Singer Akon Introduces new Cryptocurrency, ‘Akoin’
Akon, an American Rap and R&B singer, songwriter, entrepreneur, producer, and philanthropist announced his plans to launch a new cryptocurrency called ‘Akoin’. He made this announcement when he was in Cannes, France. The aim of this cryptocurrency is to help people in Africa. While this announcement was initially made in late June, last week there was an update on how the project was going.
Initially, in June, Akon talked about the motivation behind the project. He said,
I think that blockchain and crypto could be the savior for Africa in many ways because it brings the power back to the people and brings the security back into the currency system and also allows the people to utilize it in ways where they can advance themselves and not allow government to do those things that are keeping them down.
Akon retired from music in 2010 and since then has been spending his time in Africa “working on bringing 21st-century stability and infrastructure to underdeveloped regions”. His first big project in Africa was in 2014 through which he set up a charity called ‘Akon Lighting Africa’. The aim of this project was to use solar energy to bring energy and lighting to more than 600 million people in rural Africa who lack access to electricity at home. In the past 4 years, the project claims to have covered 480 communities and installed more than 100,000 solar lamps.
His latest project seems to be even more ambitious and attractive. This project is for a planned city in Senegal that will run its economy on its own cryptocurrency called the ‘Akoin’. According to Akon, the city has been nicknamed the ‘real life Wakanda’, after the kingdom in the movie Black Panther.
The launch party for Akoin was on August 7 and Akon gave some updates to Vice reporter Justin Caffier. He said,
This coin is focused specifically on Africa. Businesses that could be utilized in Africa, the population that can be using it in Africa, and, more importantly than anything, the entrepreneurs that can be developed and honed in Africa.
Akon further added that he believes,
[Akoin]would best serve nations with currencies destabilized by runaway inflation or corrupt governments, as the public ledger of blockchain guards against malfeasance and that it would allow users to “control their own economy and control their own destiny”.
Ryan Scott, a founding partner of Akoin and ICO Impact Group, a crypto investment firm stated that the project is ‘an app store for African entrepreneurship’. He added,
AKoin’s intentions are noble and its feasibility is grounded, noting the lack of transaction fees for users and the myriad ways citizens can earn coins while just going about their daily lives.
Only the businesses that will operate on the Akoin platform will need to pay. Scott further explained,
They don’t call them this in Africa, but at, like, bodegas—wherever you can top off your minutes, you [will be able to] buy AKoin. We’re also striking deals now with point-of-sale providers so you’ll be able to spend it. So, this is really going to be one of the first consumerized cryptocurrency offerings that can be used practically on a day-to-day basis.
While the construction work on the planned city has not yet started, Akon expressed his happiness that the developers are being thoughtful and taking their time. He said,
Dubai faced the same thing. You’re building a city fast and there’s a lot of excitement and a lot of money spent. But it all depends on the person spending the money and how they project their funds to come back. There will be bankers [in the crypto city], financial advisors, business managers, and hedge fund managers. They’ll all be a part of this ecosystem.