Coronavirus, the oil price war and the volatility of global markets are everyone’s concern as countries flood their economy with money and people contemplate their own personal financial crises.
The question of government-issued tender, fiat currency, is at the forefront for many.
Cryptocurrency expert Isaiah Jackson, author of “Bitcoin and Black America“, is looking at the possibility of digital currency and blockchain advancing even further. Jackson’s focus is on his community and teaching Black people to understand crypto. “The global financial system is changing and the digital revolution will not be televised,” Jackson says on his website.
Besides being a leading expert in cryptocurrency — Jackson recently got a shout-out from Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey — Jackson is the co-founder of KRBE Digital Assets Group and co-hosts the daily live show, “The Gentlemen of Crypto” with King Bless.
Jackson shares his thoughts on why bitcoin can help Black America, how anyone can own cryptocurrency, and Blackchain — his soon-to-be-released project.
I’ve been going to conferences for seven years now, and I was the only Black person most of the time. I was like a fly in milk. But the best part about this industry, and I want to make sure that you understand this, is nobody can keep you out. I can go home and buy a coin and I’m a part of the crypto community. I think that’s the best part. That barrier to entry is gone.Cryptocurrency expert Isaiah Jackson, author of “Bitcoin and Black America”, co-founder of KRBE Digital Assets Group and co-host of the daily live podcast show, “The Gentlemen of Crypto”.
Moguldom: Why did you write the book “Bitcoin and Black America?“
Isaiah Jackson: I have been in the industry since 2013, and most of my clients have been in the Black community. One of the biggest use cases for bitcoin is financial freedom. I believe in the Black community. Our economic structure has been discussed long enough without an actual solution. I believe bitcoin can be part of the solution — maybe not the entire solution but definitely a part of it. It can give our community leverage in economic discussions, which is the only thing you have in any type of business discussion. If we want to invest economically as a community, I felt like I should write this book to introduce my community to bitcoin as well as educate them on how it works and why we should use it.
Moguldom: Who are your clients?
Isaiah Jackson: My clients are sort of across the board. Even though I do work with companies on their blockchain strategy and operations, most of my clients are between the ages of 30 and 50, are Black and are first-timers to cryptocurrency. Most of the consulting I’ve done and why I wrote the book is for people who are either looking for investment into bitcoin or are looking for a way to implement blockchain technology into what they already do.
Moguldom: Our community has always been leery about making investments. We’ve been the victim of horrible insurance policies and targeted to push MLM products. Many feel cryptocurrencies are another thing to “get our money.” What can we do as a community to educate others in the legitimacy of cryptocurrency and the technology it uses?
Isaiah Jackson: I want to start by saying what Jay-Z said, “Men lie, women lie, numbers don’t.” As far as investing in bitcoin, it is the best-performing asset of the last decade. Gold, real estate, it doesn’t matter what you have invested in, nothing comes close. And those numbers are hard numbers that you can see for yourself. As an investment, I have used it for a savings account for seven years. I do not believe anybody’s made over 9,000 percent on an investment before, but that is the case. So, from a mathematical standpoint, the data is there. From a technical standpoint, the best engineers in the world have reviewed the code of bitcoin. It is open source. Anybody can use it or critique it, and we are only 10 years in. Nobody can find flaws in how it works. From a technical standpoint, it is like Bill Gates said, “a technological tour de force.”
We’re seeing a change in the financial industry, something we have not seen since 1913 when the Federal Reserve was created. The reason a lot of people in our community are leery is that they’ve never seen a different financial system. There’s pretty much nobody alive, except maybe a few people, that saw the beginning of the Federal Reserve for how the financial system was created. A lot of problems we have with presenting bitcoin to people is that it is such a new idea, it’s almost scary. A lot of problems in the Black community is there is a history of people coming in and talking about something and it doesn’t work out. For me, the difference between before and now is, I’ve personally not tried to convince people to buy bitcoin. I’ve always said if you want to learn about it, I will teach you.
Some of the love I’m getting is people kissing my ass because I have been saying, “Black people need to be in cryptocurrency.” The message that I am relaying to the Black community about bitcoin and economic freedom is you are not going to get it using fiat currency. It doesn’t matter what you do if the basis of your economic strategy is on the Federal Reserve. What we have now, you are always going to end up giving money back to the same people who don’t care about you. I am echoing the bitcoin thesis to my community.Cryptocurrency expert Isaiah Jackson, author of “Bitcoin and Black America”, co-founder of KRBE Digital Assets Group and co-host of the daily live podcast show, “The Gentlemen of Crypto”.
