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BIPOC who have been locked out of the traditional financial industry are turning to cryptocurrency.

Dec 28 2021

BIPOC who have been locked out of the traditional financial industry are turning to cryptocurrency. YPulse’s fintech research found that 68% of 13-39-year-old BIPOC consumers are interested in investing in cryptocurrency compared to 54% of 13-39-year-old White / non-Hispanic consumers. And today, a growing number of Americans of color are participating in the $2 trillion global industry “to build wealth outside of the traditional banking system, which many say has historically excluded and discriminated against their communities.” On Clubhouse and Facebook, there are dozens of groups dedicated to people of color in crypto, while the annual Black Blockchain Summit attracted more than 1,000 attendees this year. According to a 2019 report by the FDIC, 13.8% of Black households and 12% of Latino households are unbanked compared to 2.5% of White households. Language barriers, minimum balance requirements, and general mistrust are among some of the reasons they steer away from opening bank accounts. Penelope and America Lopez, known as the CyberCode Twins, invested in cryptocurrency that allowed them to pay off one of their mortgages—and their parents’—after cashing out their bitcoin for $100,000. At the beginning of the year, they invested $300 in NFTs, sold about half of them, and made about $90,000 in cryptocurrency. Some financial and economics experts warn that “one-off success stories” like the Lopezes’ ignore the risk tied to the cryptocurrency market, which could lead to many risking even more by throwing themselves into a “volatile” and “uncertain” industry. But some politicians have cited that crypto could potentially be “a boon for small, immigrant-owned businesses” since it removes the expensive overhead fees banks usually charge for international wire transfers. Meanwhile, groups like the National Policy Network of Women of Color in Blockchain, BillMari, and the Sunrise Art Club have been educating people of color about how to responsibly invest in crypto. (The Washington PostCNBC)