How the Crypto Hustle Carries on America’s Shameful History of Racial Inequality

Lynn Parramore over at INET:

Promoters plugged crypto as the key to accelerating Black America’s path to prosperity. It was going to level the playing field once and for all. The world of cryptocurrency was painted as a welcoming place for Black investors leery of traditional finance, a golden opportunity to build wealth and achieve financial empowerment. There was lots of talk of big returns, and few warnings of risks. Exuberance took hold.

But when markets began to crumble, Black people were left holding the bag. Many investors who came in after 2020 are now underwater; some have said goodbye to their life savings. Last in, hardest hit.

This, alas, is nothing new. As economist Peter Temin explores in disheartening detail in his recent book, Never Together: Black and White People in the Postwar Economic Era, Black Americans have operated from the get-go in an entirely different economy from whites. When they’ve tried to get ahead, they’ve been terrorized, cheated, discriminated against, redlined, saddled with debt, exploited, blocked from starting businesses, prevented from owning land, and relegated to the lowest-paying jobs. Inequitable policies and structures have been in place since colonial times, and we are still living in “colonial Virginia writ large,” as Temin describes it.

Wealth has never been distributed evenly. Neither has the pain when things go belly up.

More here.