Stacking Sats is the New Black: The Series: (Issue # 5)
Decoding the Matrix
In this new A.I. digital based age we are entering bitcoin will be the base layer of monetary sovereignty. To find out if this new digital asset called bitcoin is a mental or technical construct, African Americans will have to choose to go down the Bitcoin rabbit hole for a few generations. African Americans are the fastest-growing demographic in the United States to adopt cryptocurrency. People of color in this current adoption stage seem to have a good grasp on buying, holding, and adapting to new technologies. On paper, they are good de facto consumers of tech, but they don’t know that digital disruption is more robust, more secure, and far more vacillating than ever before. What can go digital will go digital. Bitcoin is attractive to African Americans because of monetary inclusion and peace; unbeknownst to the collective, there is still some fear.
African Americans have fought in every war that America has ever had and hardly received their flowers for it. A woman of color made the G.P.S. possible, but very few know her name. Gladys West contributed to the accuracy of G.P.S. and the measurement of satellite data. These are technologies millions now use across the globe. Bitcoin is a technology billions will use, and this is a perfect moment to get technical to contribute to the core code. Whether you traverse Los Angeles, Detroit, New York City, or Atlanta, the cities with some of the largest populations of African Americans still have a hard time decoding the Matrix.
Algorithms can be inherently biased. Why? Due to the algorithm coming to the same conclusion every time. The if that, then this type of logic is hardcoded into its actions, the data utilized in an algorithm embed it with the stereotypes and prejudices of the people that create it. Very few people coding this matrix of algorithms are African American, which needs to change.
Cultural Operating System
Block C.E.O. Jack Dorsey made this statement for his unwavering conviction on Bitcoin versus Web3 and the open-source technology it creates. “It’s critical we focus our energy on truly secure and resilient technologies owned by the mass of people, not individuals or institutions.” That’s all fine and dandy, but when you have some of the most woke individuals in our communities still disconnected from technology, we lose out on gaining a foothold of the underpinnings of resilient technologies, bitcoin being one of them.
Bitcoins Blockchain derive value from its usefulness. Bitcoin has value because people value the payment network. The network is fueled using bitcoin which is required to use the network, so people demand it. If Bitcoin continues to be useful, it will continue to have value. The fear of uncertainty and doubt is deeply entrenched in Bitcoin because it is such an anomaly, especially to the more woke tech fearful portions of the African American community. The rhetoric that it is the nefarious one-world dollar discussed in the Bible or a form of monetary surveillance on the poor is untrue once you see how Bitcoin works under the hood. The “Great Reset” didn’t plan for bitcoin, and it certainly didn’t anticipate Bitcoiners. Software engineers are the architects of this groundbreaking technology, and my humble opinion that role is the key to staying ahead of the technology adoption curve and decoding the Matrix. Indubitably, there are people of color in software programming roles, but they are minimal compared to other professions held by African Americans.
You have tech unicorns like Iddris Sandu, the creator of the first smart store, “Marathon Clothing.” Still, how many individuals in the African American community can code software or build hardware on a serious note? Technology is at the forefront of everything we do, whether supply chains, transportation, communication, or education. We need an Iddris in every community that faces hardship. That will give true democratization of technology. We consume technology at a rapacious rate but have little idea how to read, create and foster code. African Americans take applications and, through our culture, amplify them. That amplification equates to billions of dollars in revenue from our continual beta testing of these types of technologies.
Apps like Tik-Tok, Clubhouse, and Instagram are good examples. Why are S.T.E.M. programs not championed in the black community over sports, drugs, and entertainment? Dr. Jawanza Kunjufu stated so eloquently that what you do most, you do the best. “If you play basketball from 3 o’clock to 9 o’clock, you will be a very good basketball player; if you went home and went to the library, you’d be a good scholar” he stated. Transitioning from a consumer to a creator is a must in technology. We need more critical thinkers who can create fewer instances where we feel only good enough to be front-facing users of tech or highlight athletic prowess. We don’t own anything globally on a mass scale. We don’t own our economic system, political system or educational system. None of these systems are indigenous to Africa. None. We can’t dwell on the past. We can hardwire and depict our future with coded language and bitcoin.
