As part of CNNâs coverage of the Web Summit in Lisbon, CNN Business reporterÂ Hadas GoldÂ spoke to musician and business ownerÂ AkonÂ ahead of the launch of his Akoin cryptocurrency in early 2020.
During the interview, Akon told CNN that he is launching the currency to support the youth of Africa, who are still blighted by corruption and who in their daily lives trust cell phone companies and data minutes (which his cryptocurrency will be linked to) more than local currencies.
On why heâs targeting Africa with this service:
âThe platform is built to be a worldwide platform but Iâm targeting Africa specifically because thatâs where the need is the most. But then of course as you go the neighbouring countries and worldwide most likely they will adapt to it if not currentlyâÂ
On why he has chosen to go into cryptocurrency:
âOne of our biggest issues and biggest problems has always been corrupcy (sic). You know the currency (sic) is the reason why the country has never been built or grown and built to become a superpower. We want to be able to kill that corruption just through the blockchain itself and I think starting with currency is the biggest thing. If you follow the money, you always will follow the truth and thatâs the bottom line. Follow the money, fix the situations, find new solutions and from there the future can be built in Africaâ
On what Africans will gain from cryptocurrency:
âThe main thing theyâll be able to gain is independence and I think being in a position to make your own decision financially is the key; because a lot of the things that are in Africa are not controlled by Africans and I think this will give Africa back its hold on not only its resources but also on their ideas and to be able to live in a better way where they can utilise the continent to their own benefit.