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Singer Akon Starts a Cryptocurrency, Building crypto driven Senegal City

When during a trip from Dakar to Paris a few years ago, Grammy Award-nominated singer Akon tried to convert some of Senegal ‘s currency to euros, he was met with resistance. He was told by an employee at France’s currency exchange counter, “Unfortunately we don’t take those.” Singer Akon Starts a Cryptocurrency, Building crypto driven …

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Story Highlights

  • Grammy nominee hopes to launch coins as soon as July
  • Coin planned the development of 2,000 acres in Senegal

When during a trip from Dakar to Paris a few years ago, Grammy Award-nominated singer Akon tried to convert some of Senegal ‘s currency to euros, he was met with resistance. He was told by an employee at France’s currency exchange counter, “Unfortunately we don’t take those.”

Singer Akon Starts a Cryptocurrency, Building crypto driven Senegal City

“I’m just like, ‘What? “Akon recalled in a recent Bloomberg News phone interview. Before leaving for his tour, he had not had time to convert one currency to another, so he was left with a pocket of CFA francs — the currency used in many West African countries, like Senegal — with nowhere to spend them.

“That just really opened my eyes,” Akon, 47, said in the interview.

“That really catapulted the energy to say ‘We have our own currency to have. I don’t mind what it takes — we’ll fix this.’”

The encounter served as a catalyst for one of its newest ventures, Akoin, a cryptocurrency that will also be Akon City’s local currency, a 2,000-acre development in Senegal. Although some other coins have promised but failed to update the fiat currency system, the hope is that Akoin will be adopted across the continent and beyond, with a launch likely to occur in early July, according to Jon Karas, Akoin ‘s president, and co-founder.

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The American-born artist, who has been selling over 35 million albums worldwide, spent his early childhood in Senegal before moving to New Jersey. With the release of his debut album “Trouble,” he rose to prominence in the early 2000s. He had 27 songs on the Billboard Hot 100 and collaborated with Lady Gaga, Eminem, and Gwen Stefani, among others.

Although his career spans more than a decade, some of his earliest hits, with titles such as “Locked Up” and “Lonely,” have seen a resurgence in recent months, becoming anthems for hordes of masses locked up in their homes amidst the coronavirus pandemic. But recent events around the outbreak only sharpened his focus on the need for digital currencies, as millions were hunkered down, unable to use cash, and forced to shop for necessities online.

Singer Akon Starts a Cryptocurrency, Building crypto driven Senegal City

“It just goes to show the relevance of why digital currency is such a futuristic event, and how this is the future as we move forward,” said the artist, Aliaume Damala Badara Akon Thiam, whose full name is. “There’ll be digital currencies floating through the entire universe that will allow us to trade in a way we ‘re already used to — but now it’s going to be the norm.”

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Akon says he’s been a crypto fan for years (he invested in Bitcoin in 2014). He announced potential plans for Akon City in 2019 and finalized a land agreement with the Senegalese government earlier this year — though the government isn’t providing funding for the project nor does it have a stake in the coin, Karas said.

When it comes to Akoin, 10 percent of the total float will initially be issued through a public sale, which may change depending on demand. According to the white paper, another 10 percent will be held by company executives, consultants, and directors. Company representatives declined to disclose what percentage of the coin Akon will hold.

The three founders of the coin — Akon, Karas, and Lynn Liss, who also acts as a chief operating officer — undergo a six-month lock-up period and are released gradually afterward. “We build a large ecosystem,” Karas said by telephone. “We are in the long run in this.”

Digital currencies — of which, by some estimates, there are more than 5,000 — have been cited as a way of opening up financial systems and integrating a greater mass of users, particularly those who may not currently have access to banks. But there’s a debate about how best to do this: some have proposed digital tokens backed by central banks as a possible solution, while others argue for private-company involvement.

To be sure, the conversation is fraught and many prior undertakings have been called out for shortcomings and outright fraud. A lot is at stake, and the debate is likely to intensify as more institutions attempt to define their involvement. The Chinese government, for instance, already has a pilot program for an official digital version of its currency, while other governments have been loathed to relinquish the sovereignty of a national currency to the blockchain.

