You can be a huge Marvel fanatic or maybe you’re not, but, in any case, we all have to admit the greatness of the most technologically-advanced country in their universe: Wakanda. In our humble little world, we’re still yearning for a place like that, full of flying ships, almost magical cures and super-laser-shields against enemies. We would love the trained rhinos too.
The king of this fictional country was the young T’Challa, also known as Black Panther. The first character’s appearance was in 1966, but we can say his popularity all around the world exploded in 2018 when Marvel’s Black Panther movie was released. This is now the 12th highest-grossing film of all time, and who brought to life this king was the amazing actor Chadwick Boseman.
He didn’t start as a king, though. We saw the prince’s father died before his movie (in the Marvel Cinematic Universe), and by then we learned the Wakandian thoughts about death: “In my culture death is not the end. It’s more of a stepping-off point. You reach out with both hands and Bast and Sekhmet (the gods), they lead you into the green veldt where you can run forever”.
Chadwick is now running free as well, since he sadly died at his home as a result of complications related to colon cancer on August 28. We didn’t know about this diagnosis till the end, despite it had been there since 2016, it had been there while he was fighting as Black Panther and other characters. Chadwick, as much as T’Challa, was a true warrior himself.
Nevertheless, amid the deep sadness his death caused to millions of fans all around the world, there’s still good news: Wakanda, the dreamed country ruled by T’Challa, could become a reality in a couple of years. And this one includes cryptocurrencies.
The Akon City
Two years ago, the Senegalese-American singer, entrepreneur and philanthropist Aliaune Damala Badara Akon Thiam (better known as Akon) announced the creation of “Akon City”, a futuristic oasis in sub-Saharan Africa. Pretty much like Wakanda and described, indeed, as a “real-life Wakanda”.
At the end of this August, Akon just revealed new advances and plans for this dreamed city. In the first place, we can say it’ll be located in Senegal, around 50 kilometers from the capital of Dakar, in “the grassy fields in Mbodienne”.
There will lie seven districts with numerous water-like designed buildings and different services: African Culture Village, Offices and Residential, Entertainment, Health and Safety, Education, Technology, and “Senewood”.
African Culture Village will count with a business center, resort, spa, restaurants, hotels, night clubs, chalets, and an open market of two stories. The Offices and Residential district will have six residential buildings of 30 stories, two office buildings of 36 stories, and 4 smart parking structures with 15 stories each one. The Entertainment District will consist of 30 stories building for casino and resort, five stories building mall with retails, cinema, and fashion zone, another 30 stories building for resort and spa, and an eight stories multi-functional stadium for sports activities.
Meanwhile, the Health and Safety district is planned to have hospitals, outpatient centers, police and fire station. The Education district will be a campus of three big buildings to accommodate MIT, Berkeley, Harvard, and Stanford students and personal, with faculty housing towers, classrooms, libraries, offices, auditoriums, and computer rooms.
For its part, the Technology district will be included “to facilitate the production and commercialization of advanced technologies” (like our blockchain, we suppose). To reach this objective, will provide scientific research institutes and laboratories, supportive business infrastructure, information and telecommunications services, financial consulting and legal assistance; everything inside its four big buildings.
Finally, the Senewood district is meant to be “the largest full-service production studios in Africa” within the high Akon Tower of 68 stories, the Media Tower of 31 stories, and its four filming studios.
This gigantic project, the Akon City, will have a $6 billion cost, which one-third was already reached from private investors. The engineering and consulting firm KE International will be responsible to build this community, as already did with the Mwale Medical and Technology City (MMTC), a sustainable metropolis in Kenya that has to do something with the Akon’s project too, as we’re about to discover.
The fuel designed to feed this smart city isn’t the West African CFA franc (XOF) of Senegal, but its own new cryptocurrency: Akoin Token. This one is a Stellar-based token that will be exchanged in Stellar DEX, other traditional crypto-exchanges, integrated atomic swaps, and through what its creators call a “Trusted Agent Network” conformed by authorized agents or “human ATMs”. These people would offer a practical way to cash out (and cash in) the tokens.
The Akoin will be the central currency of all those businesses in Akon City, but not only that. It’s also the main medium of exchange for its own Dapp marketplace, it’s planning to expand for the local merchant’s POS, to be “a common medium of transfer between Africa’s 54 countries” and it’ll also be the sole currency for the aforementioned MMTC, valued in 2 billion dollars.
According to its White Paper, it’ll be launched in an Initial Exchange Offering (IEO) at some point in 2020 or maybe even 2021 because of the pandemic. The exchange that will conduct the IEO it’s not yet defined, but only 10% of the total supply will be sold there. The rest will be distributed in some way to users on the ground in Africa.
Afterward, this token and its ecosystem will be driven and boost by the Akoin Foundation, also in charge of investing in new Dapps related to sectors like remittances, micro-lending, WiFi, solar power, education, charity, and health services, all of them much needed in the region.
When will the Akon City and its token be ready?
Perhaps you’re already thinking of paying a visit to this amazing city and use akoins, but there’s still a ways to go. The IEO hasn’t been announced to date, and, according to Akon, the construction barely begins in 2021 and just the first phase of the project could take at least three years. The whole city would be complete by 2029 or later, running on the Akoin currency.
It’s not an easy, fast, or cheap project, but Akon believes it worth it. He hopes the Akon City become a much-needed source of employment in Senegal, and serve as “home back home” for Black Americans and others facing racial injustices around the continent and the world. The star also commented:
“The system back home treats them unfairly in so many different ways that you can never imagine. And they only go through it because they feel that there is no other way (…) So if you’re coming from America or Europe or elsewhere in the diaspora and you feel that you want to visit Africa, we want Senegal to be your first stop”.
Walking even more into the future, Akon is also considering to export the idea to other countries on the continent. The next step would be the entire world, who knows?
At the end of Black Panther (2018), we saw like T’Challa decided to open Wakanda and its technology to the entire world and help others with social and racial inequities. We bet he and Chadwick Boseman himself would like to visit this city, honored as our own “Wakanda” to fight the inequality.
Featured Image by Akon City webpage