The Underestimated by ECC

Electric Coin Company created a website outlining the reflections and student profiles from the CCP Genesis Block.

See it here.

The Underestimated – A Reflection on CCP Genesis Block

The Crypto Community Project (CCP) began around this idea of permission. 

The South Bronx has exemplified urban blight for decades. This area has a history of being both low-income and high-crime. Progress has been made recently, but it doesn’t change the problematic reality on the ground. The Bronx is the Bronx, and Morrisania is the poorest congressional district in the United States. If there is a population that needs cryptocurrency, it is this one.

I began my opening talk at CCP by pointing through the window at the Bruckner Expressway, which connects to both the Sheridan Expressway and the Cross Bronx Expressway. These highways, the creation of Robert Moses between 1949 and 1972, split the South Bronx in half, driving down property values and destroying entire neighborhoods in the process. 

Communities established over generations were moved in the name of progress. And while there is no way to know the precise number, there is evidence that over half a million residents were forcibly removed for the greater good of New York City and the Tri-State area. These parkways were built to connect the outer-suburbs with New York City without forcing drivers to roll through the neighborhoods of the Bronx.

The communities in the South Bronx did not grant permission to Robert Moses and the city of New York; they did not give permission because they did not have the power to grant it. 

The city had the power. 

The city, the epitome of centralized authority, made a decision they thought was in the best interest of the constituency as a whole. Those in the way had no choice in the matter. And no matter the platitudes about the greater good, the outsiders still suffer. Communities such as these lacked a voice, lacked access, lacked power, and lacked permission. The powers that be are the powers that be — until they aren’t.

My inspiration for CCP came from Andreas Antonopoulos and his lectures on open blockchains and their potential. He speaks with such conviction about these underserved populations — which, for me, are not far-flung. They are close to home.

Before the first CCP event, I wrote this blog post, which laid out my hopes for the project. Now that the event has occurred, the mission has become more clear.

CCP delivered cryptocurrency knowledge and hands-on education to a population that will use it, not as a novelty but as a necessity. With their hands on this revolutionary — in every sense of the word — technology, the students learned valuable skills and gained access to an unrivaled networking opportunity, but most importantly, eyes were opened. The value is hard to overstate. 

Once this knowledge and technology are in the hands of people marginalized by the status-quo, the potential is evident. 

The response was overwhelmingly positive from all the participants and speakers. There is a sense, a genuine sense, we are achieving something here. As an educator, what I witnessed over those two days in early August was true education. And I mean the word true as in real and actual. Students were willing to open their minds, to learn and absorb. Any educator knows the look of that fire in their eyes; it was stoked, and they wanted to learn more.

I recently heard that for people who grew up in Argentina — experiencing roller-coaster monetary policy — bitcoin makes sense; there is no need to convince them of its utility. I submit that if you grew up in the South Bronx, bitcoin makes sense. 

The South Bronx is devoid of banks, devoid of financial services. The borough is filled with check-cashing, payday loans, and other predatory international currency transfer services that can and do exploit populations that had no alternative. 

There is an alternative now. It was invented in 2009 by Satoshi Nakamoto and grown and improved upon by those who believe privacy a human right. 

With the help of Electric Coin Company, CCP took a first step in establishing a new, cryptocurrency-based economy in the South Bronx that creates equity and access in a way that no institution can grant, no matter how noble their intentions.

Institutions, both governmental and financial, have historically failed the South Bronx. What we are witnessing in real-time is the emergence of an era where they will become irrelevant, and more, unnecessary — all because of blockchain.

Crypto Community Project’s 1st Summer Bootcamp

Tomorrow will be Crypto Community Project’s first summer boot camp. Fifteen recent high school graduates from the South Bronx will receive a foundational education in cryptocurrencies and the blockchain space. This event was made possible with sponsorship by Electric Coin Co. Along with sponsoring the curriculum, Electric Coin Co. helped recruit leaders in the industry to contribute their experience to the students.

The revolution unleashed by Satoshi Nakamoto in 2009 is more than money. While the price gets the attention, it is only a means to an end. The technology is here to stay. 

Blockchain evangelist, Andreas Antonopoulos, frequently discusses the five pillars of open blockchains: Open, Borderless, Neutral, Censorship-Resistant, Public. 

This technology creates possibilities for underserved communities not possible before; that’s how revolutionary this is. Blockchain is a new paradigm for the world. 

If blockchains are borderless, they are for those constrained by borders.

If blockchains are open, they are for those to which doors were closed.

If blockchains are neutral, they are for those discriminated against.

If blockchains are censorship-resistant, they are for those who have been censored.

If blockchains are public, they are for those whose suffering was hidden.

Blockchains are more than hype. More than price. More than tribes. Blockchains represent access, true access, for marginalized communities. These communities were not given permission to thrive by the powers that be. The effects of this lack of access are generational. So old are they that we accept the conditions as normal. 

No longer need we look back to right historical wrongs. Blockchain represents the possibility to build a new history based on a new system where human control is no longer a factor. There are no powers that be.

Crypto Community Project is dedicated to this vision. Education is key to adoption And thanks to the Electric Coin Co., we are starting in the South Bronx. 

Crypto is community.

Let it begin.