As the federal government explores how cryptocurrencies can and should be used by Americans, regulators and industry players will need to embark on an expansive education effort that covers people of all colors and classes, two guests told S&P Global Market Intelligence.
Cryptocurrencies — or digital currencies in which transactions are verified and records are maintained by a decentralized system such as blockchain using cryptography — are still in a “formative” stage, 451 Research analyst Jordan McKee said on a June MediaTalk podcast episode. McKee noted that the top platform where consumers go for cryptocurrency information is YouTube LLC, according to 451 Research survey findings.
YouTube may serve as a good first stop for cryptocurrency information, but a formal educational outline would serve prospective investors more, especially people of color who have been historically discriminated against in legacy banking, said McKee.
“You really want to reach consumers with these messages around the importance of diversity and equity and inclusion in cryptocurrency,” McKee said.
The fact that YouTube is the greatest source of information about cryptocurrency for consumers is “concerning,” said Cleve Mesidor of the Blockchain Association.
“A little knowledge that’s actually accurate of crypto is a dangerous thing because we need to make sure that people are getting information that is accurate, that is verifiable and that is not going to lead them towards scams,” Mesidor said.
A growing number of people of color are turning away from legacy investment tools to embrace cryptocurrencies, non-fungible tokens and other decentralized entities. With the Biden administration getting involved in the digital assets landscape, advocates have argued that regulators must launch more digital asset outreach and education to avoid creating a new digital divide between those who can access the cryptocurrency market — estimated by the White House at $3 trillion — and those who cannot.
Read more about how different demographics are embracing cryptocurrencies: Crypto advocates warn of new digital divide as regulators begin inquiries.
451 Research is part of S&P Global Market Intelligence.