And that’s what it hit me like okay we have to have our own money and if we don’t do anything else I have to figure out. A way to make that work unleashing economic opportunity one Africa one coin the. World’s largest emerging market is on the fast track for innovation and financial growth let’s dive into the crypto project leading the charge Akon a coin a coin caris all.
Right how do you sound right we got this we got this. Check check thank you for having us we have had such a beautiful time in Malta so far and this is our first speaking moment so it’s great. To be here had a beautiful dinner last night I learned something as I do every time I travel was a. Con yesterday we’re driving in and he was talking about his favorite cities in the world and he said Malta is his second favorite.
City only second to Africa Africa so I just thought that was a huge compliment to this beautiful city so let’s. Start with that come on that’s big right that’s beautiful I’ve said thanks for having us I am co-founder and CEO of eight coin we have our visionary and chief. Of everything Akon here and our president also co-founders John Karras I mean we wanted to kick things off with the. Main man to talk about a coin vision all things great so off to you. Absolutely thank you and for those who are not quite sure what eight coins vision is. I just wanted to kind of just give you a small overlay of what we’re trying to do in Africa and the purpose of why a coin was created.
In the first place as I was doing my philanthropy work in Africa and doing my lighting. Projects I realized from a pot energy poverty standpoint how much other issues that was Africa was dealing with in so many words.
So ultimately coming from the energy sector I started to visualize a lot of different things and I noticed that a lot of the in the rural areas they really had. Their own economies they had their own way of living that was completely partitioned. From what was happening in the city life and ultimately I was like wow this is actually something very very interesting because everything that. They were doing literally was collaborating back and forth from cell phones in general but then the most craziest thing happened to me that solidified why I needed. To come and be more involved in Africa on a financial side of.
Things and be more a part of the financial sector I got on the plane and I flew into Paris and as you know. Africa the the west side is all ran by the French you know Senegal being.
One of the most influential ones being ran by the fridge and we have our own currency there called the CFI which is like CFA for. French made money right now the French government prints this money for Senegal. A fly into the airport and I have a pocket full of CFA so I’m not thinking about anything I’m like okay let me go through.
The money exchange and I’m gonna change it over for some euro I get to the money exchange area and the guy at the. Counter tells me we can’t exchange this I’m like what do you mean it’s French money he’s like well it’s not. Worth anything here I said but his CFA it was printed by the French give me tell me.
I’m in France with French money or French printed dollars and I can’t exchange it for your orders like unfortunately this money’s not worth anything here you got a great to go back to Senegal. And spend it there and that’s what if it hit me like okay we have to have our own money and if we don’t do anything else. I have to figure out a way to make that work of course when I went into energy I knew anything about energy when I first came in in 2014 but then I. Realized through the whole process of following blockchain cryptocurrency became the craziest conversation around the world and I thought for two seconds and said you know what blockchain was built for a purpose and.
I think it was to help me serve my purpose and I felt at that moment that trip that would be what changed. Africa and unite the masses that’s what I at that moments that.
I have to create a coin which will be my own cryptocurrency for Africa the African coin it just happened that it sounded like a con the African coin a coin that’s how the. Name came up it wasn’t something I just thought about it was supposed to happen this way. I guess right it happened to me you know so that’s what I reached out to John caress and I said.
Oh John I need to create my own currency you’re the man like you know how to put things. Together he’s like the scientist that knows how to put two and two three and three and just knows. Who to call to make certain things happen and he really put us all together and through that I met land and land is like my hammer she doesn’t play.
No games you gave her that assignment she’s coming back with it and this right here happen to be the team and I said listen we came up. With this concept together we’re gonna move forward and this is gonna be the creation to help Africa rebuild this future so now me knowing that Africa. Itself is from a population standpoint as you know is 1.2 billion and estimated to be 2 billion people in the next five to ten years 75%. That population is under 21 which are all young kids that’s very tech savvy that understands digital. The economy of what it is today and they understand how to utilize cellphones on their day to day basic life so I figured that has to be the target that we actually have. To activate and not only that but we will give them all the tools they need to be able to move on into the future to develop.
