African-American singer, Akon is channeling a chunk of his fortune into cryptocurrency sector. Akon’s investment in the world’s cryptocurrency sector is scheduled to berth a unique and new coin, AKoin.
AKoin is strategically built by Akon to create benefits for those on African soil, disadvantaged by political and social circumstances.
Earlier this year, Akon announced he would be launching his own cryptocurrency called Akoin. Months after the singer/producer revealed his plans, he sat down with Revolt TV’s Drink Champ series to discuss the venture and why people should invest in his crypto.
“So, what you’re investing in is the future of Africa, when you invest in Akoin,” he said (7:11), before explaining his decision to launch Akoin. “[…] I realized that this crypto is going to be the future in currency. I just watch how things changed drastically in time to digital […] Crypto is going to become the next digital currency. So if you don’t invest in that now, if you don’t see that coming, you’re a fool.”
Akon went on to explain how blockchain technology works and how crypto—such as Bitcoin and Monero—is only valuable because people think it’s valuable. He compared this concept to sneakers, and how certain models are worth more because consumers covet them. Of course, there are other factors that drive crypto price, but Akon’s explanation lays out the main factor in crypto value: confidence.
“Crypto isn’t really back by nothing—like, Bitcoin ain’t backed by anything,” he said. “It’s backed by the popularity and the trust factor […] That’s any currency, it’s whatever the people say it’s worth.”
Akon went on to encourage both aspiring and experienced entrepreneurs to invest in Akoin. He revealed the crypto will be up for purchase next month and will be available on various platforms.
“It’s going to be everywhere—I mean, Akoin is actually going to be in more places than Bitcoin itself,” he claimed. “Because in Africa we have an open platform.”
Akon goes on to talk about his mission to provide electricity throughout Africa with the use of solar grids. He also said he first got the idea when it became difficult to put on live performances in certain places.
“We were trying to do concerts in certain parts of Africa but we couldn’t’ do it because there was no electricity,” he explained (12:11). “[…] And there was an area where there was electricity, but when we went to go do the concert, before the second song even came on, all the lights went out. And that’s when I was, like, ‘Man, something’s gotta give here.’ And that’s what triggered it.”
‘Crypto is internet boom for Africa’
But Rasheed Alabi, a risk management analyst, says Africans see cryptocurrencies as a means of achieving financial independence and escaping the continent’s ailing economies.
“We missed the internet boom, crypto is another opportunity for us,” Alabi says.
With African governments tightly controlling several sectors including banking and internet access, Africa’s crypto evangelists say blockchain offers an instrument that the government cannot regulate.
“Governments around the world are already losing their voice when it comes to becoming their citizens’ financial and security advisers. People don’t trust the government anymore and the global liberalist movement is fast rising,” Alabi told CNN.
However, a major obstacle that Akon’s AKOin must overcome is regaining the trust of some Africans who are wary after losing savings to online investment ventures and ponzi schemes such as MMM.
Data shows that investment in cryptocurrency is growing In Africa, South Africans and Nigerians are the highest ranked African countries with the largest volume of cryptocurrency transactions, according to data from CryptoCompare.
Instead of continuing to oppose its adoption, Alabi said African governments need to get on board and share Akon’s vision by keeping an open policy, he says.
Some African governments are already taking steps to embrace blockchain technologies.
In Ghana, it is being deployed by the land registry to tackle fraud. Kenya is boosting remittances with the technology while in South Africa, it is being used for identity verification.