How crypto failed Black investors

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Crypto was sold as a sort of lifeline to Black communities, as a way to build wealth outside of the mainstream financial system that many people, understandably, mistrust. The crypto complex told the story of a potential for riches, a way for people left out of more traditional financial apparatuses to get in, bombarding the Black population with marketing and ads featuring celebrities such as LeBron James and Spike Lee. The industry made it clear: If you didn’t get in, well, you might just be missing out. Many Black investors picked up what marketers were putting down, investing in cryptocurrency at higher rates than their white counterparts — especially Black investors under 40.

Now, cryptocurrencies are trading well below their 2021 highs. Many NFTs have plummeted in value and are essentially worthless. Some high-profile projects and companies in the space have imploded, and it’s not clear what, if anything, customers who put their money into those entities will get back. All is not totally lost. Investors who got into cryptocurrencies such as bitcoin and Ethereum in the early days are still ahead (assuming they haven’t lost the coins or had them scammed away). Crypto often goes through boom and bust cycles, and it’s unlikely the ecosystem is dead.

Still, Black investors were not generally among that early group to dive into crypto, as the Atlantic’s Annie Lowrey notes. Instead, many of them got in late, and some appear to have bought high and sold low. According to a recent LendingTree survey, Black crypto investors were likelier than white crypto investors to say that they had borrowed money to make their investment and that they had sold their crypto for less than it was worth. In other words, some Black investors have been left holding the bag.


https://cdn.vox-cdn.com/thumbor/kdgPPEKasUb5_WclMxqS4RB-iCA=/0x0:1920x1080/920x613/filters:focal(980x437:1286x743):format(webp)/cdn.vox-cdn.com/uploads/chorus_image/image/71982279/crypto_fail.0.jpgThe crypto crash might have been particularly painful for Black investors.iStock/Getty Images Plus



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