Connect with us

News

What is happening with Akon’s 2020 Announcement of Akon City

Published

on


It was billed as a futuristic city on the Atlantic Ocean that would bring opportunity and prosperity to Senegal and Africa. But as of today, the construction of Akon’s “real life Wakanda” has not begun.

Akon is best known for his string of Noughties hits, including “Lonely” and “Smack That.” In recent weeks, however, he has reentered the public consciousness for other reasons. On an episode of The ZeZe Millz Show, he referred to attending his children’s recitals as a “white man ting.”

“No, that’s a white man’s ting. Who gives a f**k about a recital? Seriously, my job is to raise my kids, to be responsible, to be understanding, to protect their mother, to give [a] hand and assist with family planning and be a responsible adult…”

He has also defended Kanye West after his strange defenses of Hitler, saying he generally shows “support for opinion” and that we should “open our minds.” At no point did Akon explicitly agree with West’s outbursts.

However, before his recent appearances in the press, Akon had reinvented himself as one of crypto’s early celebrity champions. Although, in the past couple of years, he is no less controversial in the crypto world either. 

In September 2020, Akon gathered a pack of journalists on a barren patch of land on the Senegalese coast, where he planned to build his ultra-modern metropolis powered with his own cryptocurrency, Akoin (AKN). The city, which would take his own name, would be a “real-life Wakanda” that promoted economic development and financial inclusion in Africa. Exactly how this would happen has always been unclear. This becomes a running theme.

The musician has said that despite delays, which he attributes to the COVID-19 pandemic, the project is “100,000% moving.”

Akoin: A Coin For Africa, Apparently

Akon’s first foray into the world of crypto came with Akoin (AKN), which began trading in September 2021. With no sense of irony, its website states that Akon “will be used as a common medium of transfer between Africa’s 54 countries.” Of course, the intent is not the same as reality. 

Akoin reached its all-time high price of $0.582058 on February 16, 2021, according to CoinGecko. At the time of writing, it is currently trading at a 97% decrease at $0.017884. However, the coin only became available to trade in many major markets (including the U.S.) in September 2021, according to a press release. Currently, Akoin is not available on any of the major exchanges.

In March of last year, a disgruntled former business partner Devayne Stephens said Akoin and Akon City resembled a Ponzi scheme. In court filings dated March 7, 2022, his team said:

“The Akon City and Akoin ventures have many of the trademark characteristics (known as ‘red flags’) of fraudulent business ventures such as Ponzi schemes and pyramid schemes. Therefore, it is likely that Akon City and Akoin are part of a fraudulent money-raising scheme.”

However, in the Spring of last year, the project claimed some success with a pilot at Mwale Medical Technology City, a “$2 billion community-owned sustainable city with 35,000 residents.” Residents could pay and be paid using Akoin and have the transactions converted into cell phone minutes or other forms of exchange immediately. According to a spokesperson, full implementation and rollout were expected in September 2022, with plans for an eventual national rollout across Kenya. 

At the time of writing, BeInCrypto could find no evidence of wider implementation or any media reports suggesting the project had moved beyond the pilot stage. 

“A Real Life Wakanda”

Akon City and Wakanda – the fictional Afrofuturist city from the Marvel comics – do share one thing in common, neither of them exists. According to a BBC report and Google Maps, the proposed site of the project remains bare. One nearby resident told the BBC that “We thought we could work on it, but at this pace, maybe our children will.”

The project was initially called “Crypto City” and its residents and businesses would use Akoin as the default method of payment. Since then the Central Bank of West African States (BCEAO), which manages the CFA Franc, has raised legal concerns about the plans.

Akon City Senegal Google Maps
Source: Google Maps

Located on 2,000 acres of land gifted to Akon by the president of Senegal, the city is intended to be a hub for technology and innovation, with a focus on sustainability and economic empowerment. Akon apparently has a 50-year lease on the land co-signed by the current President, Macky Sall. 

The Project Will Reportedly Break Ground This Year

According to Akon, the city will include a tech hub, a school, and Africa’s “largest hospital,” all of which will be powered by renewable energy sources. The city is also intended to be a hub for entertainment and leisure, with plans for a hotel, a mall, and other attractions.

Despite delayed plans to begin construction, the project will reportedly break ground this year. Akon revealed in an interview last October that his city will be ready for residents by 2026, and complete by 2036. “We still have the three-year window for the first phase to be done, and our goal is for the first phase to be done by 2026 to make the junior Olympics in Senegal.”

The development of Akon City has not been without controversy, however. Some have raised concerns about the transparency of the project, as well as the potential for it to displace local communities. Akon and his team have stated that they are working to address these concerns and to ensure that the development of Akon City is done in a way that benefits all stakeholders.

