Tales From The Cryptoverse
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How can people of color change cryptocurrency from a supercomplex, risky, outlier concept into a tangible and accessible means of creating generational wealth? Our tech aficionado explores these questions.
It’s been long known that Black people, though promised, never received their 40 acres and a mule. They’ve found themselves on the receiving end of systemic bias—from redlining, where discriminatory banks robbed them of an opportunity to participate in the American dream, to systemic oppression that has resulted in wealth disparity that is so stark that it will take generations to level the playing field.
PHOTO BY CEMILE BINGOL/GETTY IMAGES
Enter cryptocurrency. With Bitcoin, Ethereum and NFTS becoming a part of the general lexicon, crypto is hard to avoid. Systems of oppression have upheld the existing power structure and have participated in keeping the net worth of many Black families close to the poverty line for generations. But the community is now leading the shift to crypto as a viable means of building generational wealth and now outpaces other communities in its adoption and investing.
So what is the appeal of crypto? Cryptocurrency is digital currency. It does not exist physically, and transactions are permanently logged on a ledger called the blockchain. The most popular blockchains are Ethereum and Bitcoin. The younger generation, who are less risk-averse than their parents, are more open to exploring alternatives to the traditional financial system and are embracing DeFi. DeFi is the term used to describe decentralized finance applications that run financial operations without human intervention.
Decentralization refers to the lack of a centralized controlling entity in transactions. Crypto transactions are autonomous and immutable. They run without human interaction and once completed cannot be changed. They use code known as smart contracts to perform specific functions when certain conditions are met. This lack of human intervention is key.
Human intervention is responsible for the inequities many have experienced at the hands of unscrupulous loan officers and gatekeepers who have manipulated existing financial systems. Removing them introduces the opportunity to level up. Leveling up means making passive income and yields that far outpace those in traditional banking.
Bitcoin and Ethereum aren’t the only games in town. There are a number of coins that, for a small investment, can yield massive financial gains. But there are inherent risks that cannot be ignored. As it is deregulated, scams are rampant. Investing in crypto is not for the faint of heart. But for many, that is not enough of a deterrent and education is the key to lowering that risk.
Crypto and Defi are complex topics and the barrier to entry for some can be high. To mitigate this, the community is sharing its knowledge in formal and informal settings such as rooms in apps like Clubhouse and on Twitter Spaces. There are also meetups and clubs aimed at providing education about crypto and investing. For those who prefer to learn on their own, there are online resources available as well.
Finally, Black founders are leveraging this new economy by starting businesses that are built on web3 and themes of decentralization in new and innovative ways. We’ve highlighted some below.
4 Crypto Businesses Owned by POC
Founder, Marcus Carey
Metaversable (metaversable.io) is creating a safe space to onboard creatives and investors into the metaverse.
Founder, Harold Hughes
Bandwagon (bandwagonfanclub.com) is a live event technology company that is using web3 tools to connect fans to their favorite entertainers.
Advantage Evans Academy
Founder, Tonya Evans
Advantage Evans Academy (advantageevans.com) empowers underestimated learners to take control of their financial futures and participate in the new digital economy.
Founder, Bradley Miles
Roll (tryroll.com) is social token infrastructure that lets creators mint, send and trade branded digital tokens unique to their online presence anywhere across the web.