Honestly, I don’t care if people buy Bitcoin, that leaves more for me. I tell people, I don’t work for Bitcoin. I just know what it has done for me. It can work. For somebody who started with $400, student loan debt and was working a job I hated seven years ago and now progressed to a different state, I’m sure other people can do it too. Other people are already established. They have money and assets. I’m just saying that if you are involved in the cryptocurrency industry, you can go to even greater heights and you can bring your family along with you. I think when you try to convince the Black community, you have to start with the “why,” and hard numbers. Once people know the “why” and see the financial industry has been killed by inflation, and the banks don’t give us loans, nor care about us, I think the Black community will understand the value in bitcoin.
Moguldom: Blockchain is known for being one of the safest encryptions ever created, but we do hear about incidents where people’s cryptocurrency wallet or their key has been stolen and their digital money is gone because their SIM card or key was hacked. What can our readers or Black people who are less tech-savvy do to educate themselves to safeguard their investment?
Isaiah Jackson: Education is very important. We provide resources for people via a daily show I do with a co-host called “The Gentlemen of Crypto.” We have over 550 episodes recorded and over 20-plus hours of tutorials that show you how to get a cryptocurrency wallet which holds your digital currency, to securing your keys when you move your wallets offline, so that it cannot be hacked and cannot be taken. You also want to make sure that you’re vigilant about using two-factor authentication. A lot of times, the people who get caught in the SIM swap scam is because they do not have two-factor authentication. The very easy thing you can do is to go to Google and search for an app that is a second layer of protection for your wallet, or to the exchange that you log into to access your wallet.
Moguldom:What did it feel like to get a cosign from Jack Dorsey, the co-founder and CEO of Twitter, for your book?
Isaiah Jackson: It was a complete shock. I had participated in an interview on a podcast about five months ago called, “Off the Chain with Anthony “Pomp” Pompliano,” one of the biggest in the industry. Anthony found me through the book. I did his podcast and then Jack listened to that podcast.
That day was one of the most stressful days. After the eight-hour bus ride from Virginia to Charlotte to go to my nephew’s birthday party for two hours, just so I could then run to the airport, for a five-hour flight from the East Coast to LA, I was hungry, tired and stressed. I’m at the airport and took my phone off of airplane mode. I started receiving a ton of messages and stuff. I didn’t know what was going on. Finally, I see that tweet from Jack Dorsey. I never had gotten this many interviews or responses from big names in the industry. It’s nice to be recognized for your work, especially when it was a self-published book I put out last July 11.
And I do want to say while Jack is the biggest endorser I have had thus far, most people don’t know the only time Trump has ever tweeted about bitcoin was the day I released my book. I don’t know if that was a coincidence, but before that day and after, he never tweeted about it. So that was a good promotion to launch the book.
Anytime you hear the news, do the opposite. So, anybody that’s saying, ‘Don’t buy it”, you should have bought it at that second. Because if you did, you would be up over 90-to-100 percent in your investment. Listen to (Trump) if you want, but if you already don’t listen to him, then that tweet should have sent you straight to an exchange to get some.Cryptocurrency expert Isaiah Jackson, author of “Bitcoin and Black America”, co-founder of KRBE Digital Assets Group and co-host of the daily live podcast show, “The Gentlemen of Crypto”.
Moguldom: Do you think President Trump knows anything about bitcoin?
Isaiah Jackson: I don’t think he knows anything about bitcoin, but the people around him definitely do, because this is an international currency anybody can use. China is the biggest holder of bitcoin, so he has to know about it. The biggest thing, in my opinion, is anytime you hear the news, do the opposite. So, anybody that’s saying, don’t buy it, you should have bought it at that second because if you did, you would be up over 90-100% in your investment. So, you can listen to him, if you want, but if you already don’t listen to him, then that tweet should have sent you straight to an exchange to get some.
Moguldom: Let’s say a reader doesn’t own any cryptocurrency. Bitcoin is now at a price that is too high for their savings account to feel comfortable to invest in, but they feel better about buying shares of Virgin Galactic or Tesla because it is more in their price range. What do you say to that person who looks at the price of one bitcoin and say it’s too high for them to afford to invest in?
