Black History and the Blockchain


According to The Atlantic's Kyle Coward, a recent study found that 24% of Black American respondents were "at least somewhat likely" to buy Bitcoin — a percentage higher than White Americans. Nigeria trades crypto at a pace second only to the United States. And the list of cryptocurrency platforms developed by Black inventors is not insubstantial. ✊🏿



Though the history of Black people in blockchain is little studied, it's vital to understand.


Many people know that Vitalik Buterin, inventor of Ethereum, once owned a Bitcoin news site before skyrocketing to crypto fame and fortune. But how much do you know of Edwardo Jackson, founder of the first Bitcoin blog for Blacks? Check out Blacks in Bitcoin.



How about the first ever concert funded by Bitcoin — did you know it was held in Texas for Grammy-Nominated Carolyn Malachi? 🎵


Part of the promise of blockchain technology is that its benefits almost exactly target some of capitalism's worst offenses against minorities.


For instance, in America (and across the world) currency exchanges in lower-income communities are often run on exorbitant fees. Similarly, according to the New York Times, payday loans, prepaid cards, and collateralized credit cards prey on lower-income communities through hidden fees and tolling transactions.





Blockchain technology seeks a world with near fee-less transactions. And instead of currency exchanges, blockchain imagines a borderless economy that benefits everyone, not just those at the top. ✊🏾


Cryptocurrencies created by Black people


Black citizens across the world aren't just benefitting from blockchain technology — they're also busy inventing it. 👨🏿‍💻 The GuapCoin was invented by Tavonia Evans as a way to support Black-owned businesses and philanthropies. Billing itself as the first cryptocurrency to address the socioeconomic concerns of the Global African diaspora, their mission is to provide a sound economic development platform for the underserved.



Aside from building blockchains, Black people are also involved in building out the infrastructure that runs the blockchain industry. According to Dana Sanchez at Moguldom Nation, Shawn Wilkinson is the founder and CSO of Storj.io, a decentralized cloud storage and dApp platform. Mike De'Shazer is a founding member of ProofSuite, a financial technology company designed to empower blockchain markets.





In the burgeoning world of dApps, Chrissa McFarlane invented Patientory, an app that gives patients secure access to their health information through blockchain technology.


Looking to connect with other Black people into crypto?


Organizations like the Black Women Blockchain Council seek to empower individuals and enhance inclusion in the blockchain industry. The organization runs a "Girls Who Blockchain" summer camp, as well as an "All Girls Drone" technology program.





The Black People and Cryptocurrency Facebook group is a huge group of enthusiasts sharing ideas and tips on investing crypto. The group is open to new members.


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