Black Bitcoin

SALtoshi Whitepaper #87

Fellow humans,

I’ve been wanting to write about Bitcoin and the Black community. I don’t know enough about racial injustice, and certainly haven’t done enough to help. I’ve probably been living in the gray area — not part of the problem or the solution. America has certainly shown improvement over the last two centuries, but we’re clearly not where we need to be.

Imani J. Carter wrote about lifelong learning in her recent blog post, and although her topic doesn’t hit close to home for me, her concept does. I love learning, especially about my passions. I was not always this way, but something changed inside of me over the years, and now I enjoy the entire learning process. Especially if the information can been used to improve our lives.

My favorite thing about learning is that diving into one rabbit hole often leads into many other rabbit holes. As we learn about one or two things, we learn about many other things along the way. I believe everything is connected, so if we dig deep enough into one topic, there’s bound to be some sort of connection to everything else.

Recently, I woke up pondering about a couple of new ideas. One of the ideas was to launch a bitcoin mining operation, but then I watched a panel of miners talk about the subject, and I learned that launching and maintaining a successful operation is very challenging. My passion for mining doesn’t run very deep, so I’ll stick to running my node.

The second idea came along during my daily Bible reading, specifically PROVERBS 30:8-9.

Keep falsehood and lies far from me; give me neither poverty nor riches, but give me only my daily bread. Otherwise, I may have too much and disown you and say, ‘Who is the Lord?’ Or I may become poor and steal, and so dishonor the name of my God.

I want to find the right balance of money that doesn’t interfere with my faith. Too much money or not enough money can lead to some life-changing problems. Not so much external problems, but internal problems. I would prefer to find a way for money to help me become a better Christian.

Imani’s post and my ideas happened on the same day, and I don’t believe in coincidence. Gotta be a connection. I don’t fully understand racial injustice, but I can still help with the knowledge that I have. America’s financial system has been targeting the Black community for too long, especially the poor Black community.

Monetary policy is the underlying threat for most Americans. The U.S. Government has full control over the nation’s money supply. In other words, money and state are one. I believe money and state should be separated, similar to how church and state have been separated.

Doesn’t take much knowledge about the history of the U.S. Government, and we can see how racial injustice has been deeply rooted into the entire system. From stealing land from Native Americans to building a super-economy by way of Black slavery. We can bet our bottom dollar (pun not intended) that the Feds have been weaponizing the dollar against the Black community.

Bitcoin is certainly not capable of solving every problem. Money is only a tool. However, Bitcoin can solve the problem of corrupt monetary policy. The only thing people need to do is trade dollars for bitcoin. Opting out of the corrupt system (dollars), and into the fair system (bitcoin). Treating bitcoin as a long-term savings account is a solid strategy.

For those who might not understand the concept — Bitcoin’s monetary policy cannot be controlled by any government. No concentrated powers have control over the money supply. Nobody can weaponize Bitcoin against anybody else. The Bitcoin network is truly open, and does not care what color we are. All we need is an internet connection, and something to trade for bitcoin. Linking our bank account to a bitcoin exchange is currently the most popular way to acquire bitcoin.

Racial injustice is not only corrupt cops beating and killing Black people. Racial injustice is not only the corrupt legal system locking Black people behind bars for any reason. Racial injustice is also the politicians widening the wealth gap in America. The rich get richer, and the poor get poorer through corrupt monetary policy.

Dollars become worthless over time through inflation. Whoever is stuck in this system is losing. Not only money, but also losing time. If we have money, we don’t have to work as much, which means we can spend some of our time however we want. If we’re poor, we have to work a lot more, which means most of our time is more constrained.

Imagine running in a hamster wheel — no matter how fast we run, the wheel simply spins faster. America’s financial system has been designed to operate this way for most people. Not only against the Black community, but anybody who was not born into money or power. Our money is not the only thing being stolen, but also our time.

Or I may become poor and steal, and so dishonor the name of my God.

Historically, we should know who is most likely to fall into the category of poverty in America. Again, I don’t believe in coincidence. The system has been rigged against Black people. No surprise here. Bitcoin offers anybody the option to escape the old system, and enter the new one.

I believe a strong correlation exists between Black poverty and injustice. Imani is a public defender in Athens, Georgia. She is the last line of defense for someone who has been charged with a crime, and cannot afford an attorney. I’ve asked her to collaborate with me to further the conversation about racial injustice in America.

Hopefully my knowledge about financial systems, combined with her knowledge and experience in the legal system, can help educate not only the Black community, but everybody. Just because I’m not black, does not mean racial injustice is not my problem too.