Akoin is designed to be a utility token (meaning one with a particular use), not an investment tool, Karas said. And Akon says he knows the turbulent past of crypto — and cautions against jumping blindly into investment. During the height of crypto-mania, thousands of tokens were in circulation — and many have since been weeded out.

“Not just move on the hype, whoever is interested,”

he said.

“Do your proper due diligence, understand who you’re getting into it with, know the market you want to invest in, and have an action plan as to what’s right for you.”

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Tim Draper Handpicks Netflix as the Next Company to Purchase Bitcoin

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Popular venture capitalist and Bitcoin bull Timothy “Tim” Draper predicted that major online streaming platform Netflix could be the next company to join the bitcoin buying bandwagon.

Next Bitcoin Investor Could Be Netflix

Speaking in a recent episode of the Unstoppable Podcast, Tim Draper stated that Netflix could be the next in line to add bitcoin to its balance sheet. According to him, the company’s co-founder and co-CEO, Reed Hastings, makes Netflix a likely bitcoin investor. Draper buttressed his point, saying:

“I think Reed Hastings is a very innovative guy and has a lot of creative thinking and I think he still controls the reins at Netflix. And so I think that might be the next big one to fall.”

Meanwhile, the venture capitalist mentioned social media giant Facebook, as well as other major companies like Apple, and Google, as likely candidates to invest in bitcoin. However, Draper noted that the companies were instead trying to create a centralized currency of their own.

Draper also stated that if he was the chief financial officer (CFO) of any major organization, he would advise the company to allocate a portion of their portfolio to bitcoin. According to the BTC proponent, bitcoin served as a hedge against inflation.

Since Tesla’s billion-dollar bitcoin investment, there have been speculations about which company would emulate Tesla’s move. Increased institutional interest in bitcoin is largely responsible for BTC’s bullish momentum. Meanwhile, Firms like Microstrategy and Square recently added to their bitcoin holdings.

Amazon Likely to Accept Bitcoin as a Payment Method?

Apart from pitching Netflix as the next possible bitcoin investor, the venture capitalist stated that the retail giant Amazon could start accepting bitcoin. Adding that, people could use the flagship cryptocurrency to purchase products on Amazon.

Back in February, there were reports that Amazon was looking to introduce a new project that would enable customers to convert cash into digital currency. While the project would launch in Mexico, the company did not state what digital assets it would support, although there were speculations that the company may not use popular crypto-assets like BTC or ether.

While also speaking on bitcoin’s price target, Draper said:

“The current currency holdings around the world in dollars is about $100 trillion and bitcoin’s market cap is just reaching a trillion now. So there’s no reason it can’t go up a 100 fold. It’s not like it is going to completely replace the dollar. Although I think people are going to laugh when they are trying to buy things with dollars in the future.”

The venture capitalist made a prediction earlier in 2020 that the price of bitcoin would reach $250,000 by the end of 2022 or early in 2023.

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Source: https://cryptopotato.com/tim-draper-handpicks-netflix-as-the-next-company-to-purchase-bitcoin/

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Ripple is committed to San Francisco, says co-founder Chris Larsen

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In October last year, Ripple co-founder Chris Larsen said that the firm may consider relocating to other countries citing the lack of regulatory clarity in the United States. Since then, many have speculated where the firm’s new headquarters will be located. However, amid a lawsuit with SEC regarding an alleged illegal securities offering, and XRP’s dwindling price, Larsen made a new announcement recently that stated that the firm was here to stay. 

Speaking to The San Francisco Chronicle, co-founder said that Ripple’s global headquarter will remain in San Francisco. He added: 

We’re committed to the city. It’s got the most diversity, creativity…it’s got the critical mass.

Earlier, CEO of Ripple, Brad Garlinghouse, hinted at a possibility that Ripple could move out of the US, given its “lack” of a regulatory framework. He stressed that the country was “out of sync” and needed to implement a clear regulatory framework regarding crypto.

