Singer Akon is hoping for another hit with his self-named Senegalese city and accompanying cryptocurrency, Akoin.
On Monday, the singer tweeted that he had finalized an agreement to build a 2,000-acre “Akon City” in the West African country, which he has said will be like a “real life Wakanda,” a reference to the futuristic African country in the 2018 film, “Black Panther.” The city will run entirely on Akoin.
Akon, who spent his early years in Senegal before moving to New Jersey, announced plans for the crypto city at the Cannes Lion Festival in 2018, CNN reported at the time. At the festival, Akon explained that he thinks blockchain can be the key to growth in Africa.
“I think that blockchain and crypto could be the saviour for Africa in many ways because it brings the power back to the people,” Akon said. “Cryptocurrency and blockchain technology offer a more secure currency that enables people in Africa to advance themselves independent of the government.”
However, he was upfront about not developing the actual technology himself.
“I come with the concepts and let the geeks figure it out,” he said in 2018.
Akoin will eventually be available in all 54 African countries, according to its website, which also calls it a “uniting crypto-currency for Africa” and says it will “empower Africa.”
The Akoin ecosystem is intended to be not just a currency, but also a way to establish credit, borrow money, access government services, and more. According to the timeline on the website, an Akoin whitepaper and digital wallet should go live by February of this year.
In the rest of 2020, Akon and Akon City plan to expand Akoin, find partners, and continue to develop the crypto city designs.