Disclaimer

All the information contained on our website is published in good faith and for general information purposes only. Any action the reader takes upon the information found on our website is strictly at their own risk.



Source link

We only source and collect valueable knowledge and information and do display it for public good (under the freedom of information act)

All image + text copyrights belong to their respectful owner, we do NOT claim any rights over those.

Continue Reading
Click to comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

News

US Treasury Sanctions Hit Russian Arms Dealer’s Crypto Wallets

Published

on

By



The U.S. Department of the Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) has imposed full blocking sanctions on 22 individuals and entities across several countries, including Russia and Cyprus, as part of its sanctions evasion network that supports Russia’s military-industrial complex.

The sanctions were imposed under Executive Order 14024 and are part of the U.S.’s strategy to target sanctions evasion globally, close key channels, and limit Russia’s access to revenue for its war in Ukraine.

US Treasury Goes After Russian Arms Dealer’s Cryptos

The U.S. Treasury’s sanctions were imposed by the Russian Elites, Proxies, and Oligarchs (REPO) Task Force, a multilateral effort to identify, freeze, and seize assets of sanctioned Russians worldwide. This task force leverages information from international REPO partners and key data from Treasury’s Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN) to share information, track Russian assets, and sever Russian proxies from the international financial system.

The REPO Task Force aims to maximize the impact of multilateral sanctions while preventing opportunities for Russia to evade or circumvent U.S. and partner sanctions.

The primary target of the sanctions is a Russian sanctions evasion network led by Russia and Cyprus-based arms dealer Igor Zimenkov and his son Jonatan Zimenkov. The Zimenkov network has been involved in projects related to Russia’s defense capabilities, including supplying a Russian company with high-tech devices after Russia’s full-scale invasion of Ukraine. They have also supported sanctioned state-owned Russian defense entities, Rosoboroneksport OAO and State Corporation Rostec, which are critical components of Russia’s military-industrial complex.

Igor and Jonatan Zimenkov have worked closely together to enable Russian defense sales to third-party governments and have engaged directly with Rosoboroneksport’s potential clients to facilitate sales of Russian defense material. Igor Zimenkov has also supported the Belarusian military-industrial complex by enabling the sales efforts of State Owned Foreign Trade Unitary Enterprise Belspetsvneshtechnika in Latin America.

Today, Igor Zimenkov was designated for operating in the defense and related materiel sector of the Russian Federation economy, while Jonatan Zimenkov was designated for having materially assisted, sponsored, or provided financial, material, or technological support for Igor Zimenkov, Rosoboroneksport, and other sanctioned entities.

The Zimenkov network used front companies to funnel money and maintain a lawful appearance. Singapore-based Zimenkov network shell company Asia Trading & Construction PTE Limited and its director, Serena Bee Lin Ng, have sold helicopters to clients in Africa on behalf of the Zimenkov network. Additionally, Cyprus-based Zimenkov network shell company Lobster Management Limited and its director, Mikhail Petrov, have facilitated sanctions evasion by providing support to sanctioned entities.

The Treasury’s OFAC continues to work with its international partners to coordinate information sharing and enforcement and to travel the world in pursuit of sanctions evasion. The sanctions imposed today are a clear signal to Russia and its military-industrial complex that the U.S. and its partners are committed to tightening sanctions enforcement and preventing the evasion of international sanctions.

Disclaimer

BeInCrypto has reached out to company or individual involved in the story to get an official statement about the recent developments, but it has yet to hear back.



Source link

We only source and collect valueable knowledge and information and do display it for public good (under the freedom of information act)

All image + text copyrights belong to their respectful owner, we do NOT claim any rights over those.

Continue Reading

News

Digital Wallet Growth Will Enable More Closed-Loop Transactions

Published

on

By


Crypto and fintech investment firm Ark Invest has made bold predictions about digital wallets, estimating that more than half the world will soon be using at least one.

In its Jan. 31 ‘Big Ideas 2023’ research report, Ark Invest revealed that digital wallet global population penetration is currently 40%. This equates to around 3.2 billion users, the firm added.

However, the research suggests that the number of online wallet users will increase at an annual rate of 8%. The firm predicted that this will result in a global population penetration of 65% by 2030:

“Having onboarded billions of consumers and millions of merchants, digital wallets could transform the economics associated with traditional payment transactions, saving them nearly $50 billion in costs.”

It also noted that digital wallets were gaining market share in online and offline transactions. Cash is definitely in decline, accelerated by government initiatives to go digital, as recently seen in Nigeria.


Payment method trends - Ark Invest
Payment method trends – Ark Invest

Digital Wallet Growth to Continue

Ark reported that digital wallets were scaling faster than accounts at traditional financial institutions. Furthermore, U.S. digital wallet adoption rebounded in 2022, surpassing previous highs following a COVID-induced dip.

