Crypto is first asset class ‘accessible to anyone’: blockchain educator

Clever Mesidor.

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Cleve Mesidor was working in the Obama administration in 2013 when he first heard about bitcoins. From the beginning, the concept moved her. Within a few years, he would leave politics and enter the cryptocurrency space with the mission of making the new financial world a better place for people of color and women than the traditional stock market, bonds and mutual funds.

Most recently, Mesidor published a book, The Clevolution: My Quest for Justice in Politics & Crypto, a memoir of his journey from growing up in Haiti to falling through the blockchain rabbit hole.

She is the founder of the National Policy Network of Women of Color in Blockchain and has just become the executive director of The Blockchain Foundation, which seeks to educate different industries about emerging technology.

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CNBC recently interviewed Mesidor about what people are wrong about cryptocurrency, its future, and how to keep the new space from looking like the old world of finance. Shortly after that conversation, Bitcoin had a massive drop on Monday, reaching $ 23,000, its lowest level since December 2020.

The exchange has been edited and condensed for clarity.

“Politics was not up to date with adoption”

Annie Nova: You had a career in politics before you switched to cryptocurrency. How does that previous experience inform you of the work you are doing now?

Key Meter: When I left Washington, I returned to New York and immersed myself in the cryptographic ecosystem of New York City. When bitcoin hit $ 20,000, everyone lost their minds and the IRS said, “Are these people paying their taxes?” The conversation about regulation increased a lot, so I started to lie down in my background in Washington. I discovered that there was a gap: politics was not up to date with adoption. Since 2018, I have started publishing a weekly newsletter that goes to my public policy network.

Crypto is the first asset class “accessible to anyone”

AN: What is it that people are most wrong about cryptocurrency?

CM: We know that about 25% of the US. UU. it owns cryptocurrencies of some kind, and the black and Latino communities lead the adoption. They are not white males. The working class and the middle class are already inside.

AN: Why do black and Latino communities lead the adoption of cryptography?

CM: Your attraction to cryptocurrency depends on your relationship with money. If money in the traditional system has always worked for you, you’ll be like, “Why fix it?” ‘Why really take the risk of a new path?’ But if traditional finance has never worked for you, then the alternatives seem appealing. In America, black and Latino communities, regardless of whether you are not banked or a professional like me, treat you the same. Banks don’t care about you, wealth managers don’t care about you, and Wall Street doesn’t care about you.

AN: But what’s different about cryptocurrency? I can see the same problems in traditional finance resurfacing here.

CM: What is different from cryptocurrency is decentralization. With all other traditional asset classes, there are barriers to entry. This is the first asset class accessible to anyone. This is not the case with stocks or bonds or mutual funds. Black and Latino communities also do not see crypto as a risky investment; the riskiest place for us was traditional finance. A few months ago, Black Panther director Ryan Coogler went into a bank to withdraw $ 10,000 and called police.

The number of women in cryptography “is still abysmal”

AN: There’s still a huge one gender imbalance in the cryptocurrency space, with far fewer women than men involved. What do you think is the main reason for this?

CM: Women are a fast-growing demographic in cryptography, but the numbers are still abysmal. This is largely due to the fact that women are often the heads of households and responsible for the livelihoods of their children and their parents, which affects their risk tolerance.

AN: How do you get more women?

CM: We need to empower women and give them more information about crypto. By talking to people about things like “fractionalization,” that is, you don’t have to buy an entire bitcoin, we’ll get more women. And the value proposition can’t just be becoming an investor. Emphasis must also be placed on entrepreneurial opportunities, innovative career paths with distance working options, the capacity for social impact and also highlighting resources and education on how to reduce risk.

AN: What do you see as the future of cryptocurrency?

CM: If we cut the noise of cryptocurrency and the blockchain, and it’s a lot of noise, it’s really about efficiency, optimizing processes, and giving people more control – access to their own data. The blockchain and cryptocurrency will drive our world and we won’t even notice it.

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