At the time, the CEO said that he was considering whether Ripple would benefit from relocating to a country where regulations were more clear. He admitted to being impressed by how the UK and other G20 nations including Singapore, Japan, and the UAE had “clear regulatory frameworks” that allowed for “healthy markets to develop.”

Meanwhile, another leading crypto firm in the neighborhood has decided to do away with its headquarters altogether. Coinbase CEO Brian Armstrong said that amid the firm’s work from home policies they choose not to have a base in San Francisco, but will continue to keep their offices open. Stating that the company is “decentralized” the CEO added:

As we’ve moved to a remote first environment, we realized that we no longer have a headquarters located in any one city.


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Source: https://ambcrypto.com/ripple-is-committed-to-san-francisco-says-co-founder-chris-larsen

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3 key Ethereum price metrics show pro traders are aiming for $2K ETH

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On Feb. 20, Ether (ETH) price rallied to a new high at $2,015 and this caused multiple indicators to display signs of excessive optimism. While the excitement could be easily justified by Ether’s  year-to-date 176% gain, these warning signs should not be ignored.

On of the primary driving factors of the current bullish sentiment is the launch of CME ETH futures and Grayscale Investments ETH Trust reaching $6.3 billion assets under management. The DeFi phenomenon also continues as there is currently more than $21 billion worth of Ether locked in DeFi.

Crypto Fear & Greed Index. Source: alternative.me

Currently, the Crypto Fear & Greed Index is at 93, indicating “Extreme Greed” according to its methodology. Many traders use the metric as a counter trading signal, meaning, the extreme fear level can be a sign that investors are bullish and a buying opportunity is present. In contrast, when investors are getting too greedy, it could be a sign that the market is due for a correction.

Unlike the excessively leveraged retail traders, the more experienced market makers and whales hs been skeptical of the never-ending rally in Ether. Regardless of the rationale for the price peak, the 36% price correction that followed was accelerated by large liquidations.

Ether futures contracts aggregate liquidations. Source: Bybt.com

The liquidation of $2 billion in long futures contracts from Feb. 19 to Feb. 23 represented 28% of the total open interest. Thus, one should expect significant deterioration in market sentiment, as depicted on the previous Fear & Greed indicator.

Surprisingly, none of that happened on the Ether derivatives markets, as both futures contracts premium (contango) and the options skew remained bullish.

The futures premium held very healthy levels

By measuring the expense gap between futures and the regular spot market, a trader can gauge the level of bullishness in the market.

The 3-month futures should usually trade with a 10% or higher premium versus regular spot exchanges. Whenever this indicator fades or turns negative, this is an alarming red flag. This situation is known as backwardation and indicates that the market is turning bearish.

OKEx 3-month ETH futures basis. Source: Skew.com

The above chart shows that the indicator peaked at 39% on Feb. 20 as Ether touched its all-time high. Nevertheless, it has kept above 16% during the entire correction down to $1,300. This data shows that professional traders remained confident in Ether’s price potential.

The options skew remained neutral-to-bullish

When analyzing options, the 25% delta skew is the single-most relevant gauge. This indicator compares similar call (buy) and put (sell) options side-by-side.

It will turn negative when the put options premium is higher than similar-risk call options. A negative skew translates to a higher cost of downside protection and indicating bullishness.

The opposite holds when market makers are bearish, causing the 25% delta skew indicator to gain positive ground.

ETH options 25% delta skew. Source: laevitas.ch

Over the past month, there hasn’t been a single incident of a sustainable positive delta skew. Therefore, there is no evidence that option traders demanded more significant premiums for downside protection.

This data is very encouraging, considering that Ethereum faced a heavy sell-off but the futures and options metrics discussed above held bullish levels during the downturn.

As Ether managed to recover quickly from its recent $1,300 dip, investors gained further confidence that the uptrend had not been broken.

The views and opinions expressed here are solely those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of Cointelegraph. Every investment and trading move involves risk. You should conduct your own research when making a decision.

Source: https://cointelegraph.com/news/3-key-ethereum-price-metrics-show-pro-traders-are-aiming-for-2k-eth

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