Episode: Tyrone Ross, Chief Executive Officer at Onramp Invest.

Insight: Bitcoin is different things to different people. For some, it’s a store of value. For some, it’s a “number go up” speculative investment. For others, it’s a financial lifeline. That last one might not seem like a big deal to your typical middle to upper class client. But to the millions of folks in the U.S. and abroad who are living paycheck to paycheck, don’t have bank accounts, and feel underserved by our current financial system, Bitcoin’s speed, security, and low barrier to entry could be revolutionary. Moreover, whenever Bitcoin makes headlines, it’s inspiring folks to learn more about not just crypto, but about the whole spectrum of financial tools available to them. Tyrone lays out why Bitcoin is so much more than just a way to “make money.”

Watch the Conversation Below:

3 Quotes from Tyrone Ross:

Bitcoin could go to zero tomorrow. I don’t care. Bitcoin was the accelerant to force central banks, the largest asset managers, to go, “Wait a second. Instant settlement? Immutability? Censorship?” All these things that they never really thought about. Having money native to the internet and what that meant for peer to peer communication, they weren’t even thinking about that. So if that’s all Bitcoin did, congratulations Satoshi.

What I’ve learned, traveling all across the country, going to speak at some of the poorest places in America, is that folks don’t even understand the differences between a checking and a savings account, a money market, a CD, a stock, a bond. So we have to get granular. There were people during the first stimulus who got debit cards and threw them out because they don’t know what the Treasury is, they don’t even know what the Federal Reserve is. They threw them out. That is a failure of the system. We have to make sure that children learn early about the beginning of banking in this country, the beginning of the Federal Reserve and what money is, where money comes from, how it’s produced, the different forms of money. Every kid should start to learn this very early.

What I need people to focus on with Bitcoin, here in America, why I say it’s digital social justice: Bitcoin does not care. Color, creed, denomination, zip code, broker, no broker, golf membership, it does not care. So now we’re putting the focus on people we never focused on before. I’ve been going into the black community for 19 years trying to get our communities to invest. “No, no, no. I’m not doing it. I don’t trust them. It’s not for us.” In 2017 more black people came to me about investing than I’ve ever experienced in my whole life simply because they were able to get sucked into the vortex of what Bitcoin meant. And they wanted to learn about everything else now. Powerful. This is group that the SEC with their investor.gov site could never get to come in. I don’t care how you feel about Bitcoin. Bitcoin did that.

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