How Crypto Can Help Women of Color Catch Up and Build Wealth

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In this special edition of “The Financially Savvy Female,” guest columnist Ramona Ortega, founder of WealthBuild.ai, a smart financial chatbot, discusses how cryptocurrency can be an invaluable asset for women of color, who have taken behind financially due to both gender and racial pay gaps.

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Over the past three years, the explosion of bitcoin, blockchain, and NFTs has made crypto an attractive asset class. The numbers speak for themselves – according to Finbold, bitcoin’s ROI over the past five years has outpaced the shares of five major banks by an average of 4,214%. Bitcoin is up 140 times its price from five years ago, a growth of around 14,000%.

Bitcoin’s spectacular rate of return has led to the creation of many cryptocurrency-related derivative products, including bitcoin futures, bitcoin ETFs, NFTs, and crypto savings accounts, to name a few. only a few. The exponential returns of early bitcoin investors might not be replicated with new coins, but the crypto continues to offer exponential growth opportunities.

How Crypto is Helping Women of Color Catch Up

While crypto continues to be a volatile and risky investment, the widespread adoption of blockchain and stablecoins has solidified crypto as a permanent and important asset class for women of color, who, given the ‘huge wealth gap, need a higher rate to return in a shorter time in order to catch up. According to think tank American Progress, women of color are disproportionately affected by the gender wage gap in the United States and have been severely impacted by the economic devastation of the COVID-19 pandemic. Despite making up 13% of the U.S. population, black people make up less than 3% of this country’s wealth, and 59% of black women and 48% of Latinos aren’t invested in any assets, compared to 34% of white women. and 23% white men.

A recent Goldman Sachs report reveals that black women face a 90% wealth gap, which has a ripple effect on socio-economic indicators such as health, education and well-being. The cumulative effect on women of color means they are the least likely to be prepared for retirement and face greater economic insecurity.

See: Best undervalued cryptocurrencies to buy for 2022

It’s not enough for women of color to save money, especially given the low interest rate environment of the past decade. Women of color need to invest aggressively and maximize the diversification of their portfolios.

The case for crypto, beyond just bitcoin, is simple – the rate of return will most likely continue to be high as it nears mainstream adoption. While the newest crypto coins may not see the 1000% returns that we are used to, they offer the possibility of above average gains in a short period of time. Women of color should think carefully about their risk profile, but should definitely consider diversifying with crypto investments.

Crypto is more than just bitcoin, and understanding the rapid avalanche of crypto derivatives can be daunting for any new investor, especially those who can’t afford to take big risks. This primer on crypto covers the fundamentals and provides insight into the opportunities that exist for women of color to make bigger gains and diversify their portfolios for long-term wealth.

Check out: 8 best cryptocurrencies to invest in for 2022

A guide to start investing in crypto

Think of the cryptoverse as a set of instruments and assets that attempt to create greater transparency and efficiency in financial markets, i.e. making financial transactions cheaper, faster and more inclusive by eliminating the intermediary (banks and other traditional financial institutions).

TLTR

The short answer to get started: open a crypto wallet, buy some crypto coins, including fractional bitcoins and some NFTs, keep some of the coins in a crypto savings account, and voila, you’re a crypto investor.

The fundamentals

The power of crypto comes from the blockchain. A blockchain is simply a distributed public ledger (think global database), with a list of transactions that anyone can view and verify as they are stored in a system of shared nodes on computer networks. A blockchain collects information in groups, called blocks, which contain sets of information. These blocks are immutable and can be a source of truth without the need for a trusted third party (like a central government). Blockchain is the basis for crypto projects like bitcoin, non-fungible tokens (NFTs), and smart contracts.

And so Bitcoin was born

Bitcoin was the first crypto coin built on top of the blockchain. It was developed by an entity named Satoshi Nakamoto. Bitcoin was revolutionary because it did not depend on banks. It is a peer-to-peer trading system. In the beginning, people could mine bitcoins or solve an extremely complex mathematical calculation problem to earn bitcoin. Nowadays it is much easier to get bitcoin.

