Akon Thiam, or as we popularly know him – Akon. This hip-hop star who first rose into music stardom with his hit single ‘Locked Up’ wants to bring the fictional Wakanda into today’s Africa. But he is not using any Vibranium or some fancy fictional technology to do so, he is using blockchain technology. His is a mission to better the continent of Africa, and not just his home country Senegal.
“When this crypto thing came to light, it became something that I felt would be the solution for Africa,” said Akon.
Akon enthusiasm with blockchain technology can be seen by the decision he took to create his own digital currency called the Akoin. He strongly believes the biggest challenge the continent of Africa faces can be solved by blockchain. In his view, the transparency that comes with cryptocurrency would wash away the rot in many governments across the continent. That is the rot of rampant corruption.
“I think the cause of Africa’s underdevelopment is corruption,” says Akon.
Akon’s view is consisted with the U.S.’s Council of Foreign Relations, which gave out a report of the world’s most corrupt countries. Six of which are in sub-Saharan Africa. The report went further to state that the rampant corruption is robbing the continent of Africa an estimated $150 billion per year.
Akon, much like other supporters of cryptocurrencies, argues that since no person or authority owns the blockchain platform, peer-to-peer transactions do not have to pass through the corruptions, bottlenecks, and regulations fiat currencies do.
For instance, a user of a cryptocurrency can make their purchases, invest, and sell cryptocurrency with another user. And at no point to institutions like banks, investment brokerage firms, or any financial authority come into play. Makin for a very transparent, smooth flow of funds.
Though the user’s personal identity is secured through powerful encryption, the transactions made are done via public addresses that are accessible to anyone. Unlike the conventional financial markets, where the money being exchanged between banks and customers are very secretive and away from the public eyes.
A new avenue for African startups to secure funding
According to Akon, blockchain technology provides tech-centric startups a new avenue for securing funds, especially from international investors. As Akon puts it, a new chance for generating wealth for black and brown people around the world.
Akon wants to use his newly founded, Akoin platform to build a futuristic city just outside Dakar, the capital of Senegal. More details on that, at this link. Ideally, the city will be transacting in the Akoin cryptocurrency.