Bonita Oliver of the Deeper Tones Collective and Co-Producer, Black Meta Fest

Ever wondered what the whole Blockchain and NFT craze is about? That feeling of FOMO (fear of missing out) you want to invest in something that will bring monetary gains but in the back of your mind, you still have no clue how to navigate the space?

The Black Meta Fest (BMF) is the first step. BMF is a week-long virtual festival that educates Black professionals on how to make the most of these emerging technologies and explore the “Metaverse” in an accessible space. The idea was launched by lead organizers Adorable Jasmine, Ope Majek, and Bonita Oliver of the Deeper Tones Collective, a Clubhouse group dedicated to hosting Blockchain tech conversations for the Black community. They created this event to address the systemic oppression that has kept Black people behind in the tech and financial wealth building space.

The Defender spoke with multidisciplinary artist and producer Bonita Oliver to give us the rundown on what this NFT craze is about.

What are NFT’s?

NFT is an acronym for non-fungible tokens. It’s a special kind of cryptographic asset. Each asset is unique, and that is different from… let’s say a U.S dollar. One dollar is equal to any other dollar, but when you have an NFT, two tokens are not the same. And because each token is unique, they can authenticate ownership of a digital asset or even a real-world tangible asset.

What is Blockchain and is NFT in the same family?

Blockchain is what connects all of these different technologies including NFTs, Decentralized Finance (De-Fi), and DAOs, which are decentralized autonomous organizations. Blockchain is a computer program that is basically immutable and permanent. It’s a type of ledger. It’s a record of transactions that anyone can look at or verify. The first inaugural one that became popular was Bitcoin. Then the next one in popularity that some people would argue superseded Bitcoin is Ethereum. It’s being positioned as the future of the internet. We are building a new way of interacting so that anyone can gain access as long as they have internet. So before this can really become what everybody is excited about, we need to make sure people have internet access because the future way of doing business is happening on the Blockchain.

What do you get when you buy and NFT?

What you are getting is a record of ownership. Some NFTs are connected to a digital asset. This could include a piece of digital artwork, or an unlockable digital image to receive some digital content like a film or a piece of music or it can be a digital representation of ownership of a tangible world item like a sneaker or even a house. An NFT could represent your stake in a hedge fund.

What are the risks factors?

This new technology is still in its discovery phase. There are risks for hacks. There can be vulnerabilities in certain networks. Because this is largely decentralized and there is no protection from big brother. You have to hold yourself accountable for whatever actions you take. No one is going to save you if you forget the key phrase to your wallet or digital asset. You will lose whatever was in the wallet. Do your research, study the culture around it. What problem is it solving? Think about who you are as an investor. Are you someone who wants to make a quick buck or are you interested in the technology itself?

How do you buy or sell NFTs?

There are multiple marketplaces like Nifty Gateway, Known Origin, and Open Sea.

Why should people care about this now?

Back in the early nineties, people were asking similar questions about the internet. Well, that’s all I’ll say to that.

How will investing in NFTs contribute to Black generational wealth?

People are creating their own forms of currency and doing business with each other. We are establishing ownership and moving outside of a system that has

Not been for Black people. There are companies getting into the Blockchain space. These companies are releasing NFTs in which you’ll have to buy their products in this manner. We want to have more immersive exchanges globally. Our community needs to get ahead of this so we don’t get left behind.

What are some key things someone must do to prepare before investing?

Research and get a better understanding of what Blockchains are. There are plenty of online resources. Learn the difference between Bitcoin and Ethereum, and then dig into NFTs and DOAs are and see how they are connected to the metaverse.

What is the Black Meta Fest (The future of Black History)?

The Black Meta Fest is a virtual event that is happening from February 21st to February 27th. The is the celebration of the future of Black history. Those who aren’t familiar with the Metaverse will feel more familiar with what it is by the end of the event. It’s a week full of activities, community engagement in different Metaverse spaces. People will be watching films, fashion shows, and digital fashion displays, creating Mint NFTs, learning about internet safety, and panel discussions. [There are] two artists who will be creating a commemorative NFT [Bryan Collier Young and Kwame AKA DarkMythst).

Laura Onyeneho

I cover Houston's education system as it relates to the Black community for the Defender as a Report for America corps member. I'm a multimedia journalist and have reported on social, cultural, lifestyle,...