Akoin co-founder and president Jon Karas said they chose to launch the project on Stellar due to sharing similar values.
“Akoin selected Stellar’s distributed, hybrid blockchain due to a shared vision for creating global financial inclusion, particularly in areas such as Africa,” he explained in a Feb. 28 announcement.
Part of Stellar’s mission is to help bank the unbanked and Akoin’s spokesperson highlighted the fact Stellar was already working with businesses in Africa and could help with the project’s planned Dapps and micro-loans.
Swapping one currency for another
The Akoin utility token will be compatible with Stellar wallets and interoperable with all digital assets and fiat currencies supported by the Stellar network.
Users will be able to instantly swap from one currency to another and Karas cited the Stellar Network’s ability to facilitate “efficient cross-asset transfers of value” as a key factor.
This will help with one of the stated aims of the project, which is to help realize the value of cell phone prepaid minutes. Due to inflation and banking issues, minutes are used as a form of digital currency in some African countries like Nigeria. The Akoin platform will enable users to swap minutes for fiat or other cryptocurrencies.
The spokesperson confirmed that the Akoin token will have a fluctuating price. “Akoin is not a stablecoin, but we will provide access to other leading stablecoin offerings within our eco-system,” he said. The platform also includes a multi-currency wallet and a mobile marketplace where users can “learn, earn, spend and save.”
Focus on the unbanked
Akoin aims to provide financial services to the unbanked across 54 countries in Africa and other developing nations around the world. It will have a total supply of 400 million, although the details are scant. A company spokesperson told Cointelegraph that the white paper will be released next week with all of the tokenomics.
The much-delayed project was originally supposed to launch in mid-2018 but today’s announcement suggests that the revised timetable of early 2020 may be met.
“It’s a global platform that we’re building and Africa is our target market because as we see it now, Africa has the most challenges,” said Akon.
The 46-year-old singer is hugely popular in Africa and intends for Akoin to power the economy of his futuristic, $2 billion Akon Crypto City. The sustainable, eco-tourism smart city is being built over the next decade on 2,000 acres near Dakar, the capital of Senegal which was gifted to the singer by the country’s president.
Akon has launched a number of development and charitable projects in the past including Akon Lighting Africa, which brought solar lighting projects into 18 countries — however, Akoin is a for-profit endeavor.