The firm estimates that U.S. digital wallet users will increase by 7% annually during the next eight years. This will be a growth of around 160 million in 2022 to more than 260 million by the end of the decade.

Digital wallet user growth - Ark Invest
Digital wallet user growth – Ark Invest

Furthermore, online wallets are enabling “closed-loop” ecosystems. This is where consumers and merchants can transact directly, cutting out the middleman. 

“Digital wallets are onboarding millions of merchants to platforms that enable direct consumer-merchant transactions that disintermediate traditional financial institutions,” it noted.

In this closed-loop environment, wallet providers capture more value per transaction, enabling savings to be shared with merchants and consumers.

Open and Closed Lopp transactions - Ark Invest
Open and Closed Lopp transactions – Ark Invest

Additionally, Ark noted that closed-loop transactions could boost the margin structure of wallet providers.

It used Block Inc. (formerly Square) as an example, stating that it paid around 60% of customer transaction fees to third parties in 2022. The fees were paid for interchange, assessment, processing, and bank settlement fees. Block’s net take rate could more than double if customers transacted directly with merchants.

Block Inc. fee structure - Ark Invest
Block Inc. fee structure – Ark Invest

Closed Loop Transactions Could Top 50%

Finally, Ark predicted that these closed-loop transactions could account for over 50% of digital payments by 2030.

It used China as an example where wallets and merchants are largely internal or domestic only.

Closed loop cost savings - Ark Invest
Closed loop cost savings – Ark Invest

In conclusion, digital wallet growth is set to continue. Cutting out the intermediary which they facilitate is beneficial to both the consumer and merchant.

Disclaimer

BeInCrypto has reached out to company or individual involved in the story to get an official statement about the recent developments, but it has yet to hear back.



Source link

We only source and collect valueable knowledge and information and do display it for public good (under the freedom of information act)

All image + text copyrights belong to their respectful owner, we do NOT claim any rights over those.

Continue Reading

News

Strike Launches Lightning Remittances in the Philippines

Published

on

By


Bitcoin fintech giant Strike rolled out its Lightning Network money transfer service Send Globally in the Philippines, a $35 billion remittance market.

Send Globally launched in the Southeast Asian country on Jan. 31, 2023, enabling businesses and tourists to receive international money transfers in the Philippine peso. The country receives $35 billion in remittances globally.

How Strike’s Send Globally Service Works

“Remittances are a broken system and Strike delivers an incredibly empowering experience for people to send money around the world in nearly an instant,” Strike CEO Jack Mallers said.

According to a press release, Strike’s remittance service converts a sender’s fiat into Bitcoin and sends the Bitcoin to a Strike partner in the destination country using the Lightning Network, which in the case of the Philippines, is Pouch.ph. Pouch.ph then converts the Bitcoin to the recipient’s fiat currency and credits their bank or mobile money account, with Strike shielding both parties from the tax implications of handling Bitcoin directly.

Bitcoin’s Lightning Network is a layer-two solution on the Bitcoin blockchain that allows micropayments between nodes over a payment channel. Unlike traditional payment networks, Lightning’s low fees enable almost zero-cost remittances.

Recently, Mallers announced a trial to bring Bitcoin Lightning Network payments to retailers through a partnership with Fiserv’s point-of-sale solution Clover Commerce. The trial allows any application with Lightning capability to pay Bitcoin for goods and services at Clover merchants.

Philippine Smartphone and Internet Adoption Auger Well for Strike

Send Globally rolled out to Strike users in Ghana, Nigeria, and Kenya on Dec. 6, 2022, where it has reportedly gained rapid traction.

However, mainstream adoption in the Philippines will depend heavily on network effects, driven by smartphone and internet penetration.

According to Statista, the number of smartphone users will increase from 85 million in 2022 to 87 million by 2023. Additionally, forecasts suggest smartphone users will increase to 91.5 million in 2025, representing roughly 83% of the island nation’s population.

Smartphone Adoption in the Philippines
Smartphone Adoption in the Philippines | Source: Statista

Additionally, Statista predicts that about three-quarters of the population will have internet access by the end of 2023. Growing internet access increases the chance of Strike’s success, since it helped drive adoption of crypto game Axie Infinity.

For Be[In]Crypto’s latest Bitcoin (BTC) analysis, click here.

Disclaimer

BeInCrypto has reached out to company or individual involved in the story to get an official statement about the recent developments, but it has yet to hear back.



Source link

We only source and collect valueable knowledge and information and do display it for public good (under the freedom of information act)

All image + text copyrights belong to their respectful owner, we do NOT claim any rights over those.

Continue Reading

Trending

Copyright © 2022 Cryptonewsafrica.com