The following contribution was written by Imani J. Carter:

"Racial injustice is not only corrupt cops beating and killing Black people. Racial injustice is not only the corrupt legal system locking Black people behind bars for any reason. Racial injustice is also the politicians widening the wealth gap in America. The rich get richer, and the poor get poorer through corrupt monetary policy." This paragraph that Sal wrote really stuck out to me. Because, even more so lately, we are always hearing the phrase "racial injustice." And what many of us often visualize when we hear those two words are corrupt cops killing unarmed Black men and women and the corrupt legal system applying harsher sentences to Black people charged with crimes than white people charged with similar crimes. But when we take a step back to think about what racial injustice really means, we think back to the war my people had to fight regarding voting rights, wages, and housing.

Last year, I participated in my very first protest. Black Lives Matter. Defund the Police. No Justice No Peace. Those were among the many things we chanted as we walked through the streets of Athens, Georgia. After that experience, I was able to reflect on it. One of the things that really stuck out to me was the fact that the majority of the people who participated in the protest were white. Yup, white. They were the ones in the streets willing to get tear-gassed and shot by rubber bullets for issues that their Black neighbors deal with on a daily basis. At first, I could not understand why the crowd wasn't filled with Black people. Then I began to think: maybe they don't have social media or the internet to be able to stay up-to-date with these certain kinds of events, maybe they don't follow these people or share similar friends to be able to hear about it on social media, maybe they are working 18 hours out of the day and were at work during the rally, maybe they were just simply tired. -- Then we see the cycle all over again. We're working so much we have no time to do anything else. Every dollar we make already has a designated destination before we even get to own it. Poverty is a part of racial injustice. And it has such a big effect on our lives.

I am a public defender, I represent people who cannot afford to hire a private attorney. The people I represent have household incomes that fall below the poverty line set by the government. And I think that's some of what Sal is saying -- the government has had the opportunity to control our money but with Bitcoin, it can't do that. To be honest, I never thought about Bitcoin in any way that can alleviate racial injustice by closing the wealth gap. I never really thought anything of Bitcoin because it was a concept that I felt I couldn't grasp. I am a hands-on learner and I understand better when I can see my behavior/contribution causing an effect. Just like in criminal defense -- I see someone at one of their lowest parts in life, I see the circumstances they're facing, I defend them and fight for them, and I ultimately see them walking away "free," back to their families, back to their work, back to their better selves. I was never good at chemistry because I couldn't see the atoms and molecules that they said were there, and it was very hard for my mind to grasp. And at first, that was my view on Bitcoin and other forms of currency. I can't see it, so it's hard for me to understand it. But then something said to me: "isn't that what faith is? Something you don't see, but you believe in it wholeheartedly?" WOAH!

Sal wrote, "I want to find the right balance of money that doesn’t interfere with my faith. Too much money or not enough money can lead to some life-changing problems." I asked Sal a few questions to help me understand, and I asked him how do we get people in the Black community to see that Bitcoin is real and worth it. He said you just have to believe that it is. I felt that. What Bitcoin all boils down to is proper education. So does criminal law. Sal educated himself on Bitcoin by doing online research, reading books, asking questions, talking about it. I educate myself in my field by doing the same things. But many people including the Black community aren't educated on Bitcoin or the law. We all know not to kill, or steal, or drive drunk. But what many people don't know is that, for example, you don't have to give officers permission to search your vehicle, whether you have anything illegal in there or not. You don't have to go to the police station to give a statement, whether you have anything to hide or not. You have rights, and officers have procedures they need to follow. Don't make their jobs easier for them. But how would anyone really know that if they didn't go to law school? They would learn it by word of mouth, reading up on it, asking around.

Protesting. Investing in Bitcoin. Knowing your rights. All of those require some form of self-education. And learning about them isn't hard; you just have to want the outcome bad enough. We never know who actually reads our posts unless someone provides us feedback or leaves a comment. I hope that whoever is reading this will take a few seconds to send this post to someone or share what they've learned from reading it. Whether we like it or not, we are all in this together. Racial injustice affects us all. 

— Imani

Everybody knows somebody who is struggling financially. I’ve onboarded countless people to Bitcoin, and Imani has helped countless people through law, now it’s your turn. Start thinking about everybody you know, and I bet somebody is stuck in poverty. Not because they’re incapable, but because the system has been rigged against them, and they don’t know.

Feel free to subscribe to Imani’s blog by clicking here. She publishes a new post every Thursday, and I’m certain everybody can learn something from her. Additionally, Feel free to check out my Anniversary Contest by clicking here. You can win $1,000 worth of bitcoin next month. Today’s post is very important to me, so thank you for reading.

Until next time,

Salvatore Norge and Imani Carter