Crypto Across Emerging Markets With Leigh Cuen: Akon's Akoin Project

What happens when a celebrity launches his own cryptocurrency and establishes his own town in Africa?

In this segment we join rapper Akon and Akoin Director Jon Karas as they talk about the Akoin project, which plans to partner with local authorities in two cities, one in Senegal and the other in Kenya. The Akoin project will operate the primary financial serves platforms in both cities instead of local companies or governments alone.

The goal is to create a pan-African cryptocurrency. Since Akon is a Senegalese-American, these deals raise complicated questions about the ethics of diaspora token models built for Africans. He hopes this project will also provide a way for African-Americans to invest in or transact with African businesses, although it's too early to say what form those opportunities might take.

"My biggest thing was to create tools for Africa," Akon said. "My goal was always to empower entrepreneurs there."

CoinDesk's Leigh Cuen and Emerge CEO Lucia Gallardo hosted this candid discussion at Consensus: Distributed about the potential this cryptocurrency project has in 2020.