Senegalese-American singer and Grammy award winner, Akon, has launched his own digital currency that will be called Akoin.
According to his public statement on the Akoin digital currency, the currency will be used in his proposed Akon City, a 2,000-acre development in Senegal, his home country.
When he was asked what led to the idea of Akoin, he told Bloomberg that he tried to convert some of Senegal’s currency to euros during a trip from Dakar to Paris a few years back, he was met with resistance. An employee at the currency exchange counter in France told him, “Unfortunately, we don’t take those.”
“I’m like, ‘What?’” Akon recalled in a recent phone interview with Bloomberg News. He hadn’t had time to convert one currency to the other before he left for his trip and was stuck with a pocketful of CFA francs — the currency used in many French-speaking West African countries, including Senegal — and nowhere to spend them.
“It really just opened my eyes,” said Akon, 47, in the interview. “That really catapulted the energy to say ‘We have to have our own currency. I don’t care what it takes — we’re going to fix this.’”
Akon who said he is a crypto fan for years (he invested in Bitcoin in 2014). He announced potential plans for Akon City in 2019 and finalized a land agreement with the Senegalese government earlier this year.
However, Akon did not state when the initial coin offering, ICO, will be held. He did not also state when the development will begin construction. It is not clear if he planned to raise funds for the construction through the digital currency’s ICO.
Akon, is a Senegalese-American singer, songwriter, record producer, entrepreneur, philanthropist and actor from New Jersey. He rose to prominence in 2004 following the release of “Locked Up”, the first single from his debut album Trouble (2004), followed by the second single “Lonely.”
He later founded two successful record labels, Konvict Muzik and KonLive Distribution. The labels served as a stepping stone for many soon-to-be successful acts, such as Lady Gaga, T-Pain, R. City, Kardinal Offishall, and Red Café. His second album, Konvicted (2006) received three nominations for the Grammy Awards, Best Contemporary R&B Album and Best Rap/Sung Collaboration for “Smack That” and “I Wanna Love You”. The album spawned four top-ten hits in the US, “Smack That,” “I Wanna Love You,” “Don’t Matter,” and “Sorry, Blame It on Me.” His third studio album Freedom (2008) was lead by the single “Right Now (Na Na Na).”