Akon is preparing to launch Akoin, a cryptocurrency built on the Stellar network to be released for use in his upcoming “Akon City” in Senegal and throughout all 54 countries on the African continent.
Akoin will be the sole currency used to support Akon City, with the plans finalized on January 13th, 2020, according to this tweet.
Born in Senegal before moving to the United States, Akon began in the public eye as a Grammy-nominated music artist and producer, known for popular hits like “Lonely” (2004) and “Smack That” (2006). More recently, Akon is known for his roles as a philanthropist and entrepreneur. In 2014, he founded “Akon Lighting Africa,” an effort toward a solar-powered solution for 18 countries and an estimated 600 million people without electricity in Africa.
Macky Sall, the President of Senegal, gifted Akon 2,000 acres of land in 2018, this led the singer to announce his idea for a new crypto-powered Akon City. In this CNN interview, Akon says he wants to use blockchain and cryptocurrency to defeat Africa’s widespread corruption problems and help bring power back to the African people.
Africa holds “seven of the world’s ten fastest-growing economies,” according to Brooking’s Foresight Africa 2020 Report, and Akon is on a mission to unlock the continent’s potential using the Akoin platform.
For in the face of this economic growth, there are challenges to success for African citizens. These obstacles range from a lack of sustainable infrastructure to limited training and education opportunities and weak government coordination.
Akoin, and the blockchain technology behind this platform, opens more doors for African citizens. Using Akoin, Africans will have access to the global digital economy straight from their mobile phones. This is especially beneficial for the unbanked, as Akoin users may exchange the token for any crypto or fiat currency supported by the Stellar network.
According to this page in the Brooking’s report, “[by] 2050, Africa will have 362 million young people between the ages of 15 and 24 years old”, but risk financial inclusion with limited jobs available across all industries. To help combat the lack of employment opportunities, one of Akoin’s goals is to stimulate business and innovation across the continent, with a combined focus on “support[ing] youth entrepreneurship.” His focus is on teaching Senegal’s youth to use the Akoin marketplace, and cryptocurrency to learn, earn, spend, and save, providing them with “real-life tools and services…to unlock the power of Africa’s rising economy”.
Akoin is a utility token, meaning that it is the primary currency used for all transactions within the Akoin marketplace. Akoin holders will use the token to pay for and earn money via dApps (decentralized applications) within the Akoin Ecosystem.
The first of these dApps is BitMinutes (BMT), an application where users can convert their Akoin tokens for BMT, or pre-paid mobile phone minutes. This is an important first step, as many communities in Sub-Saharan Africa “use pre-paid cell phone minutes to pay for utilities, goods, and services because of their usable and immediate monetary worth,” from this article by Akoin Official on Medium.
More dApps on the Akoin Ecosystem will include ways for users to earn credit, loans, transfer funds, or seek business partnerships and new job opportunities. People using the Akoin platform will have access to social media marketing and advertising.
The Beta Platform for Akoin is about to launch and those interested can access the early release here.