According to a Pew Research report published last year, 18% of black Americans have held, traded, or used cryptocurrency.
Actor and entrepreneur Hill Harper is founder of The Black Wall Street, a fintech platform that focuses on cryptocurrency investing. Harper says ownership of bitcoin, even fractions of a coin, could be a tool to build generational wealth.
“If we can get every African American in this country to hold at least 1 million Satoshis I believe we will have created a foundation of wealth that can be leveraged in the future,” he told CNBC.
“You’ve got to remember that over 62% of all Americans don’t even have $1,200 in the bank. And that number goes up when we’re talking about the African American community.”
Harper launched his business last year. This is a century after Black Wall Street – the center of black business in the Greenwood district of Tulsa, Oklahoma – was destroyed in a racial attack.
Capital has been flowing into black-owned businesses
In recent months black businesses have been quietly raising capital from beyond the traditional financial system – projects such as online simulation game Vibranium.
Andre Villeroy is the founder and CEO of hybrid private equity firm Beyorch. He says many black American business owners are exploring coins as an alternative way to raise capital, or even sell stakes in their business.
“You’ve been able to do things that otherwise you would not have been able to do. So now, through leveraging the power of blockchain – by leveraging your own token – you can raise more capital faster.”
Angela Fontes, from the University of Chicago, said, “Cryptocurrencies are opening up investment opportunities for more diverse investors, which is a very good thing. In crypto, there’s a lot more information at the basic level because it’s not at the same maturity as traditional stock investing is,” she told Forbes.
About 2 in 5 Black adults are likely to purchase or invest in bitcoin, compared to roughly 3 in 10 adults overall, according to Morning Consult data.
Cryptocurrencies are seen, in some way, of affording people of color the same opportunities to benefit from a diverse financial marketplace.
African Americans hold just 3.8% of $116tn in wealth in the US.
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