Crypto wallets and exchanges

Fast forward to today where you can easily buy bitcoins in your Venmo account, Cash App or crypto wallet. A crypto wallet is exactly what it sounds like – a place to store your cryptocurrency. As with banks and financial institutions, there are many crypto wallet providers, including Coinbase and Gemini. Similar to stocks, crypto is bought and sold on exchanges (think New York Stock Exchange), and many crypto wallets have affiliate exchanges as well.

Bitcoin Siblings

Bitcoin may have been the first digital currency, but it certainly wasn’t the last. There are over 10,000 cryptocurrencies in February.

Here are some of the best pieces:

  • Ethereum is both a cryptocurrency and a blockchain platform used to create smart contracts that automatically execute when conditions are met (i.e. non-fungible tokens). From April 2016 to February 2022, its price jumped from around $11 to over $2,700, increasing by almost 25,000%.
  • Binance Coin is a form of cryptocurrency that you can use to transact on the Binance exchange.
  • Cardano (ADA) has created a new type of currency called “tokens” that uses proof-of-stake validation. Not to get too technical, but for a coin or token to have value, there needs to be proof-of-work (completion of a complex mathematical transaction) or proof-of-stake (a consensus mechanism used by blockchain networks to achieve distributed consensus). Don’t worry, you don’t need to understand the math behind the trade to invest. Tokens also have value. In 2017, the price of ADA was 2 cents. As of February 1, its price was $1.05, an increase of 5,150%.

Decentralized finance

DeFi is an umbrella term for peer-to-peer financial services on public blockchains. DeFi is positioned to replicate traditional financial transactions such as banking, borrowing, lending, trading, etc., but is more efficient and does not rely on a third party.

Non-fungible tokens and bored monkeys

It’s hard to ignore the NFT craze and the multitude of interesting characters invested in the metaverse. If you haven’t noticed the Bored Apes avatars floating around Twitter, you might not realize that these NFTs are now worth $39.5 million. An NFT (think, a digital baseball card or a work of art) represents content that is stored on the Ethereum blockchain. The current contract contains important information about artists and NFT price history. Not all NFTs are worth millions; in fact, some can be purchased with as little as $50. Search platforms like Open Sea to discover newly created NFTs and take the opportunity to support women of color NFT creators.

Back to the monkeys

Bored Apes is a set of 10,000 digital images of apathetic apes minted as Ethereum NFT, but more importantly, owning a Bored Ape grants holders access to an exclusive Discord server, as well as the ability to use their ape as a photo profile on social networks. . Alongside NFTs is the latest crypto craze, the Metaverse, a Web3 version of the Internet that involves shared virtual worlds in which people interact as 3D NFT avatars.

Stable Coins

The stablecoin is the new gold standard. It is a cryptocurrency that pegs its value to the value of another asset, including fiat currencies, such as the US dollar, commodities, and cryptocurrencies. Stablecoins offer a way to get into crypto without as much risk and receive a higher return when invested in a crypto savings account.

Crypto Piggy Banks

Speaking of savings, if you keep your money in a traditional savings account, you are more likely to lose money as inflation rises. Now people can earn up to 12% interest on their digital assets, including stablecoins, with a new crypto savings account. The problem? These accounts are not FDIC protected, which means that if something goes wrong, there is no government insurance to reimburse you.

GOBankingRates wants to empower women to take control of their finances. According to the latest statistics, women hold $72 billion in private wealth – but fewer women than men consider themselves to be in “good” or “excellent” financial shape. Women are less likely to invest and are more likely to have debt, and women are still paid less than men overall. Our “Financially Savvy Female” column will explore the reasons for these inequalities and provide solutions to change them. We believe financial equality starts with financial literacy, which is why we provide tools and guidance for women, by women, to take control of their money and help them live richer lives.

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About the Author

Ramona Ortega is the founder of WealthBuild.ai and My Money My Future. She is a lawyer, innovator and expert in personal finance.

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