The name is Bombshell, Bitcoin Bombshell. Let’s get something straight- I did not name myself Bitcoin Bombshell because I saw myself as an authority in the Wild World of Crypto. I chose the name because it had a nice ring to it and I thought it would increase my visibility.
October 31st 2017, after coming to the realization I was spending way too much time on Instagram, I decided to find a way to monetize my social media scrolling habit. In tossing around a few different ideas, I settled on crypto. It had become my newest obsession and I didn’t see anyone posting content that reflected my perspective. It also happened to be the anniversary of the day Satoshi Nakamoto published the whitepaper so it seemed fitting that my new persona and the real Bitcoin shared the same birthday.
Having just purchased my first portions of Bitcoin, Litecoin, and Ethereum in April of that same year I was happily enjoying the bull run of 2017. You know the one when Bitcoin briefly hit 20k. I found myself becoming increasingly intrigued by this new complex entity that seemed to have life-changing wealth potential. Driven by my curiosity I started to make the rounds on the crypto event circuit. At these events I often, (read 99% of the time) was the only black woman in the room.
The lack of diversity I observed and alienation I felt was the inspiration for the Bitcoin Bombshell Instagram page. The vision I had was for other Black women to see themselves in me, see the potential of this new asset class and want to get involved. As someone who was introduced to the space from a romantic partner who happened to be male, I wanted to change the narrative by being a woman empowering other women.
I must have been in the right place at the right time because within months I was named one of MTV’s Leading Ladies in Crypto, appeared on CNBC’s Women in Crypto segment as well as on numerous podcasts, conferences, and panels. Out of nowhere, I was thrust into the spotlight, and while I initially welcomed the attention, I was definitely not prepared for it. I had no team, (I still don’t), just myself, my laptop, and a brain full of ideas.
In December 2017 I released an instructional guide: Demystifying Digital Currency which gives a simplified definition of Bitcoin, answers basic questions, and provides step by step instructions on how to open an account with the leading digital exchanges. In February 2018 I hosted my first “Cocktails & Crypto” event, a female-led meet up which provides an unintimidating space where people can come ask questions and learn from each other over cocktails. I also created the “DIVERSITY” t-shirt line meant to be a physical reminder of what was sorely missing in the industry.
The Bear Market and Beyond…
Shortly after Bitcoin ‘s 20k ATH of January 2018, by March the bloodbath had begun. Prices plummeted, ICO’s imploded, and stiff regulations came down. FUD was spreading far and wide. Suffice to say my core audience; the Black women who inspired the brand, interest waned almost immediately. “You still doing that Bitcoin thing? I heard it crashed” was most people’s opening approach. I didn’t blame them. I understood their skepticism. Most of the women I know don’t invest outside of employment offered investment options like 401k plans and IRAs. We are historically conservative investors and crypto is definitely a high-risk investment option. In addition to being high-risk, it also requires embracing the unknown. I wanted to show them that you didn’t need a finance background to get involved or to be some sort of tech expert, but it does help. Since I am neither, there was a learning curve. Luckily, through my newly formed crypto connections, I had some awesome teachers. However, despite my earnestness, I often felt overwhelmed.
I spent the past 6 months licking my wounds, HODL’ing, learning and strategizing. The difference between myself and most others in the space is that cryptocurrency is my first foray into investing. Since embracing crypto I have now started learning about traditional investment products like stocks and options. There is a great deal of ground to cover and I’m learning more every day. I am still all in with my crypto because I truly believe it is the future of money but I also understand the importance of diversification.
What I’ve learned from my short time in the space is that we have a LOT to learn. Malcolm Gladwell said it takes 10 years to make anyone an expert and with us just celebrating Bitcoin’s 10th birthday last year it is safe to assume there aren’t many true Bitcoin experts, let alone any of the other forms of cryptocurrency that have emerged in the last 7 years. With less than 8% percent of the US population invested, it is safe to say we ALL have lots to learn about cryptocurrency and its applications, consider me one of its more visible students.
To keep up with Shanah’s pursuit of female empowerment in the cryptocurrency world, you can find her at www.bitcoinbombshell.com