Akon City, a “futuristic cryptocurrency themed city” founded by music mogul Akon, is ready to begin construction in Senegal, after securing $4 billion from investors. The city will exclusively use the “Akoin” digital currency and plans to have parks, universities, schools, a stadium, hotels, and more. It will be the de facto currency in a Senegalese city he’s constructing on land donated by the government. Will cryptocurrencies become the tool that puts African nations on the path to overcoming their economic challenges?
The Breakdown You Need To Know:
Akoin, is now part of the nearly 1,600 cryptocurrencies trading around the world in an industry with a market capitalization of more than $267 billion, according to data from CoinMarketCap. The digital currency was originally announced in 2018 and CultureBanx reported that along with his team they plan to build a whole ecosystem around Akoin, including construction of the city and initiatives to support young entrepreneurs.
“Akoin is a cryptocurrency powered by a marketplace of tools and services fueling the dreams of entrepreneurs, business owners, and social activists as they connect and engage across the rising economies of Africa and beyond,” according to the project’s website.
More than 60% of people in Africa are under 25 years old, unbanked, and heavily rely on mobile phones to do everything. This means Akoin could really take off across the continent, since 6 of the 10 fastest-growing economies are in Africa. In 2034, Africa is expected to have the world’s largest working-age population of 1.1 billion, according to the World Economic Forum Forum, which also projects that the continent’s consumers will spend $2 trillion by 2025.
Crypto CIty Concerns:
Many African governments have expressed skepticism about the viability of cryptocurrencies. Zimbabwe’s Reserve Bank banned banks from processing digital currency payments only for the country’s High Court to reverse the order. South Africa’s Revenue Service recently published guidance on how it would tax cryptocurrencies sparking debate about their classification. Kenya’s Central Bank has slow-walked issuing regulations on cryptocurrencies.
All of this skepticism relates to concerns these countries have about the riskiness of digital currencies and the potential for people in these countries to lose money. While it may seem far-fetched to some people, integrating blockchain technology into city building has been gaining traction in recent years. Though none of the projects have been successfully realized yet.Time will tell whether cryptocurrencies like Akoin will bring stability to African economies or leave consumers wishing they had kept their money in traditional currencies.
Akon joins a host of other celebrities involved in cryptocurrencies. For example, Nas is an investor in cryptocurrency trading platform Coinbase. The Game is on the advisory board at Paragon, a cryptocurrency startup tailored to the marijuana industry.
Akon City’s phase 1 is expected to be completed by the end of 2023. It will include road construction, a Hamptons Hospital campus, a Hamptons Mall, residences, hotels, a police station, a school, a waste facility and a solar power plant. Phase 2 will run from 2024 to 2029, will you be visiting?