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Eau De Binance Smells Like Crypto Bro Spirit

Binance's International Women's Day campaign is purportedly trying to open the conversation about gender disparities in Web3 by launching women's fragrance, CRYPTO.

Eau De Binanc

The world's largest crypto exchange is marking today's International Women's Day with the launch of an exclusive new women's fragrance called CRYPTO.

However, while perfume might be the centrepiece of the latest Binance campaign, selling it is not the company's intention. Only 100 bottles of Eau de Binance have been produced, and these were not for sale, having only been available at a promotional event at a shopping centre in Bahrain earlier this week.

According to Binance's chief marketing operator Rachel Conlan, the end goal of putting out CRYPTO is "to be irreverent, to be fun, to try to push boundaries" while also attracting attention to gender disparities in Web3 and bringing more women into crypto.

"We've framed a lot of crypto as being by the bros, the crypto bros, a very male-dominated space. So this is about being a little bit more tongue-in-cheek and teasing with the satirical, and about borrowing from the codes of the fragrance industry and the beauty industry, of things that grab attention."

However, Binance might seem more concerned with bringing attention to itself than any underlying social disparities in the industry. Paris' NFT Factory co-founder Barbara Mahe posted, "Shame on you, Binance, for pretending to care about gender equality by creating an ad which is sexist on so many levels."

The gifting of flowers, chocolates and perfumes on International Women's Day is a popular gesture, although many now feel that this fails to recognize the origins of the day and the gender discrimination that women still experience.

The 'satirical' and arguably borderline offensive attempt to bring more women into Web3 received a flood of unfortunate comments alluding to the 'imagine the smell' 4Chan meme, along with other forms of engagement typical of a male-dominated industry - Only 27% of the crypto workforce is female and women lead less than 9% of all new projects.

Conlan, who insists that the idea for the campaign was conceived by an all-female team, also stated that "women make up half of the world's population - yet it is reported twice as many men have invested in cryptocurrency over women."

The gender disparity in crypto is a hereditary problem - tech has always been a male-dominated sector. Women also tend to participate less in speculative finance and financial bubbles, due to being more risk-averse. It might be this risk-aversion, rather than the out-of-touch campaign that ultimately proves Binance's latest efforts unsuccessful.

As a company whose former CEO recently pleaded guilty to money laundering charges, which has been banned in several countries due to suspicious activities, and whose American branch laid off two-thirds of its staff after a 75% decline in revenues, Binance might not be the most popular place to hold assets right now.

Yet, Eau de Binance comes with a promotion that will give $25 USDT to the first 5,000 women who conclude an introductory course on Binance Academy, directing female traffic to the crypto exchange's learning hub.

Trying to get women into finance by promoting a perfume is out of tune with the times and possibly not an effective strategy, but it is in line with the crypto-bro culture that will throw money at literally anything with meme potential. While Binance says that Eau de Binance has an aroma "exuding sophistication," it is more likely that it smells like crypto bro spirit.