A 2000 acre crypto-powered city is soon going up in Senegal. The ambitious plan is the concept of award winning music star Akon, who traces his roots to the West African nation. Predictably, the virtual currency that will be used in the new city will be called AKoin.
The singer, songwriter, producer and philanthropist who rose to fame with his single “Locked up” touts cryptocurrency as the “saviour of Africa in many ways”.
Akoin will allow “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,” he is quoted in PageSix’s Panel report.
Akon is at the Cannes Lions to launch the new project. It is not clear how exactly the cryptocurrency will work. Akon himself prefers to leave this to the geeks. Asked about it, he said “I come with the concepts and let the geeks figure it out.”
“The AKoin Ecosystem unlocks the potential of the world’s largest emerging economy through the creation of a stable currency and innovative, revenue-generating opportunities that stimulate and support youth entrepreneurship, economic stability, and growth across Africa and the world. Visitors to the Akon Crypto City expect to experience “a real life Wakanda” the website says in reference to the fictional African country in the movie “Black Panther.”
The project echoes a similar project in the Marshall Islands where a state cryptocurrency is slowly coming off the ground. Iran also announced an experimental cryptocurrency and Venezuela has its own El Petro. Similar blockchain projects are being tested in many countries.
Centre of Transactional Life
“Akon Crypto City” is in development on 2,000 acres of land that the rapper/singer was given by the president of Senegal and will be “a first of its kind 100% crypto-based city with Akoin at the center of transactional life,” a dedicated site about the project states.
The artist was gifted with the piece of land by the Senegalese president. The futuristic city will be developed in the land which 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 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.
The singer has recently been focussing on philanthropy and business ventures in Africa. He is better known for his Lighting Africa project which brings solar power to rural parts in Africa which are often not connected to the grid. Lighting Africa boasts of having reached 28.8 million people so far. The goal is to reach 250 million people by 2030.
The project is supported by the World Bank and recently received a $1billion credit line from China. The Akon Lighting Africa project currently has operations in 18 African countries.
Who knows, given this experience, he might just have what it takes to make such an ambitious project come to life.
During the same panel discussion, the artist revealed his other ambitions to become the next US president. Perhaps, this will give him a greater stage to promote cryptocurrency.
“I’m not holding my tongue. The way I look at it, win or lose, at least I get the movement going, I get the conversation going,” he said.
Cryptocurrencies like bitcoin has become hugely popular in recent years for their convenience and quick transaction times. The sector is however thinly regulated in most countries.