Rapper Akon is building a new futuristic ‘Crypto city,’ in Senegal, which will trade exclusively in his own digital cash currency called AKoin.
The US-born singer, who is of Senegalese descent, says his futuristic city will be built on a 2,000-acre land gifted to him by the President of Senegal, Macky Sall.
According to its official website, the city will be a five-minute drive from the West African state’s new international airport.
While the city project is still in development, AKoin is expected to launch early July.
The singer– real name Aliaume Thiam– unveiled plans for the city and his currency during a panel at the Cannes Lions festival of creativity, which ended on Friday.
Akon, 45, is more recognized as a business man than a musician these days.
His most recent venture is Akon Lighting Africa which is providing solar power to African countries.
Now he has turned his attention to digital currencies and its underlying blockchain technology. Akon argues that blockchain can enable Africans to become less dependent on their governments.
“I think that blockchain and crypto could be the saviour for Africa in many ways because it brings the power back to the people… Cryptocurrency and blockchain technology offer a more secure currency that enables people in Africa to advance themselves independent of the government,” Akon a the event held in the French city of Cannes.
‘The future is transactional’
His views were echoed by participants at the MEST Africa Summit, where a group of tech experts gathered last week to discuss “trends, challenges and opportunities affecting markets across the continent.”
Tricia Martinez, CEO of zero-fee money app WALA, noted that almost 94% of transactions on the continent are still cash-based.
She blamed the fees charged by financial institutions on transactions as a major setback for adoption.
“Zero fee is how we’re going to solve financial inclusion,” Martinez said.
While attention is given to unbanked Africans, the experts also noted that an increasing number of underbanked Africans had already given up on the financial system due to its inefficiencie