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Senegal: Akon’s Plans For A Crypto ‘Akon City’

Africa remains a continent with vast untapped potential across various sectors, and there are multiple ways in which many entrepreneurs and businesses are looking to tap into this. Finance, technology and tourism are just some of the areas where a lot of growth can be expected in Africa, and this has come to the fore even more with the rise in popularity of cryptocurrencies. The likes of Bitcoin have seen a lot of adoption in various African countries, as many ordinary people look at crypto as a great way to make money quickly. This has been aided by the growing spread of smartphones, as well as the increasing availability of high-speed internet, which has made crypto a lot more accessible than traditional finance and banking channels in Africa.

Crypto is becoming a larger part of our lives, not just in Africa but all over the world, and many industries have begun adopting crypto due to its potential to provide solutions and options that were not previously available. Take the example of the online gambling sector – many sites now offer users the option to use cryptocurrencies to place bets, and so crypto gambling has become one of the most popular options on such sites, making them more popular than regular online gambling sites. Casino is an example of a site, which has seen a lot of new users due to these crypto gambling options, and we can expect this trend to accelerate over the next few months. It can be therefore no surprise to learn that various celebrities are also getting in on this trend, and one of the biggest ones in terms of Africa is the singer Akon, who has launched his own cryptocurrency, Akoin, and is now looking to set up a city in Senegal as well.

Akon has worked on various projects in Africa towards improving the quality of life on the continent, with Lighting Africa being the biggest example of this, which aims to provide electricity to 600 million Africans. However, one of the most ambitious projects is probably the aim to develop ‘Akon City’ in Senegal.

Akon launched Akoin in 2018, and this forms a central part of his plan to develop this city, on 2,000 acres of land gifted to him by Macky Sall, the President of Senegal. The city will run entirely on Akoin, and Akon has said that he wants it to be like a ‘real-life Wakanda’, a reference to the fictional African country seen in the 2018 movie, ‘Black Panther’, which is extremely advanced and futuristic. This focus on crypto and blockchain comes from a belief that these innovations will help give the power back to the people and help them take control of their own future.

Akon has said that he will not have any role in developing the technology or the city itself, only helping to finance the project and then allowing the experts to figure it out. Akoin, the cryptocurrency, will eventually be made available in all 54 African countries, with the aim being to establish a financial ecosystem, allowing users to borrow money, access credit lines, obtain government services, and more. According to plans on the Akoin website, a digital wallet, along with a whitepaper on Akoin, should go live in February 2021. Akoin is still in its beta phase, and users can apply to test the crypto token online, while plans are for more work to take place on the design of Akon City in 2020, along with finding partners and expanding the reach of Akoin.

SOURCE: The Standard

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