Women in Qoin, Australia’s digital currency

By Indira Laisram
L-R: Estelle Luise, Karine Davis, Nimrata Verma, Sandy Edwards, Sarita Verma

In 2018, The New Yorker ran an article that reported women make up only four and sixteen per cent of cryptocurrency investors basing on few studies and surveys. One of the impressions was that the cryptocurrency knowledge is profound, and it is this lack of knowledge that is limiting women from participation, among other reasons. Recent tech business reports, however, suggest that women are now more forthcoming in the cryptocurrency space. Fintechmagazine.com reports that a new ‘movement’ Women Who Crypto has become the largest community group of its type in the UK and possibly the world. Closer home in Australia, which launched its digital currency Qoin this February, there is a chatter among women in social media pages and Facebook groups about the limitless possibilities Qoin is offering. This August, one of Australia’s largest businesswomen’s advisory groups with over 160,000 supporters and a branch in Sydney, urged businesswomen in Sydney to embrace the digital currency to help ward off the COVID-19 threat to the economy and to their individual businesses.

If the stories below of these five women are to go by, there is something utopian about the potential of digital currency, tied by the belief that Qoin is going to become ubiquitous in the future. Let’s find out more.

Karine Davis

KARINE DAVIS, Weight Loss Coach

Growing up in the regional town of Rockhampton in Queensland, Karine Davis always knew she wanted to go into business. “That’s been my goal since when I was at school,” she says. However, Davis ended up with a primary teaching course. She set up a goal to teach for five years, build up an income and then go into business, which she did. But as it happens in life, Davis went through a break-up and instead of going into business, she spent her money travelling the world.

When she returned home, she got a job at a training organisation called Driver Training, with whom she stayed for five years. “In that time, I was actually building my network and my side hustle with the whole intention of stepping out,” she reflects.

Luckily for Davis, it all happened quite naturally. Being in network marketing, which was never her actual plan, she enrolled to become a women’s help coach with a company that sold weight loss products after using the products herself and realising their true value. “I was starting to make a lot of money and I wanted to pump that into my business,” she says.

Her long-term goal and the actual business she was making tracks to go on her own was developing an app, “an organising app” as she calls it.

And it is this love for technology that led her to Qoin. Davis had a business coach who told her Qoin was right up her alley, and that she needed to jump onto it as it was going to make her business grow.

“I trusted her guidance as she is very successful and seized the opportunity. I realised that this is the next step in currency, in bartering and it is changing the whole nature of trading,” says Davis.

It’s been two months since Davis became a Qoin merchant. She recalls putting up her business page up at midnight and by 8 am the next morning, she already had a call. “It’s been steadily coming in since then, I have been able to sell products on Qoin and have also helped get a lot of people in my local area get on board Qoin.”

Davis understands there is still a lot of reservation in society when it comes to cryptocurrency or digital currency. Hence, she felt the need to start a group to help people adopt and adapt to it quickly.  She founded Facebook group Qoin Queens that allow women entrepreneurs and merchants share business ideas, deals and interact.

Very confident about Qoin’s future, Davis says, “This is simply the next step. If you look at how over time money has progressed, it started off being just a normal bartering system, then it went to gold and silver, then paper. And after paper we had credit cards. People would have been very reserved about credit cards but it’s the way we do things now. I remember when they brought out PayPass, many people were frustrated and angry at the idea of PayPass, but now it’s the way we do things. You have to face change.”

Davis rues the fact that there is still less participation of women. “Coming from a regional sector, I was very surprised to find that there really weren’t as many women in the sector but the number is definitely increasing. It is a good sign.”

Sandy Edwards

SANDY EDWARDS, Private Driver

A Gold Coast native, Sandy Edwards works in film and television but “to do with Qoin”, she works as a private driver and is very much part of the transport industry. It was in May this year when her agents from a Facebook group Women and Business she is part of reached out to her and made time to catch up. As they explained to her about Qoin, it didn’t take long for Edwards to be hooked. “I signed up within five minutes,” she says with a laugh.

