Can bitcoin and crypto help minorities? This appears to be the overall sentiment amongst many analysts and industry heads.
How Minorities Can Benefit from Crypto
Several claim that minorities have often been underbanked or have faced opposition from standard financial institutions. These minorities often do not gain access to the tools or services they need to stay afloat and survive, and bitcoin can potentially bring them the solutions they’re eager for.
Teri Williams – the president, COO, and owner of One United Bank, one of America’s largest black-owned financial enterprises – says that there are many phrases used to describe the discriminatory tactics he and his constituents see in the world of finance, “banking while black” being a common one. He said:
There are many reasons for the large percentage of unbanked or underbanked Black Americans, including lower median income and education, less access to banking services due to a lower concentration of bank branches, a higher concentration of check cashers in black communities, and systemic racism.
Olayinka Odeniran – the founder of the Black Women Blockchain Council – also threw her two cents into the mix, claiming that there has often been a lot of red tape her people have had to cut through to gain access to the products and tools they need. She says:
Everybody always felt that we don’t really care about investing or budgeting, but in essence, we do. It’s just that historically, we have not had resources that allow us to tap in beyond risk, gaining some monetary freedom that’s beyond paycheck to paycheck.
Cleve Mesidor – executive director of the Blockchain Foundation – explained that many minorities can use crypto as a means of surviving and paying for what they need. He said that crypto doesn’t discriminate, and that virtually everyone can use it under the right circumstances. He said:
Even though we’re experiencing a bear market right now, historically, bitcoin is still on the up and up. This is a currency that no one paid attention to and now it’s sitting at around $20,000.
Mesidor’s idea that crypto can aid minorities is one that’s shared by many including digital currency enthusiast Steven Bumbera. He said:
People of color sometimes have difficulty going to get a bank loan or going to get some sort of assistance from the government or a way to start their businesses and they’re turned down. Crypto doesn’t care… If you are on-chain and you have a wallet address, you’re a wallet address. That’s it. Crypto doesn’t care about color, race, [or] sexual orientation.
Knocking the Barricades Aside
Teri Williams concluded with:
Crypto is not a competitor to traditional banking, but a complement. There will continue to be a need for traditional banking services, but crypto, in moderation, can provide opportunities for wealth building and opportunities to develop new services.