Coinbase Reports: Black Americans & Crypto

“In the last tech revolution, the emergence of the internet, there was very little representation for People of Color,” Vernon says. “And that trend has continued, as black and brown people are underrepresented at tech companies, have a harder time raising venture capital, and generally have fewer opportunities to enter tech. As a result, communities of color have had little ownership and stake in the wealth and innovation generated by the last tech revolution. Unfortunately, black people were beneficiaries as consumers and internet users, but few were core stakeholders in the companies and protocols that helped bring about such change. This time needs to be different. It’s important that underrepresented people of color play a role in helping shape Web 3.0 and partake in the new opportunities that will arise from it.”

“You have to take the first step,” Robert says. “If you don’t want to be an engineer, that’s fine. There’s still a lot of design problems that need to be solved. You don’t like design? Well, there’s still a lot of legal ambiguity that needs to be corrected. So I always tell people to try to find what your passion is first, and understand that there’s a place in the blockchain ecosystem that you could do really, really well.”

Diversity also directly correlates to a company’s bottomline, according to a study by the Boston Consulting Group. They surveyed more than 1,700 companies in 8 countries and found that companies that have more diverse management teams have 19 percent higher revenue due to better innovation and improved financial performance.⁶

“Working with different people, and not just of different ethnicities, but also from different regions as well, just makes for better leaders. And better leaders make for a less political environment, and a less political environment is more operationally efficient,” says Robert.

Many talented people of color often choose the “safe” option when it comes to job opportunities, says Vernon. “This leads to highly qualified people of color being funnelled into large established corporations instead of taking risks. As a result, their impact is capped and constrained by the glass ceilings of corporate America. Entering crypto is a superior option because an individual’s impact is magnified significantly. They’ll be at the cutting-edge, helping build the infrastructure for the decentralized internet. I believe this will be one of the most transformative events of the next decade.”

Carmelle believes Black Americans should learn about crypto because it’s a way to “hedge the system.”

“When we look at 2008, whether you were in a large economy or a developing economy, we were all on pins and needles whether our money was going to be in the bank, whether we were safe. You have a lot of people who lost their jobs. Everything is so intertwined into our sole financial system,” says Carmelle. “We need an alternative in case it’s all going to hell tomorrow. Crypto is your shot to have a seat at the table, to build something that works for you, for your people. You can’t turn the other way, otherwise you’re going to miss this innovation cycle and you’re going to have someone else telling you how you store your money and how much you pay to move it.”

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