With the right mindset, policymakers can unlock the Bronx’s full potential to become a global cryptocurrency leader – maximizing the positive impact on low- and middle-income communities of color and creating localized community wealth. .

For nearly a decade, cryptocurrency – the decentralized alternative currency – has been viewed with skepticism. However, it is now embedded in financial systems, with government regulations slowly catching up to oversee this growing addition to the financial industry. Rather than an enforcement-focused regulatory strategy, a forward-looking approach can stop bad actors while creating an environment for innovators to flourish and creating new opportunities for generational wealth among historically deprived communities. of their rights.

New York is home to two of the nation’s most prominent cryptocurrency champions and thought partners, U.S. Senator Kirsten Gillibrand and U.S. Representative Ritchie Torres. Gillibrand recently introduced a landmark bill with bipartisan support that would provide much-needed regulatory clarity and safeguards for cryptocurrency growth. Torres continues to be a leading proponent of the role of cryptocurrency in the movement for social and economic progress in communities like the Bronx. Collectively, this leadership will have a transformational impact on the Bronx’s economic development and increase the long-sought generational wealth among communities of color.

Cryptocurrency has the potential to be a catalyst for widespread economic growth and financial opportunity in the years to come. The Bronx Chamber of Commerce has identified cryptocurrency as a key part of the innovation economy – joining cannabis, manufacturing, waterway transportation, resilience and life sciences as the future economic growth in our borough. Thus, over the past year, the House has promoted Crypto 101 Courseenhanced by Bronx Crypto, Inc.’s partnerships with area schools and the business sector.

The Bronx and New York City have advantages no other region can match – our universities, our workforce, our culture, our vibrancy, and our entrepreneurial drive are second to none. We should have a strategy that leverages these assets in pursuit of a leading role in the cryptocurrency economy, and we need a modernized regulatory structure that protects consumers and fosters innovation and growth. growth. We can’t do this on reputation alone; Just because New York has been the financial center of the world for generations doesn’t mean we can compete and win in tomorrow’s economy without a plan.

In addition to being an engine for job growth and economic activity, cryptocurrency can have practical applications in the daily lives of all kinds of people in our city. This can help facilitate the flow of money without transaction delays or excessive fees levied by intermediaries. For those who send money to friends and family members outside the country, cryptocurrency offers a fast, secure and less expensive framework for remittances and makes international transactions more transparent. , efficient and traceable.

Musicians, artists, and writers can use blockchain-based tools to ensure they control the rights to their work and reap the full value of their creative talent. For unbanked and underbanked members of our community, cryptocurrency offers an alternative way to manage, invest, and understand money. Sharing information and opportunities that exist in the cryptocurrency space could help break down the barriers between our community and financial literacy.

When it comes to cryptocurrency investment and adoption, we need the kind of bold leadership that has historically defined our borough and our city. We need it at all levels, including government, industry, academia and grassroots community organizations. We must be shameless and bold champions for the future of finance, knowing that others will take the reins if we miss the opportunity. From the growth of tech startups in Brooklyn to the thriving creative and arts community in the Bronx, and with the excellence of our financial services sector in the metro area, we have a world-class base to build on. Missing out on this opportunity would set New York back in terms of long-term competitiveness, job creation and inclusive economic growth.

We cannot afford to be passive observers; we must be creators and builders. Frankly, our lives, our livelihoods and our future depend on this critical moment and what we decide to do with it.

We need to make sure the Bronx and New York lead the world in starting a business or getting a job in the cryptocurrency and blockchain ecosystem. Inconsistent policies, unnecessary red tape, and outdated regulations are barriers to the kind of innovation we can accomplish as a community. We have a unique chance to capitalize on this technological and financial revolution that can help write the next chapter of New York. Let’s make our approach to cryptocurrency a model for the rest of the world.

Lisa Sorin is President of the Bronx Chamber of Commerce and Julio Barrios is Founder and CEO of Bronx Crypto, Inc., a digital asset learning platform focused on unlocking the potential of decentralized finance in the Bronx.