Key Takeaways

  • Akon City has awarded a $6 billion construction contract to KE International, an engineering and consulting firm.
  • The crypto-powered city will rely on Akon’s Stellar token, Akoin.
  • Other celebrities have also become involved in cryptocurrency, though not as publicly as Akon.

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Musical artist Akon has secured a $6 billion contract for a cryptocurrency-powered city in Senegal called Akon City.

Contract Awarded Today

Akon City has awarded its construction contract to KE International, a U.S-based engineering and consulting firm. The firm now has access to $4 billion to complete Akon City’s first and second phases of execution. By 2023, most of the city’s infrastructure will be constructed. By 2024-2029, the city aims to run entirely on the AKOIN cryptocurrency.

Akon City’s partners include tourism agency SAPCO, crypto payments company Bitminutes, and blockchain company Delchain. KE International has also built Mwale Medical and Technology City (MMTC), an ecocity funded by Kenyan entrepreneur Julius Mwale.

The Akoin Cryptocurrency

Akoin is a stablecoin built on the Stellar blockchain. Though it will be heavily used in Akon City, the project also aims to have the coin used as a medium exchange across 54 African countries and on various dApps.

Akoin will also be available through an atomic swap, which will allow users to swap phone minutes, cryptocurrency, and fiat currency. Though ambitious, Akoin has not yet attracted much attention since its announcement in 2018. That may change when Akoin is listed on exchanges later this year.

Celebrity Coins

Akon is not the only celebrity with a cryptocurrency. Miss Iowa winner Jessica VerSteeg launched the now-bankrupt cannabis coin Paragon in 2017. Rapper Gramatik launched a music payment coin called GRMTK in 2017, which is also defunct.

Cred - Crypto that isnt cryptic

Other celebrities have also become involved in existing cryptocurrencies in less involved ways. Ashton Kutcher has donated XRP to charity.  Mike Tyson has endorsed the “Bitcoin revolution” and is leading a blockchain sports media project called “Fight to Fame.” Meanwhile, William Shatner has backed a Bitcoin mining firm called Solar Alliance and is involved in several crypto-related ads.

It’s not clear whether Akoin is in a position to succeed, but its fate will become apparent as it makes progress during the next few years.

Cover image courtesy of Oregon State University “Dam Jam” concert, May 2019.

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