(NEW YORK) – After observing the trial of Derek Chauvin, we were forced to once again relive the final moments of George Floyd. Literally watching as life left Mr. Floyd’s body, people around the world were driven to action. Thousands took to the streets despite mandatory Coronavirus lockdowns to declare what happened would not be tolerated. Sadly, the Minneapolis metropolitan area appears to be in for another summer of unrest after the police shooting of Daunte Wright. One narrative I saw emerge amidst the protests last year was for Black people to begin buying Bitcoin and things like police killings would magically disappear or this would somehow level the playing field. I was astounded at how misleading this narrative was because it irresponsibly disregards the link between Bitcoin and White Supremacy. Furthermore, it also ignores the fact that Bitcoin is not a complete financial solution to the complex economic issues facing people of African heritage. I don’t have all the answers on how to solve our problems when it comes to money and finance, but I decided to write a book on how there is an alternative to the traditional system through decentralized finance.
Decentralized finance, also known as “DeFi,” allows for trading, lending, borrowing, earning of interest, insurance products and other economic activities without the need of a third party like a bank, broker, or other financial institution. A couple of things that DeFi changes from what we face today is the elimination of things like credit scores that limit Black families from purchasing a home or a bank employee rejecting a loan solely based on a person’s appearance. Although Bitcoin is a component of DeFi, there are several other separate and more flexible parts that have the power to create a new global Black Wall Street. In laying the foundation for adequately learning about DeFi, it is important to have a brief history of the concept of money and how it evolved to modern capital markets. Next a description of the emergence of blockchain, cryptocurrecies, and the ICO phenomenon. Also, vital to the discussion is the regulatory environment of cryptocurrencies, as well as the risks associated with decentralized finance.
There is a long history of economic discrimination suffered by Black people including the Tulsa riots that destroyed a flourishing business center in Oklahoma 100 years ago, the practice of redlining which some think persists to this day[i], and the fact that over 326 million people in Africa do not have access to formal banking services[ii]. The legacy of this economic discrimination has created a racial wealth gap in America and if it remains unmitigated in a few decades this deficit will prove to be insurmountable. To make matters worse, the racial wealth gap is exacerbated by a longstanding technology gap that manifests in disparities when it comes to access to things like adequate training in the applied sciences, broadband internet, and employment within the technology sector.
This in mind, I set out to write a book on how Black people around the world can unite around blockchain, cryptocurrencies, and other emerging technologies to engage in commerce with decreased barriers to entry to begin closing the gaps. It is my sincere hope that the book assists in reducing the learning curve associated with blockchain technology so that we can get to work on the equitable and sustainable economy we all deserve. I am proud to mention that I will be working with the Black Biz Initiative to encourage blockchain, DeFi, and cryptocurrency adoption among Black businesses in Boston as part of my partnership with Ebony100 and the Black Biz Development Group, LLC. The awardees of the Black Biz Ball will be among the first to receive an allocation of the Tao cryptocurrency as part of what I hope to be a long running educational series into distributed ledger technologies and digital assets. In the meantime, I look forward to having more engaging conversations with people in the Boston area and understanding how DeFi can be used to improve the futures of Black people within the city.
The book is available at www.kamalrhubbard.com.
About the Author:
Kamal Hubbard is a lawyer by training who is certified in Fraud Examination, Cybersecurity, and Decentralized Finance. Kamal spent several years managing research projects at Stanford University and two years conducting individual research on Bitcoin and blockchain technology before entering a position in cryptocurrencies. He is a civil rights officer; the founder of the blockchain consulting company, CageChain Media Group; co-founder of FanMix, LLC; serves as an advisor to the Tao Network Blockchain and sits on the Board of the North Hollywood based AltMarket Cryptocurrency Exchange. Mr. Hubbard had the privilege of testifying before California’s Senate Banking Committee on the basics of blockchain and Bitcoin. Kamal also served as part of the Blockchain Advocacy Coalition in support of California bills AB 2658 and SB 838, which provided a definition of “blockchain” under California state law and allowed businesses to transfer equity using distributed ledgers.