However, to invest in the actual Qoin took her a couple of days as she was trying to figure out what works and what doesn’t. Soon Edwards invested in her first package and within weeks she was already investing in her second package.

What is more, Edwards also succeeded in getting diverse people—from real estate to farming to practically every trade—get on board. “When you love something and are passionate about it, you never stop talking about it. I have been walking them through it all and keeping them informed with WhatsApp calls,” she says.

Edwards says she has spent 10,000 easily and sold her car for 20,000 in Qoin.

Six years ago, Edwards started driving a cab and when Uber started in 2014, she was the first female Uber car driver on the Gold Coast. “I just started up my business in the local area and then through Uber I have met so many people that have called me from India and all over the world to pick them up when they come over to the Gold Coast. So I have created a little business that way as well, separate to Uber. I am driver and I drive cars for crews and actors in the film industry.”

Right now, Edwards says she doesn’t even want to see cash because of the way Qoin works, which allows her to use it on a daily basis.

At 62, Edwards says she pulled out super last year before COVID-19 because she wanted to feel what it is like to be debt free. “I paid off everything and I was just going to Uber as I earn very good money through it. I knew I could save a lot of money every week to boost up my super for the next seven years when I fully retire. But then Qoin came into my life and it has helped me save up much more. I trade with Qoin. Whenever anyone sells it cheap, I snap it all up.”

Edwards believes be it the bank or the super, none of that can grow her fund as much as what Qoin is doing. “Covid was blessed for me as Qoin came into my life and because it is backed by real things, by actual businesses, the more we get on there the more they will grow in value. When people get it, they are hungry for it.

“I am not touching it although you can encash it now on the exchange. I am going to buy a new car soon and I would have gone and borrowed another loan to buy a new car but now I have been getting some cash not through exchange but through buying and selling.”

After her initial investment, Edwards decided she wanted to get lots and lots of Qoin as she saw it growing exponentially. “Now I am playing with Qoin money, not mine, and that’s what I am telling all my people that once you see it grow, take out your initial investment.”

Edwards says women are generally hesitant about shopping and spending a lot on themselves but now Qoin is allowing women to do because of its growth. She also cites the example of her daughter who recently bought a $7.5k engagement ring through Qoin, something unimaginable in a Qoin-less world.

Clearly for Edwards, investing in digital currency is a hedge for the future.

Sarita Verma

SARITA VERMA, Health Consultant

After working in the corporate world for 39 years as executive assistant, Sarita Verma decided to hang up her corporate boots in March last year. “You know how you reach a stage and say this is not what I want to do all my life,” she says.

So Verma did a course on personal development and it became her impetus to move on. “I took a chance on me and am quite loving it,” she says.

Today, as part of the health and wellness industry, Verma works as one of the distributors in Sydney for Usana, a Utah-based multi-level marketing company that produces various nutritional products, dietary supplements and skincare products.

She also joined Business Network International (BNI), a premier business to business networking organisation in Australia and a franchise worldwide, as a health consultant.

BNI works in quite a unique way, says Verma. “It’s a room of people with different professions. We might even have three lawyers but each will specialise in different areas, so everyone is different and not competing with each other. We meet every week and everyone gets to hear what they are looking for such as referrals, we are like the sales agent for that one person. So, in my room If I am meeting a gym-owner I can promote my health products to him, we share referrals for each other.”

It was at BNI that Verma met someone from Qoin and she got initiated into it. “That just meant I had a different platform where I can promote my products. I totally love it. I joined Qoin early November,” she says.

Verma says she has reached a stage where she is not sceptical about cryptocurrency. “I am very open to it and I am happy to sell products with Qoin because that means there is an investment. The beauty is, now Qoin is acceptable in most places and that means it couldn’t be wrong.”

Estelle Luise

ESTELLE LUISE, Founder—The ZoLife

Estelle Luise had no idea about cryptocurrency till her business mentor talked her through it. “I was unsure of it, I had family members that did it but when Qoin came up and my business mentor informed me that it was Australian and all done legally, I had lot more trust in going forward,” she says.

