by Mike Creef, Staff Writer
Tyrance Billingsley II, a Black tech enthusiast, was born in the most entrepreneurial, affluent African-American community in the history of America, a community that gave birth to Black Wall Street.
“While many people are doing fantastic work in efforts to revitalize this once Black Promiseland through economic development and other initiatives, most have conceded that the original level of affluence achieved through Black Wall Street can never be truly recreated as it was an unintentional result of segregation that allowed my community to flourish,” Billingsley II said.Advertisements
Recreating Black wealth
But he respectfully disagrees because, according to Billingsley II, “to be Black is to be innovative.” History would agree, considering the White mob that burned down the Black Wall Street district of Greenwood wasn’t able to eliminate the line of descendants passionately fighting for truth, justice, equity, and repair today.
“Not only can the wealth that existed in the past be recreated, but it can far surpass the acme of its glorious days via one industry — tech. The 1900s saw the birth of Black Wall Street; the 2020s should, therefore, see the birth of a Black Silicon Valley,” he added.
On June 19, Juneteenth, Black Tech Street is launching its first of what is hoped to be many NFT coins.
In the most basic sense of the term, what is a Non-Fungible Token (NFT)?
“The best way to describe NFTs are digital tokens. Essentially a digital token is something that can be sold, and if it’s powered by smart contracts, like ours is, it can essentially be sold in a way where the original creator always gets a portion of the money every time it’s sold.
So essentially, with this coin we’ll have an initial offer that people bid on and then it’s bought. Not only will we get the revenue from that, but when it gets sold again in the secondary market we’ll get 50% of that profit as well and continue to get that gratuity.”
Are NFTs something that the everyday person can or should get into, or is it something more for the bigger tech people?
“I haven’t been super vocal about crypto as some others have been because crypto in general is still kind of in its early stage, so what I’m telling people when they do ask is, like anything, you need to do your due diligence.
The example I like to use is social media. MySpace came on the scene first and it died. People might’ve thought the social media world wasn’t it. Then Facebook and Twitter came to overrun the planet. I think it’s a similar situation with crypto. Advertisements
Now with NFTs specifically, one of the things I think they present is a great opportunity for local artists to find ways to make revenue off of their work. Whether it’s making digital copies of their work and having them generate revenue for them and getting that gratuity, I think NFTs as they grow present great opportunities for artists to build more revenue.”
What’s the significance of this particular NFT to Black Tech Street?
“Well obviously we just had the centennial and what Black Tech Street is trying to stand for is we’re essentially looking forward to the next 100 years. The last 100 years, we had Black Wall Street destroyed, so we’re saying these next 100 years are gonna be marked by innovation and tenacity by Black people in Tulsa.
That’s why O.W. Gurley is on the back of the coin, historically known as one of the founders of Greenwood and Black Wall Street. So, him being on the back of the coin sends a strong symbol.
This coin launch really just represents what the next 100 years for Black Wall Street will look like,” Tyrance Billingsley II, founder of Black Tech Street, told The Black Wall Street Times.