Learning code is not about being a nerd; it’s about bolstering business and creating high-demand tech-oriented individuals in the black community. A large demographic of programmers can develop businesses with Bitcoin on their balance sheets. They could use these companies to integrate vertically, enrich shareholders or develop solutions to the rife problems we see in impoverished communities. Code is all about building things through input making redundancy obsolete. Bitcoin is all about taking binary code that functions like a hash key into a bulletproof ledger to record encrypted transactions.
Decipher the Code
I got into the intricacies of why tech companies need diversity in an earlier essay I wrote, “ Why tech companies need diversity to survive and thrive.” the more I learned about bitcoin, the article made more sense for me as a writer. Knowing your way around bitcoin source code allows you to parse and validate bitcoin transactions. It also provides source architects, engineers, and designers with an open and decentralized standard for a brighter future. Code brings opportunity and opportunity is the best way to reduce stagnation of thought.
Organizations like BlackGirlsCode, a nonprofit that runs summer camps and other programs to teach girls technology skills in web design, blockchain, app development, and robotics, are helping to decipher the lack of coding skills in African American communities. The most significant divide for inner-city youth is access to information. Each year we are witnessing more social programs that are code-oriented towards people of color. That’s a good thing.
Tech is about trial and error, so the more people from disenfranchised communities can pick up a book like Programming Bitcoin and go forth dabbling with the blockchain or layer applications to make bitcoin more robust puts them light years ahead innovation curve. The job market is changing, and many jobs will see automation by artificial technology and robotics. These technical services require maintenance, where code comes in and brings solutions. Those that know code can fix bugs in the code implementation process keeping the code free from error. Bitcoin improvement protocols are more important than ever.
When you take a look at Silicon Valley job offers. Silicone Valley has a significant pipeline problem. When you think of a software engineer, you don’t usually see a person of color with that role because society has classed it that way. I can speak from my own experience that Silicon Valley is chock-full with Ivy League graduates who started coding during childhood, won awards in programming competitions in high school, and spent their summers interning at various technology startups. When I was in the programming field as a junior dev of African American descent, I always felt behind the eight ball and rarely saw people that looked like me working in technology.
If the audience is familiar with William Strauss literature, the “Fourth Turning,” or seen a few Matrix movies; you are aware of how code can enslave or free you during these awakening periods. This fourth turning happens throughout cycles where the old social order falls off and gives birth to a new political, social, and economic structure. At least on the economic front, the core of this structure is being built with cryptographic code. A new solution to a crisis in human society could be Bitcoin which free’s humanity from the old centralized banking structures that monopolized it.
Developers work tirelessly to maintain bitcoin’s decentralized network. Bloomberg states, “While African-Americans comprise 13% of the U.S. population, just 1% of coders at Google, Facebook, and other leading Silicon Valley tech companies are black.” What I love about Bitcoin is there are no special requirements to contribute to the code development team if you want to be a coder, just the ethos of Bitcoin. Anyone can join, leave, or choose the area of development they wish to focus on. There are no statistics or diversity quotas, and it is essentially one big collaborative open source project for programmers. The most significant bias buster is you can remain anonymous before you are eligible to contribute to the development of Bitcoin Core.
Many jobs in the future will lean towards coding ability, even ones that may not be super technical. The resumes of today will be the GitHub contributions of tomorrow. Getting the youth on a path to understanding problem solving will be more critical than deciphering the code that could be used as a form of digital bias — learning these skills to contribute to bitcoins ever-evolving protocol.
75% of the money supply in the United States has been printed in the last 14 years. All this means is society will need all hands on deck to fix the money and ultimately improve the world. I am excited to see so many people from the diaspora gaining a foothold in the coding arena for the betterment of bitcoin and humanity; big shoutout to Olaoluwa Osuntokun for his effortless work on the bitcoin lightning protocol. Bitcoin rewards the patient and ignores the impatient. I hope this essay sparked a flame inside every African American creator, engineer, or architect to continue building great technology for a more inclusive and fair world.
Thank you for reading Stacking Sats is the New Black Issue #5: Decoding the Matrix
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About The Author
Dawdu M. Amantanah is a technical writer and contributing editor for Bitcoin Magazine , BlackBitcoinBillionaire and Senior Editor for Satoshi’s Journal. He is passionate about cryptocurrency, economics, radical entrepreneurship, and whatever else he finds attractive at the time.