As part of a company The ZoLife that sells Australian made and owned eco cleaning products, Luise realised it would be a good idea to help expand her own business, which she runs with her business partner.

“We have partnered with a company to bring Australian made and owned cleaning products that are non-toxic, eco-friendly and sustainable. The cleaning products come in a range of different sizes to reflect home or commercial (business needs). They work a dream and are available to purchase online for anyone within Australia.”

The second part of The ZoLife, says Luise, is that “We have densely rich, nutrient packed products that add to your health and body’s needs. Only the best of the best ingredients are sourced from around the world and grown in chemical free, hormone free and toxin free environments that go into our products! This way you only get the best and the purest form of nutrition.”

Given the range of her products, Luise, who is based in Queensland, looked at the functioning of Qoin and recognised it as a good avenue through which she could reach customers and draw traffic to her business. “I saw it taking off and the value of Qoin was going up too.”

Since having gotten into this digital currency space for over a month now, she has started transactions. “Yes, it is all new and growing, I have had more inquiries about what it is that I do and I am happy that I have that extra traffic coming than I would normally have.”

Luise is happy being a part of Qoin Queens, the Facebook group, through which she met many other women who are curious and wanting to have this opportunity to expand the business of buying and selling on a different platform. “This is just one of the different ways to expand and experiment to profit,” she says.

As a businesswoman, Luise likes to try out new things. “I have always wanted to foray into business, I have gone through trainings so I can grow and develop my skills. I am really excited with all the opportunities present.”

Rest assured, Luise is holding on to Qoin. “It is a good area to expand and go forward into the future.”

Nimarta Verma

NIMARTA VERMA, Brand Strategist

Sydney-based Nimarta Verma has had a fair stint of 13 years in the corporate world working for major companies such as Unilever and Woolworths in brand strategy and marketing. And what she has learnt is that most companies, even though they have been around for decades, often lack clarity on who they are targeting or who their top priorities are involving market research.

This year, during COVID-19, after she finished her role with Woolworths, she took the plunge to start her own business as consultant in brand and marketing strategy.

Interestingly, Nimarta says one reason why she decided to foray into her own business was reading about Qoin founder Raj Pathak, whose story she resonated with. “My cousin died last year unexpectedly, he was in his 30s and it was traumatic for all of us. So his death propelled me to do what I am doing even though it is during Covid. I don’t know when I am going to go and I don’t want to live life being scared to do what I really want to do.”

Nirmata says she hasn’t yet given her company a name but likes to call it the Nimarta Verma Brand Strategy.

Essentially, what she does is helping companies articulate what makes them really different. “I run a workshop with them and by the end of it I write for them, what we call, a brand story where they could use it on their website, marketing. It is a few pages which now tells their story very clearly, tells their customers what makes them different and why customers should choose them.”

But that’s the brand side of things. She also helps them plan further. Now that they have the brand and the messaging and they know who to target, what is the best way to reach them. “I help them come with a plan, say, a LinkedIn strategy,” she explains.

Nimarta signed up with Qoin, thanks to her mother-in-law, who she jokes has become a bit of a spender, thanks to Qoin. “Ever since she has been on Qoin, she’s started to say things like ‘Oh I want to take you guys to this nice restaurant’. Qoin is really facilitating people like her to have confidence in spending, to go for things that they really want, which they might have been sceptical about.”

She also believes Qoin is going to break down some of some of the barriers or concerns that people had because of their lack of understanding about what something is.

Though a new adopter, Nimarta believes digital currency is the currency of the future. “To be quite honest, I was quite sceptical of Qoin before I read up all of it. I thought who is this one in the background getting all the money but the story on Raj Pathak made a difference. You know what, there is a human story that people connect to. I thought here is a man who wants to carry on his son’s legacy, I can buy into that. There is no scammer in the background, and that helped me cross the bridge. So, I told my husband I think this is where the future is, if we don’t get it now, we will regret it in a few years’ time.”

Everyday, Nimarta admits to looking at the social media posts and sees a buzz. People are looking for something, somebody is buying a car. She feels it is not something that is about to die off.

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