5 Ways to Take Our Power Back
By Harry C. Alford III
If we choose to participate, the freedom of bitcoin can create a perfect storm of innovation for the Black community. Black purchasing power and representation in the labor market will continue to rise, yet this market is still technologically and financially underserved. Only one percent of venture capital funding goes into Black-led startups. As the economy begins to change and implement cryptocurrency, there will be more opportunities to build wealth for future generations. Below, in this final piece, I give you all five ways that members of our community can initiate to take our power back:
People can own bitcoin by buying it with fiat currency, trading it on an exchange, earning it by creating content, or shopping. Bitcoin is scarce, like silver or gold. The supply is capped at 21 million. It’s not centralized and can’t be printed out of thin air like fiat, which makes it a deflationary asset, as opposed to an inflationary one. As of writing this post, one bitcoin is worth $9,202.14, and the value is projected to rise as demand grows.
Bitcoin mining innately incentivizes stakeholders to solve proof-of-work consensus algorithms or mathematical equations that secure the network in exchange for new bitcoin. Solving these complex puzzles requires a GPU (graphics processing unit) miner or an application-specific integrated circuit (ASIC) miner. Every 10 minutes, a block of bitcoin transactions is solved by miners and added to the blockchain. There are more than 55,000 nodes, basically computers, running the software to record and validate transactions. This level of decentralization adds to the network’s security and strength. Often, miners group together into “mining pools” to share block rewards.
Accept Bitcoin as a Form of Payment
Equip your organization to accept cryptocurrency. Many Black-owned businesses operate mostly online, why not add another form of payment like bitcoin to open up your market to international exposure. Seventy million people use cryptocurrency today, and half of millennials prefer crypto investing to stocks. Accepting bitcoin on your website can be as easy as a few steps. Several bitcoin non-profits accept crypto donations. Check [thegivingblock.com].
Hold Bitcoin in Retirement Account
There are 7.1 million bitcoin owners who have retirement accounts but don’t hold bitcoin in their retirement accounts. Through a company like Choice, you can hold your stocks in the same retirement account as your bitcoin, use your retirement dollars to buy bitcoin, have it grow tax-advantaged, and probably lower your taxes doing it. Isaiah Jackson, author of “Bitcoin and Black America,” wrote that steadily moving funds out of the banking system “is our best option to both grow our wealth and systematically make banks understand that we will not stand for this discrimination.”
Access Alternative Sources of Capital
A Security Token Offering (STO) is a type of public offering in which tokenized digital securities, known as security tokens, are sold on cryptocurrency exchanges. STOs can deliver significant cost savings. Black female founder Dawn Dickson, of PopCom, raised $1,070,000 from more than 2,117 investors through an STO. In her words, “When they don’t give us a seat at the table, we bring our own.”
Maker DAO is another project that provides loans without bias. Dao is a stable, decentralized currency that does not discriminate. Any business or individual can realize the advantages of digital money. You use the platform to exchange tokens, borrow, and earn savings — all in one place.
I’ve given just five ways for the Black community to separate away from the traditional financing system, strengthen group economics, and increase transparency while removing barriers to access capital. According to Jackson, becoming innovators in the bitcoin blockchain payment space is imperative:
“If we want to become competitive or dominant in the future global market, Black people around the globe need to prepare for the next 100 years. If we could establish a strong foundation testing and using bitcoin in our community, we will have the ability to dictate the rules and regulations of the future digital economy.”
These systemic issues have been layered over generations. Bitcoin is not the only answer, and it doesn’t solve all our problems, but it is one answer. Instead of helping the same institutions that keep us enslaved, let’s take our power back through bitcoin adoption.
Harry Alford III is the 35-year-old Co-Founder of Humble Ventures, a venture development firm accelerating tech startups in partnership with large organizations and investors. He is the son of National Black Chamber of Commerce’s founders Kay DeBow and Harry C. Alford.