Akon’s crypto-powered futuristic city gets go-ahead

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Musician and producer Akon.
Musician and producer Akon.

US-based musician Akon’s dream of his own “futuristic” and digital currency-powered city in his native country Senegal is set to become a reality.

Taking to his Twitter page, the musician-turned-entrepreneur tweeted: “Just finalized [sic] the agreement for AKON CITY in Senegal. Looking forward to hosting you there in the future.”

The city will exclusively trade in Akon’s own digital currency called Akoin, according to a CNN report.

The Missouri-born rapper announced last year in June his plans to launch a crypto-currency, saying the currency will make its debut at the beginning of this year.

At the time, Akon told CNN Business the currency is aimed at supporting the youth of Africa, many of whom remain excluded from the financial system, as well as root out corruption, through its immutability and transparency qualities.

The company's Web site describes the Akoin ecosystem as one that will unlock the potential of the world’s largest emerging economy through the creation of a trusted crypto-currency with a vision to stimulate and innovate revenue-generating opportunities.

According to Akon, the system, which will be predominantly used via mobile phones, will make use of airtime or cellphone minutes.

The Grammy-nominated artist, whose real name is Aliaune Damala Badara Akon Thiam, has a net worth of $80 million. He shot to fame in 2004 with the release of his album, Trouble. He has since released other albums under his record label, Konvict Muzik.

He has collaborated with artists such as Lady Gaga, Whitney Houston and Gwen Stefani, bringing his contributing efforts as a guest artist to a total of over 300 appearances.

The artist’s electricity initiative, Akon Lighting Africa, which helps source financing for solar panels and smaller lighting projects, has helped over a million households in Africa, since inception in 2014.

The project, which distributes street lamps, domestic and individual solar kits, has employed over 5 000 people who work across 25 African nations.

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