‘Lonely’ singer Akon has announced he is launching his own cryptocurrency, becoming the latest celebrity to venture into the crypto space.
To be known as the ‘Akoin’, the currency will be used in the Akon Crypto City project, a real-life ‘Wakanda’-style city to be pioneered by Akon in Africa.
Explaining his plans at the Cannes Lions International Festival of Creativity, Akon described the potential for blockchain and cryptocurrency in liberating African economic and financial systems.
“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.”
According to the website for Akoin, Akon Crypto City is already under development, having been presented to Akon by the President of Senegal. Described by Akoin as “a real-life Wakanda”, after the prosperous African city in Black Panther, the project is set to expand across some 2,000 acres of land.
The city is set to have residential, commercial and leisure facilities, including schools, parks and universities. Uniquely, Akon envisages the city will be 100% reliant on his cryptocurrency, in what would serve as an interesting test case for mass cryptocurrency usage.
Cryptocurrencies like bitcoin are considered by some to be a store of value, rather than a functional currency for the time being. However, the ultimate aim of bitcoin according to the original founding whitepaper is to establish a decentralised financial system, in opposition to traditional fiat financial and banking structures.
The Akon Crypto City project could then, in theory, become a test case for the concept in practice.
When pressed on the specifics of the technology behind his plans, Akon confirmed this is not his area of expertise, telling reporters “I come with the concepts and let the geeks figure it out.”
The singer, himself of Senegalese descent, has been increasingly focusing on charity and development work in Africa, including his Akon Lighting Africa project, which aimed to solve issues around energy shortages and power cuts across the continent.