AKOIN: Blockchain for Social Good

Young African entrepreneurs don’t have it easy when it comes to starting and expanding new businesses.

From an early age, the best and brightest on the continent often simply don’t have access to the fundamentals they need to be successful. We see this across the board: from disparities in early education ranging from access to gender equity, which typically continue on throughout later life, to persistent business-ending conditions including currency instability, inflation and a lack of banking services.

Even though smartphone technology and the Internet continue to make our world more connected than ever, many hard-working individuals across the continent still have limited access to global innovation and to opportunities that are easily accessible in other countries.

Yet at the same time, thanks to a rapidly growing population and improving economic realities, Africa holds the greatest untapped potential for business in our lifetime, and is already beginning to ready itself for transformative levels of growth.

How can we improve the odds for African entrepreneurs?

The Akoin crypto ecosystem, chaired and co-founded by Grammy-nominated, multi-platinum selling artist, producer, entrepreneur, and philanthropist, Akon, aims to interrupt the cycle entrepreneurs have historically faced by intervening at key moments on this education-to-infrastructure continuum.

By providing a range of of digital and real-life tools and experiences that offer young African entrepreneurs what they need to flourish in their rising economies, Akoin will empower participants to learn, earn, spend and save cryptocurrency from their smartphones.

Of American-Senegalese descent, Akon is recognized as one of the most powerful voices across Africa and the Diaspora, named to the Forbes Celebrity 100 & 40 Most Powerful Celebrities in Africa lists. Through Akon Lighting Africa, he has already brought solar power to 18 countries in Africa, creating safety, health and well-being for over 100M of the 600M Africans who lack electricity today.

Just as Akon Lighting Africa tackled the fundamentals of safety, security and sustainability that are required for a healthy economic condition, so with Akoin, he and his team are designing a blockchain ecosystem that will eliminate core technology infrastructure challenges.

The Akoin Ecosystem is grounded in 4 main service offerings:

Akoin Marketplace

To overcome the confusion inherent in the current disconnected paradigm, entrepreneurs require a single point of direct access -- a one-stop-shop where applications can be created, stored, and shared by users, and does not require a middleman to oversee (or, halt) progress. The Akoin ecosystem will have its own marketplace for entrepreneurs to build their own DApps. It will also provide earning, saving and spending opportunities. Stickiness is encouraged in unique ways -- for example, participants will get discounts for using cryptocurrency and have access to special reward programs.  

Exchange

As goods and services trade, entrepreneurs will, naturally, begin to realize revenues. But how do you safely account for and store these revenues if the geopolitical conditions where you live and work are incredibly unstable? The Akoin ecosystem will attempt to address these issues by providing consumers with their own personal multi-currency digital wallets. The service is essential to freeing up - and shoring up - entrepreneurial endeavors: it offers the opportunity to trade different DApp crypto-currencies in and out of the Akoin system, and provides a safe, trusted place to house and trade currency even when under unpredictable external factors.

Trusted Currency

Unstable currency has long been the bane of African entrepreneurs. Akoin seeks to remedy this while ensuring customers feel safe and secure while they are completing transactions within the marketplace. Akoin is being built on blockchain technology, where all users’ transactions will be recorded after authentication and verification. The users’ data will then be synchronized between multiple devices and will benefit from complete transparency. Akoin cryptocurrency can also be converted into prepaid minutes or a local fiat. Having a more stable currency, backed by the security of a blockchain ledger, builds confidence -- a critical piece of helping entrepreneurs be willing to enter into the always somewhat risky world of starting and growing a business.

Marketing

After ensuring entrepreneurs have the fundamental tools they need to do business  -- a marketplace, an exchange and a trusted currency -- it’s then essential to provide a place for them to advertise their products and services. The Akoin ecosystem seeks to create an enormous marketing platform for these brands and foundations, giving them a place to interact with each other, as well as the world around them.

With each of these pillars in place, Akoin seeks to level the playing field and ensure opportunity for everyone in Africa and, ultimately, other rising economies.