A musician who wants to use cryptocurrency to create a “real-life Wakanda” in Africa is the main feature in today’s edition of Bitcoin in Brief. Additional stories include an ICO mogul who bought land worth $19 million with bitcoin, a massive trove of Coinbase customers’ complaints and more.
Akon Launches Akoin
Akon, the Senegalese-American singer, is launching his own cryptocurrency token called Akoin. The stated purpose of the project is to build a futuristic city in Senegal that is meant to be a “real-life Wakanda”, referring to the fictional highly technologically advanced African nation featured in the recent Black Panther movie.
Speaking on a panel at Cannes Lions International Festival of Creativity, Akon explained: “I think that blockchain and crypto could be the saviour for Africa in many ways because it brings the power back to the people and brings the security back into the currency system. It also allows the people to utilize it in ways where they can advance themselves and not allow government to do those things that are keeping them down.”
According to the project’s website, the “100% crypto-based” Akon Crypto City is being built on 2,000 acres of land gifted to Akon from the President of Senegal. It’s within 5 minutes of the new international airport, close to the coast and a short drive from Dakar, the capital city of Senegal.
ICO Mogul Buys $19M Land with Bitcoin
According to newspaper reports from Israel, the serial entrepreneur and cryptocurrency advocate Moshe Hogeg has bought 5,000 square meters of private land to build himself a new house in the very affluent community of Kfar Shmaryahu not far from Tel Aviv. The price of the real estate is about $19 million and he reportedly paid 15% of that sum in Bitcoin.
Hogeg is the man behind Sirin Labs, which raised $157.8 million in an initial coin offering (ICO) last year. The money was meant to be used to build an “ultra-secure” cold storage crypto wallet-phone which was promoted by soccer superstar Leo Messi.
134 Pages of Coinbase Customers’ Complaints
A stack of 134 pages full of costumer complaints against Coinbase, filed to the US SEC and the California Department of Business Oversight, have been obtained by Mashable following a five-month FOIA (Freedom of Information Act) process. The files show the frustration and anger of clients that felt they could not get adequate support for their issues with the platform.
The company sees the high number of complaints as a result of the mad rush to enter the crypto market last year. “In 2017, the cryptocurrency space experienced a profound uptick in mainstream awareness and growth,” explained a Coinbase spokesperson. “As part of that, consumer demand for our services increased by 40x and we experienced transaction volumes in November and December of that year that grew by 295 percent.”
Bitmain Is Back on Twitter
Chinese ASIC giant Bitmain Technologies has now regained control of its @Bitmaintech official Twitter account. As we reported a few days ago, the company was banned from the social network after trolls apparently convinced Twitter admins that the account belonged to a four-year-old.
Bittrex Adds ETH to USD
Bittrex, which recently introduced fiat currency support, has now announced the addition of support for Ethereum (ETH) to USD trading. Initially, the Seattle-based exchange offered the USD paired against just BTC, tether (USDT), and another stablecoin, Trueusd. The move can be seen as part of a larger trend by exchanges trying to gradually wean themselves off dependency on the controversial tether. It might also help to delink the price of ETH from BTC in terms of USD if more exchanges follow this move.
What do you think about today’s news tidbits? Could Akon’s crypto city succeed in building a real Wakanda? Share your thoughts in the comments section below.
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