These Iranian Women Crush It Into Crypto | Business and economy
Tehran, Iran – As the Iranian crypto community grows, so does the number of women making their mark there. Mostly young, self-taught and multidisciplinary, they join the ranks of active traders seeking to protect hard-earned savings against local currency inflation and economic uncertainty.
Some of these women share their ideas with aspiring crypto investors and even take advantage of a flexible schedule for self-employed workers to achieve a better work-life balance.
Like other crypto investors, many of these innovators have been burnt by the notorious volatile and sometimes dubious crypto market. But they all crush it in their own way.
The thrill of the job
Narges Moradabadi, a full-time crypto trader and investment advisor, began her crypto journey in 2018, when she took a position as head of the digital marketing department of a Tehran-based company focused on cryptography.
Then last year, as COVID-19 ravaged the already sanctions-strapped Iranian economy, it made the leap into full-time commerce; starting small and then increasing in size as she learned more about a market in which price swings can be so sudden and strong, this gave rise to the acronym HODL – hold on tight to the life.
But for Moradabadi, who studied technology engineering and earned an MBA, volatility is the best part.
“What attracted me the most about trading is how difficult and diverse it is, and how much enthusiasm it generates,” she told Al Jazeera. “You lose track of time in the charts.”
The 34-year-old also likes the flexibility that comes with trading as it allows her to tailor her schedule to spend more time with her four-year-old daughter and husband.
Moradabadi also “shares wealth” so to speak, posting her analysis tables on social networks where she has tens of thousands of followers.
This social media presence has prompted trolling, with some posting comments that her success stems solely from being a minority sex in a male-dominated field.
But Moradabadi does not let the haters get to him.
“I don’t agree with that,” she said. “I am focused on delivering my content in a way that would benefit a wide variety of people and also introduce them to different aspects of my personality.”
Like all traders, she profited and lost money on her crypto positions. But she views losing bets as learning experiences and has also used this knowledge to trade in the forex markets.
“It can also teach you skills that can help you in different aspects of your life,” she said. “For example, I’ve always been hasty, but I’ve learned to be patient and have more mind control over positive and negative emotions.”
Crypto roller coaster
Negar Akhavan’s crypto learning curve has been steep.
The 30-year-old finance graduate heard about Bitcoin from a friend in 2017.
At first, she was skeptical that someone could make money just by setting up computer banks to mine digital currency. But in 2019, she had changed her perspective.
By this time, Akhavan had become familiar with crypto mining – in which powerful computers rushed to verify Bitcoin transactions in exchange for new Bitcoins – and had taken market analysis courses. So it started importing mining rigs from China via Dubai and selling them to budding miners.
Watching them cash in the change tempted her to try her hand at mining. To start with, she borrowed three and a half Bitcoins from her father – worth around $ 20,000 at the time – and promised him that she would double her money in no time.
But she lost everything after an unscrupulous computer seller in France cheated her of everything, she says.
“The process took a long time and had a mental impact on me,” she told Al Jazeera. “In the end, they cheated me and I didn’t receive any devices.”
Burned, she fell back on cryptocurrency trading to recover her losses. For a while she was on fire, increasing her initial investment by 50%, she said. But as is the case with many traders, when a sell occurred, she lowered it instead of cashed out, wiping out all of her gains and 40% of her initial investment capital.
She thought she was done with trading. But the allure of crypto has proven to be too powerful.
“This market has its own particular temptations. So I started trading again after a few months, but also read more and got into the technical side of blockchain-based projects, ”Akhavan said.
This led her to co-found a blockchain venture capital studio, but it failed to gain traction amid Iran’s perfect COVID-19 storm, US sanctions and an enforced internet blackout. by the government in late 2019 to quell protests that erupted in response to a gasoline proposal. price increase.
Far from ditching crypto, Akhavan has persevered to climb her ladder to the C-suite, where she is currently CFO of Bittestan, a cryptocurrency exchange.
Asal Alizadeh knows firsthand the thrill of making a winning investment in cryptocurrency. But the 22-year-old says it wasn’t profits that first drew her to space, but the idea of disrupting finance through blockchain and other distributed ledger technologies.
“Now that I have more experience, I also gain more, but the first thing that really attracted me was the independence of the technology and its revolutionary nature,” she told Al Jazeera.
“The fact that a technology, far from government intervention and centralized management, attempts to achieve distributed goals and help achieve justice and equality, is admirable.”
Alizadeh, who studied computer engineering, was introduced to blockchain and crypto in 2018. From this foundation, she built a multidisciplinary career, trading crypto for herself and working remotely as a blockchain analyst and researcher, content manager and digital marketer. She also teaches online cryptography courses.
Like Moradabadi, she has also had to endure social media trolls who attribute her success solely to her gender. But Alizadeh says most of her male peers supported her.
What worries her far more than gender politics is the lack of clear regulations – something that has eclipsed the crypto industry in Iran. A vague blanket cryptocurrency ban issued three years ago has yet to be repealed. Miners have been scapegoats for air pollution and power cuts, and earlier this year authorities cracked down on private crypto exchanges.
But Alizadeh, who is active on Twitter and a frequent contributor to crypto podcasts and videocasts, hopes Iranian authorities will keep pace with the rapid development of crypto technology to draft clear regulations that don’t hamper innovation.
“This lack of regulation causes a variety of problems,” she said. “I think all of us operating in Iran would like to help create a proper regulatory space that would both benefit the government and allow anyone wishing to operate in that space to be safe.”