Bitcoin and Black America

The 2019 book Bitcoin and Black America is currently trending on social media.

In Bitcoin and Black America, author Isaiah Jackson, argues that  African Americans are showing less interest in cryptocurrency than white Americans. However, this assumption is slightly at odds with recent data from Coinbase.

Are African Americans at a disadvantage when it comes to Bitcoin? Here, we’ll take a look at what the most recent data says.

Bitcoin and Black America – What the Data Says

In Bitcoin and Black America, Isaiah Jackson argues that many black Americans are still unaware of the benefits of owning or using cryptocurrency. A 2018 report from market research group Think Now also supports this argument.

  • In 2018, Think Now research showed that on average, 61% of white Americans have heard of cryptocurrency.
  • By comparison, only 52% of African Americans are as familiar with what cryptocurrency is and what cryptocurrency can be used for.
  • Overall, Asian Americans are the most knowledgeable about cryptocurrency, with 68% of survey respondents confirming that they are familiar with cryptocurrency.

Thankfully, more recent data from Coinbase suggests that African American interest in cryptocurrency is on the increase.

70% of African Americans Have an Interest in Cryptocurrency

In February this year, Coinbase published a report titled ‘Black Americans & Crypto.’ In this report, Coinbase outlines the latest trends concerning cryptocurrency awareness among Black Americans.

Of particular note in the 2020 Coinbase report, is the fact that interest in cryptocurrency among Black Americans now seems to be outpacing interest in cryptocurrency among White Americans.

  • 70% of Black Americans surveyed by Coinbase, said they are interested in learning more about cryptocurrency.
  • By comparison, just 42% of White Americans surveyed said that they too want to know more about cryptocurrency.
  • 21% of Black Americans over 55, say they want to know more about cryptocurrency. However, only 6% of White Americans in the same age group express a similar interest.

Perhaps most importantly of all, 75% of Black Americans with a college education say that they have an interest in learning more about the cryptocurrency market. By comparison, just 39% of White Americans with a college education say that they too want to learn more about crypto.

Why is Interest in Bitcoin Increasing in Black America?

In Bitcoin and Black America, Isaiah Jackson argues that more Black Americans should embrace cryptocurrency because Black Americans are under-served by the current financial system. As it happens, though, this might be exactly why more Black Americans start to take notice of Bitcoin.

According to Coinbase, only 35% of Black Americans feel that the current financial system serves all ethnicities equally. Many Black Americans are also becoming aware of the positive impact cryptocurrency is having on other global Black communities.

Africa is Already Leading the World in Terms of Bitcoin Adoption

Contrary to what you might think, it’s not America or even Asia that leads the world in terms of Bitcoin adoption. At present, it is South Africa that tops global charts in terms of cryptocurrency ownership.

At present, 13% of people in South Africa own cryptocurrency. To put this in perspective, just 5% of people overall in the U.S. own cryptocurrency. In places like South Africa, people also appreciate owning cryptocurrency as more than just a novel investment.

Why Is Cryptocurrency So Popular in Africa?

Why cryptocurrency is so popular in Africa is simple. Because coins like Bitcoin are deflationary, people can use cryptocurrency to protect the value of their savings from diminishing as a result of inflation.

Using Bitcoin in place of more volatile local currencies, also makes it easier for African business owners to access global markets.

Are There Any Groups Who Are Being Left Behind By Bitcoin?

Isaiah Jackson and his book Bitcoin and Black America is right to draw attention to the fact that Black Americans have been slow to show interest in Bitcoin. However, one can argue that Jackson’s book has come on the scene just as this trend is changing.

Sadly, there are still challenges ahead for cryptocurrency, when it comes to acceptance by other demographics.

At present, women account for just 8.5% of people using cryptocurrency. It is also the case that people between the ages of 18 – 44 are the most likely to own cryptocurrency. For people 55 or over, though, ownership rates fall to as low as 2%.

If cryptocurrency is ever to go mainstream, disparities between people of different ages, genders, and races will need to be addressed at some point. Sadly, how this might be done remains unclear.


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