by Mastercard’s Global Crypto and Blockchain team, will bring together the Web3 community and those interested in joining and focus on delivering business growth, education, leadership, legal and regulatory advocacy, and entrepreneurship, the release stated.
A PYMNTS survey of United States crypto owners found that 30% had used crypto for online purchases in the past month, while 21% used crypto for purchases in physical retail locations in the same time period.
Still, crypto purchases at brick-and-mortar stores are unlikely to be made with direct cryptocurrency transactions, instead often employing Mastercard- and Visa-branded crypto cards or third-party processors such as Cash App and PayPal. Seventy-four percent of in-store crypto purchases were made using digital wallets, compared to 66% made using debit or prepaid cards.
Even for online purchases, the specific rails on which crypto payments are made vary. Among the 30% of surveyed crypto owners who said they used it for online purchases, 70% used digital wallets while 54% used debit or prepaid cards.