Before We Can Bank The Unbanked With Bitcoin, We Have To Tell Them About Bitcoin #bitcoin #blockchain #crypto #blacktechtwitter

Originally posted in the Modern Markets Newsletter

Twitter: Jason Nelson

YouTube Channel: DragonWolfTech

Since 2016, there has been a growing interest in Bitcoin and Blockchain Technology among minority groups.

Why is this? 

People of color have long been underserved and discriminated against by traditional finance. For many, bitcoin is a way to get around the banking gatekeepers. For others, they see bitcoin as a haven for their money, which the banks and Wall Street refused to be.

But the road to adoption has been bumpy.

In the time surrounding the 2016-2017 crypto bull run, there were many entities online promoting cryptocurrencies as a get rich quick scheme. Using buzzwords like “blockchain” and “cryptocurrency,” they were selling nothing more than a variation of Multi-Level Marketing or Pyramid schemes. 

Unfortunately, many unsuspecting investors found themselves caught up in these schemes. After the crash of 2018, a lot of these scams dried up. The victims were left with nothing more than now-worthless tokens and a mountain of regret.

But, that was not the end of the curiosity. The genie was out of the bottle, and people still wanted to know about bitcoin. Even though 2018 was a bear market, we started to see new groups online investigating blockchain and cryptocurrency. 

What made this and groups like this different from the pre-crash versions? These groups spent more time talking about technology and how to use crypto instead of how to get rich. One of the largest online groups is Koinda, formerly Wacoinda. Koinda is a Facebook group founded by Lamar Wilson that focuses on African Americans. The original name Wacoinda was a play on the fictional kingdom from Black Panther. 

With a membership of 25,000+, Koinda has gone a long way in educating people of color in how cryptocurrency works and introducing members of the group to their currency: the CJ. This crypto is named after Madame CJ Walker and is the official currency of Koinda. 

The CJ can be broken up into smaller denominations called Garveys, named after Marcus Garvey, a Jamaican political activist. To compare, bitcoins are to CJs as Satoshi’s are to Garveys. 

But these groups did not stay relegated to online interactions. Across the country, groups and meetups emerged to share bitcoin and blockchain technology. 

Since opening on March 9th, 2019. The Blockchain Crypto Plug, founded by Najah Roberts, has provided Inglewood, CA, and surrounding areas, a place to learn about bitcoin. 

Another group, South Side Blockchain, was co-founded by Darren Heard, LaTaevia Berry, and Ron Daniels to host meetups in Chicago, IL. South Side Blockchain brings bitcoin to an area not usually thought of in tech. Unfortunately, many of these IRL meetups have had to stop meeting and move online due to COVID-19. They are hosting video conferences in place of physical meetings.

How to get, store, and use bitcoin should be the focus of these meetup conversations, the price being a distant second. In areas overlooked by tech, online groups provide an essential service to the community. 

Finally, if bitcoin’s goal is to bank the unbanked, the unbanked must first be exposed to bitcoin. 

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