Meta: Representative digital currency.
Source: Shutterstock

If you’ve spent any time on the internet in the last five years, you’ve heard about NFTs and cryptocurrency. These trades have become a highly lucrative way to make money for those who are knowledgeable (and lucky) enough to leverage them, so it’s no surprise that they’ve exploded in popularity. Everyone and their brother is trying to understand how they work and how they can get involved without a sky-high upfront investment. 

Like many things that involve wealth and finances, the crypto community is predominantly white. There are a lot of reasons for this, including the fact that statistically, the black community earns less wealth because they have less wealth due to things like years of generational disadvantage. Therefore, black men and women have fewer opportunities to advance their financial standing when compared to their white peers. Then, when we hear the terms ‘crypto’ and ‘NFT’ we often tune out — we’ve never had a seat at that table, and so our interest in the subject is often limited. 

But it doesn’t have to be a white man’s game. With so many possibilities for financial growth and investment, crypto and NFTs have the potential to launch black men and women into gains they never thought imaginable. 

What’s cryptocurrency? What’s an NFT?

Cryptocurrency can be simply defined as digital currency that can be used to buy goods and services. “Why not just use money?” Well, the benefit of crypto is that it’s secured by cryptography, which means that it’s nearly impossible to counterfeit. Unlike traditional currency, crypto is portable and impossible to misplace or drop, and can be used to exchange for goods without sharing your personal information.

NFTs, or non-fungible tokens, are a little more complicated. In the most basic terms, when you own an NFT, you have the “digital bragging rights” to it. While it may be replicated, you own the only original. An NFT can be any unique, one-of-a-kind digital asset — art, music, game avatars, event tickets, you name it. Jack Dorsey is even selling his first tweet as one. 

Why Should the Black Community Care?

Meta: Serwah Attafua – VOIDWALKER 2020

NFTs give black artists more control over their platform and ownership. With traditional mediums, you sell a piece of art and it’s gone forever. When you sell a piece of art as an NFT, you have the ability to earn royalties each time that piece is bought and sold in the future. NFTs are allowing black artists across all mediums to break barriers, increase their earning potential, and elevate their brands. Black artists now have a way to monetize their creativity in a way that was never available to them before.

Crypto is often more accessible to minorities than stock trading. Going this investment route can give black men and women the opportunity to make up for the lost time that generational financial disenfranchising has stolen from us over the years. Crypto exists in a decentralized space. Your credit score doesn’t matter. You don’t need to join a special bank, or talk to a middle man, or wait for approval. That’s huge.

Meta: Deidra McIntyre, founder of Black People & Cryptocurrency group
Source: LinkedIn

There are more black entrepreneurs involved in NFTs and crypto now than ever. Sure, there are a lot of big celebrity names out there, but the ‘regular folks’ like us are the ones who are really flipping the script on black crypto involvement. Deidra McIntyre, Shawn Wilkinson, Jarrell Chalmers are just a few of the black entrepreneurs involved with crypto, and the list is growing by the day.

Crypto and NFTs can seem overwhelming on the outside, but it’s really just about learning the ropes. We all start somewhere. If you’re curious about getting started with NFT or crypto, you’d be well-served by following some of the black crypto influencers for guidance and direction. 

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