Akoin, the cryptocurrency project of American-Senegalese musician, Akon, is launching imminently in the $2 billion Mwale Medical Technology City, or MMTC, in Western Kenya.
As a newly built city, centred around a state-of-the-art medical and technology complex, MMTC would seem to be the ideal proving ground for the currency, ahead of it becoming the official currency of Akon City, currently under development in Senegal.
During the pilot stage, starting later this month, residents will be able to pay and be paid using Akoin, and instantly convert the currency into cell phone minutes or other forms of exchange.
While the initial roll out will be invite only, it is projected to see 30,000 transactions per month, through the implementation of atomic swaps, merchant services and an Akoin debit card.
By mid 2021, a wider roll out to 35,000 residents, workers at the 5,000-bed Hamptons Hospital and 2,000 merchants is forecast to increase this to 1.5 million transactions per month.
The launch of Akoin in MMTC coincides with its Nov. 11 listing on the Bittrex cryptocurrency exchange, enabling the AKN token to be traded globally.
It marks the first step towards ambitions of increased usage of the cryptocurrency throughout Africa and potentially the rest of the world. In a joint statement, Akon and MMTC founder Julius Mwale said:
“We believe the platform can make serious headway in bringing millions of people into the formal economy, which is a critical step for economic growth.”
As Cointelegraph reported, the Akon Foundation is also setting up a blockchain hub, dubbed the “Kenyan Opportunity Hub” in Mwale Medical Technology City.
Construction on Senegal’s Akon City, where Akoin will be the major currency, is set to begin next year with a projected completion of 2030.
Akoin is described as a utility token, powering atomic swaps between cryptocurrencies, fiat and mobile phone credits, which are a popular store of value in many developing countries.