It but with the currency that brings us all together and that’s how that came about. And I’ll pass it on I’ll ensure this to say what’s great is when we sat down it kind of had this beautiful vision and he said one point for Africa youth entrepreneurship I. Want to empower them and we set about to create a business model that would be sustainable because if you just have a currency how you’re gonna make sure. That it’s not crazy fella tall and that you actually have a business that brings in revenue that.
Can actually sustain itself so John if you could speak to our business and our vision in that regard well the business and vision are really aligned and driven by what Akon. Wanted to create and so our mission is to achieve. That and we flow into two different parts the first is the token tokens super simple it just has an internal exchange mechanism that allows users to go. Freely between prepaid cell minutes which are a major store of value in Africa and lots of rising is to take that and be able. To move easily into fiat currencies like dollar euro pounds RMB local currencies and also to crypto currencies mainstream ones like Bitcoin and aetherium and many others order the the coins of our DAP.
Partners variety of alt coins the more important part of the business and. What’s really relevant to all of you and why we want to talk. To many of you as we can during the next number. Of days is that there are all kinds of great innovations on the blockchain and our mission is to help empower entrepreneurs to rise in in growing economies so we have a part of. Our wallet that we like to call the DAP store where apps and apps are available to the users whether they’re transacting in a coin fiat.
Currencies other crypto currencies etc and so the thing that really. Adds the most value and is super helpful to the world of blockchain is we’re. Altom utley being built to be a broad and bright marketing platform a spotlight and megaphone to help those great innovations find their way. Into the hands of the users initially we’re curating that super heavily but ultimately it’s open to all the same as the Apple App Store so our mission is. To help get tools for entrepreneurs for education for social impact to get those into the hands of the people and to help them find their.
Way to that so all of you that are building great things. We want to help them get into the hands of the users you may have. The greatest innovation in the world but the same analogy of if the tree falls in the forest and nobody hears it did you make. A sound we want to make sure the sound is super loud so when you have those great things that are going. To help empower the world and many of you in this conference room do let us.
Help you bring it to the people those billion plus in Africa and the the three or four. Billion in the rising economies were built to create in service and and one last thing just so that you know what our tech is is. Built the coins built we’re in beta testing the platform will launch in about the next 90 days which is about the time of our ieo as well so we’re rocketing down the track. Towards all of this love to do some of it with all you come and find us clearly it’s a global platform that we’re building Africa’s.
Just a targeted market because as we see now Africa has the most challenges when it. Relates to that so if it works in Africa you can. Utilize that and copy and paste it to any developing market around the world just let me add one more. Thing which is the the this alternative economy exists already part of why we focused in on prepaid cell.
Minutes and there’s a great article on how we’re built to bank the unbanked is there’s already an alternative transactional platform that. People are using day in and day out all across Africa by doing all kinds of economic activity paying with their prepaid cell minutes so their ability to do that we just want to.
Expand the functionality of it and that’s what we’re built to do yeah I was just gonna expand a bit on cuz I’ve been out there executing as. As a concise the hammer so as mentioned we’ve built.
The platform it’s in test mode and to give you an example we like to say learner and spend and save so in terms of being an entrepreneur those four categories are what you. Need to build up as an entrepreneur our first use case as John mentioned is prepaid minutes and. Just to really visualize it for you the ability to both use a prepaid minute and come into the cryptocurrency.
Market that’s amazing a lot of the people who are wanting to get into cryptocurrency don’t have a credit card they don’t have an ID they don’t. Have a bank right so the ability to get them into the. Cryptocurrency market and then on the back end have a coin go into prepaid. Minutes top-up your cell phone right and also as a.
