Akon to launch his own cryptocurrency called 'Akoin'

The singer thinks "crypto could be the savior for Africa" and intends to use 'Akoin' to to create a “100 percent crypto-based city" in his homeland of Senegal.

                            Akon to launch his own cryptocurrency called 'Akoin'
Akon (Source : Getty Images)

The cryptocurrency rage might have died down somewhat in the last few months, but that's not stopping rap icon Akon from jumping into the game at this late stage. Titled ‘Akoin’, the aim of the cryptocurrency is to reportedly aid the rapper's Lighting Africa initiative – a project that aims to improve Africa’s living conditions through the use of renewable energy, NME reports.

Speaking at a panel during Cannes Lions 2018, the rapper, who was born in Senegal 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 went on to add that as part of the venture, he plans to create a “100 percent crypto-based city” on 2,000 acres of land.


The Akoin website states that “this futuristic city already in development, beginning with 2,000 acres of land gifted to Akon from the President of Senegal, is within 5 minutes of the new international airport, close to the coast and a short drive from Dakar, the capital city of Senegal (Akon’s homeland). Akon Crypto City blends leading Smart City planning designs with a blank canvas for cryptonizing our daily human and business exchanges, towards inventing a radical new way of existence."

Cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin, Ethereum, and thousands of others are decentralized digital currencies that are not controlled by one regulatory body, thus theoretically making it money that puts power in the hands of the holder without involving third parties like banks. While that is a severely over-simplified account, the potential that cryptocurrency holds is yet to be fully understood - even by pundits, experts, miners and traders who are deeply vested in the game.

If you want to get a fairly better idea about "crypto", you could let John Oliver explain it to you in his own inimitably hilarious way here!

It also seems like Akon's own understanding of cryptocurrencies, like most of our own, is quite limited. “I come with the concepts and let the geeks figure it out," he said in Cannes.

Hey, in the world of cryptos, the uniqueness of the idea is half the battle anyway, so we're sure the 'Smack That' hit-maker will have plenty of time to hit the books and catch up.

Of late, there has been a flurry of artistic trends emerging from cryptocurrencies. From 'CryptoKitties' (animated cats built and groomed on the Ethereum network) to cryptocurrency-driven art, to  'Currency Girls' (a cryptocurrency-themed J-pop group), and 'CoinDaddy' - a cryptocurrency-themed rapper- the crypto world is slowly and steadily finding applications in all sorts of unlikely fields. Using it to aid Africa's tumultuous socio-political and financial environment has to be a new one though, and it'll be interesting to see how things pan out for 'Akoin'.