Akon's New Cryptocurrency Plans to Fuel Opportunities for Entrepreneurs in Africa and Beyond
Photo Credit: Leigh Vogel/Getty Images for Concordia Summit

Akon's New Cryptocurrency Plans to Fuel Opportunities for Entrepreneurs in Africa and Beyond

Rapper turned entrepreneur, Akon shared an official whitepaper where he explained the mechanisms and mission behind his new digital cryptocurrency, Akoin.

Akoin is a block-chain powered cryptocurrency that aims to “unlock the potential of the world’s largest growing workforce by creating learning, earning, spending, and saving opportunities across Africa and other lean economies.”

The Akoin Ecosystem of Decentralized Applications (DApps) and Applications (Apps) will allow users to convert prepaid mobile minutes, a commodity commonly used in Africa, and fiat currency into cryptocurrency thus making it possible for users to transition monetary ecosystems with ease.

Akon explained that mobile minutes are a top trading tool in most African countries.

“We have so many currencies in Africa – a lot of them are unstable, and most of them are untrusted. It got to the point where the day-to-day African people don’t even use the currencies anymore, they’re using their cell phone minutes and credits as a way of trading for basic goods like produce, fish, fruits and things on the market,” Akon told Cointelegraph.

Akon wants Akoin to translate outside of Africa as well, to allow its users to purchase items beyond the continent.

“Ultimately, outside of the villages, you really can’t trade cell phone minutes for anything,” he said. “So we want to utilize that same mindset to take advantage of that mechanism outside of Africa – so even when they leave the continent, they can be able to utilize all of their credits and really be able to purchase real things.”

According to the official Akoin whitepaper release:

Akoin seeks to minimize the barriers to entry for entrepreneurs and small businesses in Africa, while simultaneously providing a gateway for global brands currently struggling to access this demographic.

The Akoin platform and token will leapfrog traditional banking and service platforms currently found in Africa. It will help entrepreneurs overcome the challenges of inflation, restrictive government regulation, and lack of access to leading business tools and services, all from their internet-enabled mobile device.

The platform also has a digital wallet feature so that users can store, send, and receive major crypto-assets via a single point of contact.

In addition to Akoin, Cointelegraph reported Akon also has plans to “unify the African economy” by building Akoincity on 2,000 acres of land in Senegal.