Today, at CryptoNews, we have the immensely successful Lynn Liss, who serves as COO of blockchain company and cryptocurrency Akoin, co-founded with global leader Akon. She is an operations executive and social impact leader, fueling financial revolutions, building empowering technology and business models, and forging strategy, partnerships, and teams for massive social change. Driving Akoin’s mission to empower entrepreneurship and financial inclusion across Africa, she brings 10+ years in the social impact and startup sector and 10+ years as a management consultant with top global firms to the table; advising, executing, and operating innovative business and financial models for world change with C-level executives. Lynn was the first mover in the ‘blockchain for good’ space, providing executive advisement to blockchain companies, new cryptocurrencies, and blockchains with a social impact.
Akoin is a blockchain-based digital asset platform and cryptocurrency led by global artist Akon. It is committed to bringing a wide-reaching and trusted digital currency to Africa and worldwide, emphasizing developing areas with unavailable or inconvenient access to financial services.
The Akoin Ecosystem will provide token holders with access to a vast range of decentralized apps (dApps) and tools for entrepreneurs to connect, engage, and scale business in regions such as Africa while providing a positive social impact on their communities.
Through the Akoin Utility Token (the currency) and the Multi-Currency Wallet and Marketplace, users will be able to ‘learn, earn, spend and save’ through their mobile phone as they connect and transact with the digital global economy, offering both stored value and local fiat conversion.
Q1: What’s the story behind Akoin? What brought about the idea of starting a crypto revolution in Africa?
Arriving from Senegal, Akon tried to exchange some of the local Senegalese currency he held, and the person at the counter told him, “we don’t accept that here” it then hit him that currency instability and lack of interoperability in African countries makes it absolutely impossible to be an African entrepreneur in the global market. But it wasn’t until many years later, when at an African food market Akon saw a lady paying for her groceries with mobile minutes (instead of the local currency) and had an ah-ha moment thought, how blockchain and cryptocurrency could be used much like how African’s were utilizing cell phone minutes already as another medium of exchange as credits, but with an extra layer of security and transparency. So this is where the Akoin cryptocurrency came into play and its origin. Akoin was created for Africa to provide the best way to connect Africa with the rest of the world while utilizing the potential of millions of young, tech-savvy Africans. Africa’s great hope lies in the blockchain – providing a more stable and reliable currency, global interoperability, and utility while addressing inherent corruption in non-blockchain solutions.
Q2: We’ve heard you will be releasing a new wallet very soon. Our readers would love to know more about it!
Yes, thank you for this question. We believe that with any technology, it is important to continuously learn, innovate and evolve, ensuring we provide the people with the tools and ecosystem support to assure–and protect–their usage. We’ve very successfully finished testing in the Mwale Medical and Technology Center. We’ve learned so much about what individuals and merchants need within a city, how they want to use the wallet, and related tools and services. We have used the past six months to develop an Akoin Wallet public wallet product with functionalities to suit these fundamental needs. We have an excellent roadmap for our wallet. The first rollout will allow users to deposit, purchase, and swap Akoin and other cryptocurrencies and link those currencies with the newly released Akoin Card.
Q3: What was the most significant thing you learned from the Mwale Medical and Technology Center (MMTC) pilot?
We were honored and learned so much from launching our pilot program within Mwale Medical and Technology Center in Kenya. As Akon always conveys, being on the ground and working with the people is the most important thing. It was massive to hear what the people want, how they interact with mobile technologies, related products and services, and cryptocurrencies, in particular, basically all daily business and life financial functions. In light of those learnings, we designed our newly launching public-facing wallet to further service communities throughout Kenya and into other African countries ripe for adoption, in addition to layering in features (merchant services, payroll, etc.) specific to city deployments such as MMTC, and then into Akon’s other city-specific initiatives (Akon City in Senegal and Uganda).
Q4: We think it’s excellent that Akoin wants to ensure Africa isn’t excluded from the crypto space. Please tell us, what are you currently working on, and where are you on your roadmap?
We are laying down the foundation for creating financial independence for local populations. The Akoin Wallet with integrated Akoin Card is the starting infrastructure, which will be then equipped with a series of additional tools and services rolled out in phases (aka The Akoin Marketplace), including further distribution and payment channels, such as an Akoin Payment Widget for partners, into AKN being available at local ATMs and Agents for servicing and local fiat on/off ramps. All tools and additions will be centered around the key objective of providing financial independence to Africa’s local populations and giving them confidence in a currency with less inflation, further transparency, and providing access and interoperability to the global economy.
Q5: So what is AKN’s utility?
Beyond the coin, there is an entire utility function and the marketplace that many people will soon know about (v2 on our roadmap), which will provide even more value and utility for the African user than the AKN coin itself. The Akoin ecosystem, with its Akoin Wallet and Card as the central hub, aims to empower and assist people in their everyday life. It will be a uniting platform, connecting the continent and its resources with the global economy. We partnered with Baanx for Akoin cards to be accepted anywhere where MasterCard is accepted (which is across 40 million online and physical merchants worldwide). People in Africa are already ready to adopt crypto; they’re so tech-savvy, ready to accept paychecks in crypto, shop with it, and adopt it continent-wide. Further, our recent announcement with Fireblocks from a crypto security and insurance perspective was core in terms of providing our users comfort and safety for the crypto assets. And many more key partnerships to be announced, coming soon!
Q6: What’s next for Akoin?
We have great things coming and some big exciting news planned, which we will be teasing shortly in Africa and across the rest of the world.
Thanks for your time and in-depth knowledge about your amazing projects! We wish you luck in all your future endeavors!