Isaiah Jackson: I’m so glad you asked that because there is no such thing as not having the money to buy bitcoin. Bitcoin is divisible up to eight decimal places so, you can buy bitcoin. If you have $1 in cash right now, or if you have $5, or $10, it doesn’t matter, the exchange does the math for you and you can purchase bitcoin. You would just end up owning a fraction of a bitcoin. I want to make sure everybody knows that you can own a piece of bitcoin. If you are looking at buying cheaper cryptocurrencies as investments, there are thousands of cryptocurrencies with different use cases, and a lot of them have more manageable prices. For example, with Ethereum, Ripple and other coins with different use cases in the crypto industry you can invest at a smaller amount for a whole coin. That is how the crypto market works for most people who can’t afford to buy a full bitcoin right now. But I wouldn’t be doing what I’m doing trying to help others if you couldn’t buy a fraction. I know a lot of people in my community can’t just shell out $9,000.
Moguldom: Speaking of different use cases for coins, we’re seeing a lot of it in Africa. Our Black tech community here in the States is also using alternative coins to help fundraise for their startup. Is there a successful use case, in your opinion, of using cryptocurrency successfully to help a business?
Isaiah Jackson: I would say Dawn Dickson, the CEO of PopCom. She did a secure token offering, which is similar to a Regulation-A type raise, except they used a token in exchange for the investment. She raised over a $1 million. She was the first person ever to raise funds with that amount of success with a token. And I believe in the future we’ll see much more of it.
Moguldom: Do you see other types of daily use of cryptocurrency by the government or businesses any time soon?
Isaiah Jackson: The World Health Organization did a report saying that cash could spread the coronavirus. There are coffee shops in California that do not accept cash now. The digital age is already here. It’s just the adoption that is slow. Today you can go to a store and with Bluetooth technology with your card, tap it to pay. The same thing can be done with a phone with certain wallets with crypto. Those options to pay are only being kept out because of a lack of education which means a lack of adoption. But they do work, and they are fast. I believe cryptocurrency can do that for regular payments as well as online payments.
Moguldom: As a Black tech professional before going into blockchain, you already knew how few Black people were in the room. Blockchain is known for its “bro culture.” How do you feel you’re being received in the overall blockchain community?
Isaiah Jackson: I think, overall, the reception has been good, especially with the book coming out. I want to say I’ve been going to conferences for seven years now, and I was the only Black person most of the time. I was like a fly in milk. But the best part about this industry, and I want to make sure that you understand this, is nobody can keep you out. If you’re in the tech world and people don’t want to hire you because they don’t think you’re competent enough, or they don’t want to diversify their workforce, they can do that. Whereas it doesn’t matter if I go to a conference, or work in the industry, I can go home and buy a coin and I’m a part of the crypto community. It doesn’t matter if I work for a certain tech company, I’m a part of the crypto community as soon as I buy cryptocurrency. I think that’s the best part. That barrier to entry is gone.
I think some of the love I’m getting is some of the people kissing my ass because I have been saying, “Black people need to be in cryptocurrency.” And now they’re like “yeah they do.” They weren’t saying that in 2015. But for the most part, I think that the message that I am relaying to the Black community about Bitcoin and economic freedom, is you are not going to get it using fiat currency (money backed by the government that issued it). It doesn’t matter what you do if the basis of your economic strategy is on the Federal Reserve. What we have now, you are always going to end up giving money back to the same people who don’t care about you. So, the way I’ve been received has been great, because I am echoing the bitcoin thesis to my community.
Moguldom: Blockchain has been around for a while. Is it too late to get in? Are we in the middle or on the tail end? Or is something else is coming up?
Isaiah Jackson: We are on the tail end of early adoption. So, if you are in the market it is still very early. Like I stated before, the Federal Reserve has been around for 100 years. Bitcoin has only become a real industry for the last seven years. We are in the infancy stage. It’s like a second-grader. It hasn’t matured yet. We still have a long way to go. As far as the market cap goes, gold and other assets are in the trillions. Bitcoin is still in the billions. So, it’s a long way to go. You may not be as early as me or others, but it’s still pretty early and a great time to get into the industry.
Moguldom: Are you working on any projects or creating any tokens yourself?
Isaiah Jackson: I’ve moved more towards consulting. However, I do have an open-source project that I’m working on with other developers, called “Blackchain.” It is a way to fund small businesses with bitcoin and cryptocurrency. We are working on that actively, and that will be a Crunchbase for small business owners, with the crypto option to get funded from anywhere in the world. You can be in Kenya and have a small startup and you can raise $10,000 in a matter of minutes from anybody around the world and it won’t be fiat currency. Yes. I still have my computer science and developer roots — I can’t really get away from it. So, I’m actively working on that. We will have a private beta coming soon.