April 13, 2021: -After a year of Black Wall Street, a centre of Black business in the Greenwood district of Tulsa, Oklahoma, that got destroyed in a racial attack, “The Good Doctor” actor Hill Harper will launch a fintech app the same name to empower color investors.
The Black Wall Street app will be live June 1, and a digital wallet for peer-to-peer payment will be offered, and cryptocurrencies like bitcoin and ether will be able to trade. “What the Black Wall Street was in Tulsa and the Greenwood district is just very empowering,” Harper told CNBC regarding the once-thriving Black business district.
“There were three pillars that created the wealth that was created in the Black Wall Street,” he added, with the first two being institutional ownership and institutional trust by the community.
The Black Wall Street app aims to give Black and Latinx investors a gateway in the digital investing transformation and provide financial education to customers on cryptocurrency.
A Harvard Law School graduate known as Harper said he started working with Black web developers before the Covid pandemic to build the app, which aims to capitalize on mobile device trends in communities of color.
According to a report of 2019 from Pew Research Centre, 23% of Black Americans and 25% of Latinx Americans are “smartphone-only” internet users compared with 12% of white Americans. The Pew study also showed Black Americans used smartphones for mobile banking over any other group.
Harper said he’s hoping to attract both “unbanked” consumers and more sophisticated investors looking for a Black-owned site for cryptocurrency purchasing. “It’s not just about transferring money to folks, it’s about transferring information, ideas, and building community, and we see that that is the real value and the real differentiator.”
The Black Wall Street offering enters a growing industry of fintech apps that allow peer-to-peer transfers, including Square’s Cash App from PayPal’s Venmo. Visa is an estimated $4 trillion market for apps that replace the use of cash and checks in the United States. Rapper Killer Mike also launched this year the Greenwood app, another digital platform for investors of color.
On the Black Wall Street app, Harper said, “We have to encourage Black ownership, and that’s what we want to do on the platform. We’re starting with a digital wallet and the ability to start to learn financial literacy, create a community, and allow people to invest.”
“But the ultimate goal is to create a whole ecosystem, and eventually a marketplace where the recirculation, the circulation of dollars through this digital wallet, allows job creation, business creation, and job growth,” he added.