Akon Unveils Plans to Enter Crypto Arena
US singer Akon (real name: Aliaume Damala Badara Akon Thiam) is joining the list of celebrities and singers seeking to dip their feet into the complex world of cryptocurrency.
During the Cannes Lions International Festival of Creativity, the 45-year-old artist announced he is launching his own cryptocurrency company dubbed as Akoin as well as use it in his Akon Crypto City, a 100-percent crypto-driven city in Africa.
“I think that blockchain and crypto could be the savior for Africa in many ways because it brings the power back to the people, and brings the security back into the currency system, and also allows the people to utilize it in ways where they can advance themselves, and not allow government to do those things that are keeping them down,” Akon said.
Based on the firm’s official website, the new city, currently in the development stage, is a 2,000-acre land which Senegal president Macky Sall gifted to the American singer. It explained the real-life Wakanda, pertaining to the city featured in Black Panther film and comics, will have several establishments akin to a typical city such as residential buildings, parks, retail stores, and educational institutions, among others.
“AKoin is a new cryptocurrency from visionary changemaker Akon and is the foundation of the AKoin Ecosystem — a unique global project that offers an abundance of digital and in-real-life platforms and experiences that create opportunity and inclusion for youth entrepreneurs by allowing consumers to buy, hold, and spend cryptocurrency right from their smartphone through a suite of blockchain-powered apps,” the website noted.
“I come with the concepts and let the geeks figure it out,” Akon said, describing how he and his team started the initiative.
Prior to this announcement, the singer earlier said he was considering getting into politics, stating he is prepared to face not only President Donald Trump, but Kanye West as well come 2020. “I actually really want Kanye to run,” he added.
“It’s gonna be entertaining, it’s gonna be something worth watching. I’m going to go after Trump and Kanye will get offended because he likes Trump and he’s going to go after me. Then I’m going to go after Kanye and then Trump’s going to get offended because he likes Kanye and he’s going to go after me. And the debate stage will be set where it’s all about me. It’s perfect, a masterplan,” Akon explained.
The Senegal-descent singer is best known for his hit songs such as “Smack That,” “Don’t Matter,” “Sorry, Blame it on Me,” and “Beautiful.” In recent years, Akon has been largely shifting his focus to helping African communities. Four years ago, he launched a project known as Akon Lighting Africa to solve electricity shortage problems in the country.
“Start your career with what you’re great at… not what you want to do. Build your career then chase your passion,” he had said.
Aside from establishing two successful record labels, Konvict Muzik and Kon Live Distribution, Akon also received three nominations for the Grammy Awards in two categories, Best Contemporary R&B Album for Konvicted album and Best Rap/Sung Collaboration for “Smack That” and “I Wanna Love You”.