A Billboard-topping rapper is building a ‘crypto city’ in Africa

Grammy-nominated rapper Akon has received permission to build a crypto powered city in Africa. There are a few outstanding questions though …

The 46-year old American of Senegalese descent posted on Twitter that he has finalised an agreement with the government of Senegal to build the grandly named ‘Akon City’ close to the capital of Dakar.

Akon’s own cryptocurrency called ‘Akoin‘ will be at the centre of what he describes as a “100 per cent crypto based city” and will “bring the power back to the people.”

Akon City has been called a “real life Wakanda” (referencing the fictional home of Black Panther) and will be built on 2000 acres gifted to the platinum selling artists by the President of Senegal, Macky Sall.

To put that in perspective, the site is about five times bigger than Disneyland in California.

Akon is a massive star: he’s had two multi-platinum albums, 27 songs on the Billboard Hot 100, and managed to take out the No.1 and No.2 spots simultaneously on two separate occasions.

Five minutes drive from country’s new airport

The location is about five minutes drive from the West African state’s new international airport, will be built in stages over the next ten years and and will run entirely on renewable energy.

Akon has been a renewable energy advocate and set up the Akon Lighting Africa project in 2014 which provides solar electricity in 18 countries in Africa.

The economy of Akon City will be set up to demonstrate real world usaged of Akon’s forthcoming cryptocurrency Akoin.

The cryptocurrency project includes a ‘less volatile’ currency, an exchange, wallet and marketplace.

It has been in the works for some time but the time line is much delayed from the original launch date of mid-2018.

No white paper as yet

The Billboard topping artist is also yet to release a White Paper for the cryptocurrency project just yet, although the website promises that will be coming sometime before next month.

Micky caught up with Jon Karas, the President and co founder of Akoin recently.

Karas explained that Akon’s level of celebrity in Africa was “bigger than Michael Jackson’s” which meant he can open doors with political leaders in the same way that Bono from U2 has one.

He said the Akoin project was a way of banking the unbanked and that due to rampant inflation and corruption, many people in Africa actually trade mobile phone pre paid minutes as a form of currency.

“They’re often used for all kinds of transactions, whether people are in the market buying fruit or meat or fish or whether they’re putting fuel into their car,” he said.

“People are using that on a daily basis.”

Trade Akoin for pre paid minutes or fiat

Akoin will allow users to exchange coins for pre-paid minutes or local fiat. The vision includes an entire ecosystem of Dapps along micro loans to help develop the economic system across Africa.

The total supply is expected to be around 400 million and it’s important to note while there are charitable aspects of the project, it’s not a non profit project.

“Our mission is not to to provide people with a fish so that they can eat dinner tonight but to give them a fishing line and teach them how to use it so they can feed themselves forever. That’s what we try and do on a daily basis,” Karas said.