Time to Stack Your Akoins? Akon Gets In on Cryptocurrency, Says It Could Be ‘the Savior for Africa’

Akon, looking like a bag of Akoins
Akon, looking like a bag of Akoins
Photo: Neilson Barnard (Getty Images for Avakian)

Akon is no stranger to innovation. In 2014 the Senegal-born singer launched Lighting Africa, an initiative that is bringing solar power across the continent.


Now Akon has up his sleeve another innovation intended to better the lives of Africans: Akoin, a brand of cryptocurrency that he says could be “the savior for Africa.”

Akon announced his plans at Cannes Lions on Tuesday, according to the New York Post’s Page Six.

“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,” the 45-year-old hitmaker said during a panel.

He added that digital currency “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.”

The cryptocurrency won’t be available for another two weeks, but it already has a site. Akon has also planned an “Akon Crypto City,” already in development, that will sit on 2,000 acres of land in Senegal, just outside the capital, Dakar.

The city will be “a first of its kind 100% crypto-based city with Akoin at the center of transactional life,” according to the site.


But don’t ask Akon technical questions about the currency. Fielding technical questions about the blockchain, Akon replied, “I come with the concepts and let the geeks figure it out.”

Akon has joined the likes of celebrities Donald Glover, DJ Khaled, Mike Tyson and the Game—all of whom have either expressed an interest in bitcoin, an older cryptocurrency, or started ventures or partnerships involving digital currency.


During the session, Akon also discussed a possible presidential run. (We think this is a joke, but also, this is 2018.) He said he’s already got the debates all mapped out.

“It’s gonna be entertaining, it’s gonna be something worth watching,” Akon said. “I’m going to go after [Donald] 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 master plan.”

Staff writer, The Root.


Vincent Price's Laugh

I’m concerned by how much of this project is centered around him. I appreciate that he is actually from the place that he is trying to fix the issues of but I have the same reservations about him as I do Elon Musk eyeing Puerto Rico to test out his ideas. The population is not a computer simulation. These are real people who already have a lot of issues stemming from imperialism. If it turns out well, these men are owed everything, and they’ve never even pretended to be altruistic. If it turns out poorly, what new problems will they have to contend with? I’m hopeful but skeptical.