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Umba Daima’s Iris Nevins on NFTs, diversity, and wealth inequality

Umba Daima’s Iris Nevins on NFTs, diversity, and wealth inequality

Jun 14, 2022

“Diversity is really important, because when new industries are being created, there's usually a lot of wealth that's created in the process,” said Iris Nevins, co-founder of Umba Daima, an NFT studio building and curating community in Web3. She was speaking to Orchid’s Derek Silva on this week’s episode of the Priv8 Podcast.

“Because so much wealth is created, moments when new industries are created are really critical points in history. They provide opportunities to level the playing field,” she said. “So if we don't make sure that people of diverse backgrounds are included in this process, the people that already have the majority of the power and the wealth are able to concentrate it even further.”

For instance, “There are a lot of women in the NFT space, but currently, the majority of wealth around the world is held by men,” Iris said. “So there needs to be a very intentional effort to make sure that women, people of color, and people outside of the United States and Europe are being educated about the opportunities in the NFT space. We need to ensure that they are being given access and exposure to this industry.”

Iris believes that providing more kinds of people with access to the opportunities of the NFT space could help solve a number of social problems. “I think that inequality is at the root of a lot of issues,” she said. “So I think we need to do a much better job of reducing the massive inequality that exists around the world.”

NFTs could be a means of reducing wealth inequality – and not just for creators: “When it comes to the NFT space in particular, I think that we're seeing a good amount of Black artists coming into the space. However, there are not enough Black collectors,” she said.

“Part of the reason for this could be that Black collectors and investors tend to have less money to invest, so they're more risk averse. Another issue is education – there are so many people who have no idea what the value of these assets are, or what the opportunity really is.

Therefore, Iris says that providing more education about NFTs to Black investors could help to grow the industry for Black creators. “At the end of the day, everybody has tastes, everyone has bias, and the average non-Black person may not find Black art as appealing as the average Black person. So to mitigate some of these biases, you have to have people that resonate with those artists in the space collecting NFTs, participating in the space, and spending money.”

Check out the entire conversation with Iris. And don't forget to subscribe to Priv8 on your favorite streaming service.

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Mar 9, 2021
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