Uganda's government has reportedly allocated land for Akon's crypto-city development project in the country. Senegalese-American rapper and. Akon's cryptocurrency construction plans won't be limited to Senegal. The artist-turned-mogul told Uganda's NBS that he plans to build a. Akon is moving ahead with his Akoin-powered smart city in Senegal and is slated to break ground in , but some aren't so sure. HOW TO PAY CRYPTOWALL RANSOM BITCOINS
Construction is slated to begin in It will run on Akoin, a new cryptocurrency that the singer suggests will be compatible with a variety of smartphones and other cellular devices, as well as with other cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin and Ethereum. A series of dramatic renderings show an agglomeration of futuristic, ribbon-like structures towering into the sky. As quixotic as it sounds, the plan is not without its skeptics. According to Reuters , Mayor Magueye Ndao of Ngueniene, the municipality where part of Akon City will be built, has expressed some cautious optimism about the proposal.
Ndao hopes that the project will be realized and that many of its promised services, including youth and job training, will be brought to the area. Others, though, are convinced that Akon City represents another smart city pipe dream—a project that will inevitably fizzle out due to lack of funding or government support. Akon moves ahead with crypto city in Senegal despite skepticism.
They now include twists such as a fear that should the government fail to interfere, the digitalization of money would also imply a privatization since cash will be reduced to electronic entries in corporate-controlled digital wallets. The growth of direct cash transfers as a path to modernizing the welfare state — heavily promoted by international NGOs and foundations — has also been cited as necessitating government control of the retail end of disbursements.
Careful study however shows that with a large number of private providers keen to compete and serve as vendors to the government, the idea that government control is the only way to advance policy is as quaint as the belief in some Canadian provinces that regulated gambling only makes sense when the government owns the casinos.
The privatization of money does have one interesting angle: the nexus between monetary digitalization and financial globalization. The enterprise-level bank-to-bank and payment systems connectivity platforms that African governments seem on the whole to have managed well sometimes crisscross national borders and thus increase the area for private fintech innovation.
Rather, it captures any and every conceivable monetary benefit a government anticipates from controlling e-money issuance and circulation at multiple levels of the financial system — from the interbank domain to the retail-consumer end. Forex trades, commodity trades, and even interpersonal remittances are heavily dominated by networks of mostly private correspondent banks around the world.
Central Banks in Africa in turn dominate the domestic payment systems in their countries through their control of the enterprise-level payment infrastructure and settlement systems. So far, this balance of power has held very well. The emergence of cryptocurrency and its heavy abridgement of settlement systems that respect jurisdictional boundaries, however, threaten to fuse the domestic and international realms, thereby unsettling this equilibrium.
African central banks, like many others elsewhere, have generally reacted by banning crypto. Through universal digital currencies, they are preemptively penetrating deeper into the retail-consumer end in a way that could potentially also unsettle the balance of power, but in their favor.
Because the security of the whole system of deployed and proposed CBDCs is usually embedded in a single software framework, the decision, for instance, by the Ghanaian and Nigerian authorities to use systems designed by foreign vendors — with limited participation by the rest of the domestic fintech network — also mean that any security flaw will be systemic and hard to identify and fix.
The incumbent regime — at risk from CBDC disruption, on the other hand — is highly resilient due to a plethora of financial and payment system connections, vendors, protocols, and cybersecurity arrangements. What is worse, the emerging central bank digital currency regime in Africa has deliberately been shielded from security analysis and scrutiny because the central banks refuse to publish detailed architectural blueprints for independent analysis. The risks outlined above could obviously be addressed by regionalizing the balance of power among central and commercial banks.
By confining the focus of central banks to the interbank and B2B payment ecosystems, which central banks have historically managed well while also integrating these systems across borders, commercial bank digital wallets can thus lower the costs inherent in the correspondent banking networks and double down on facilitating cross-border trade in Africa.
In such a model, every actor — government and private — does what it knows how to do best. Driven by the impetus of the African Continental Free Trade Agreement AfCFTA , the debate about how to make PAPSS work clearly shifts the attention from petty squabbles between central banks and commercial banks for influence in shaping consumer payments to the much bigger existential issue of marginalization in the face of digital financial globalization.
Because of their small economies, it is clear in any such debate that individual African countries lack the wherewithal to create anything resembling a global strategy to anticipate the rise of private multinational digital currencies.
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