For most celebrities who have become involved with digital currencies, the results have been disastrous, with most cases ending up in lawsuits and scams. Akon is one of the few pushing for positive change through digital currencies through his Akoin project, and as he told CoinGeek Backstage, he believes Africa is in a prime position for advancement through adopting digital currencies.
Akon’s involvement with digital currencies has been mainly through Akoin, a digital currency he developed to be used in Akon Crypto City, a 2,000-acre development in Senegal that some have described as a real-life Wakanda.
“Akoin is to unite the continent,” the Grammy Award-winning singer told CoinGeek’s Becky Liggero. “It’s also to give a younger generation those tools they need to enhance their day-to-day lives. Akoin is going to allow the population to be able to empower themselves.”
Although he was born in Missouri, Akon spent most of his childhood in Senegal in West Africa, his father’s homeland. He would go on to become a multi-platinum selling artist with over 30 Billboard Hot 100 songs.
As the ‘Lonely’ singer told CoinGeek Backstage, he has been in conversation with some central banks over possible partnerships, but “it’s still a very tough conversation.” He says that most are still trying to understand what it is while some are resistant since it goes against ‘the establishment.’
Digital currencies are still a novel concept for many, but Akon believes that it’s a little easier for Africans to get onboard than it is for most other regions.
“We’re doing mobile payments now, and we’ve been doing it since ’98, literally before the whole world. So the adoption is going to be fairly easy,” he stated. Africa also has a very young population, who are “super smart and understand the technology and where it’s going. They just need the overseers to be fair and to put more money into education.”
“The energy here has been amazing,” Akon pointed out. “The group of people that’s been coming here has been really vibrant and open and collaborative.”
Learn more about Blockchain in Africa at the BSV Global Blockchain Convention in Dubai on May 24-26, featuring speakers and thoughtleaders from the region’s blockchain industry. You can book your spot at this year’s biggest blockchain event here.
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