Kind likes to speak to in that local market people use minutes to trade for goods and services on the street so that was a really important flow for us in the base. I mean just to give an example of a few other use cases so you know where we’re going which is exciting we’re moving into micro lending so that’s very needed micro meaning small amounts. Of dollars that individuals who want to start a business it maybe just might take a few hundred dollars to actually set up a shop. Or get something online so micro lending is a big part of what we’ll be offering next and those people providing those micro loans also are earning opportunity in and. Of themselves if they prove that they can both give out loans to people in the market and make sure those loans are returned then they’re. Earning a coin in the process so those are some unique examples that we’re really proud of and we want.
More of them so as John mentioned please come out any other use cases we’d like to. Mention just to highlight some of the early ones that were super excited I just want to go back into the. Cell phone minute piece correct because there’s a backstory to it so you guys can clearly understand where that. Came from in certain parts of Africa cell phone minutes is money like I know kids that have over a million minutes they’re like minute heirs and you can literally buy and purchase.
Fruits Goods t-shirts hats from vendors literally on the street like you can like something and say I want. That if you don’t have the actual currency well I could and give me a thousand minutes for it and this is actual real transaction so we created. A mechanism within the Acorn system to where you can literally. Now trade your minutes for a coins and vice versa so it allows that and then one.
Of the other things that’s really amazing about the functionality is a concept that we have in our called the atomic swap now the atomic swap prevents what happened to me in Paris if you. Have late coins you can literally trade that into any fiat currency that exists in the world so it’s not. Like you’re ever gonna get you know turned down because you have eight coins and you want to swap.
It out and back and forth so it creates that economic transaction financially to where you can really trade. It into any fiat currency that exists in the world and to add to that you know as John highlighted. We are a marketing platform for a lot of these gaps in particular that launched and can’t get to where they want. To get to that atomic swap is really important because a lot of those businesses are not on a major exchange which is a massive hurdle to get on but they. Have a currency and as we can say trade with us we’re gonna get your product out there you can trade in and out of a. Coin that’s how technically we’re able to get them so easily in and out of a new market such as that and we’re also built as an anchor solution on the stellar network.
Which is aligns us with tens of thousands of financial institutions all across the globe for people to get funds in. And out were just again facilitating through that and some of the things that we’re excited. About that are coming up were aligned with Medici land governance which is digitizing land records and rising rising countries and governments from Rwanda to South America connect hub that’s digitizing. Medical records and pharma trials in the midst of a pilot program in Malawi right now with Airtel and Merck companies like pledge camp that.
Are doing crowdfunding and education for entrepreneurs and many many others so our. Mission is to is to have hundreds of valuable tools and solutions for those rising entrepreneurs and I’ll just say that roadmap as we start to work with more. Of you which are very excited about at the end there is.
A debt builder tool where people can we want it to be as usable as possible so it can always says any business that you have any idea anything that you. Want to put a value to the ability to create a DAP on our marketplace easily through a.
Self-service tool is on our very near roadmap and that’s when things get really big so that’s an exciting exciting roadmap you’re all going to. See roll out right so the whole aspect of the platform itself is for all the young entrepreneurs to have their own app or app on the actual platform be able to. Collaborate with each other utilize whatever their strengths and tools are to help the next and vice-versa because there could. Be a farmer that needs financing for instance there’ll be a. Financial gap or app there that can facilitate that if that person believes in that farmers dream or so on and. So forth or for instance if you’re trying to raise money.
For something within the system of that or you have a specific utilization aspect that you’re having challenges with and this particular partner may have the exact issues that you’re dealing with. Covered and these solve that solution there’s a way you can guys can. Find ways to collaborate and fix that issue or joint venture of somehow kind of to build. The business to move forward so as you know my business as an entertainer I built my career off building other people’s careers. And I’ve grown my you could say success and celebrity through collaborations with other art building you know. Relationships with other artists to get the game bigger territory to.
Get a bigger mass of people to be entertained to so this platform is built exactly the same way the key to success has always been unity and I feel you can. Cover the world when you unite and put yourselves together and bring all your resources together for one common cause and so many words.
So the best ones will rise the best ones will Drive utilization and who can tell where the future will be we want to facilitate all of it come find. It let’s all be there together and here’s to unity and thank you for having us.