The times when crypto was an interest of a narrow group of geeks are gone. In the past 2 years, many pop stars have announced the launch of their own cryptocurrencies. They are globally recognized artists and those you have never even heard of — but beloved in their home countries. Let’s see what they did — and how successful this kind of enterprise was.
If you only know the Senegalese-American singer and songwriter Akon for “Smacking That” and being “Lonely”, it’s time to broaden your knowledge. You may have heard he is a philanthropist who strives to improve the quality of life in Africa. And currently, he’s working at the most ambitious of his projects — Akon Crypto City.
The construction of this futuristic city with “climate-consciousness” and its own cryptocurrency started off in 2019. If these plans of the popular singer look unrealistic to you, just look at this: the initiative has been supported at the highest level with 2,000 acres of land having been granted by the President of Senegal. The city that will rise close to the capital Dakar has been proclaimed by its founder as a “real-life Wakanda”. But in fact, it goes even beyond sci-fi — the residents are supposed to build the economy of the city with an app-based cryptocurrency called Akoin.
“I think that blockchain and crypto could be the savior for Africa in many ways because it brings the power back to the people”, — says the multi-platinum-selling music producer. The problems that Akon is trying to address are economic instability and lack of opportunities for youth entrepreneurship.
Inflation and volatility of local currencies, lack of banking services, and limited access to global innovation make it hard for young and aspiring people to make it through. Akoin ecosystem intends to gather digital and real-life tools and services in one place so that consumers can “earn, save and spend cryptocurrency while providing an opportunity for entrepreneurs and brands”.
If you doubt that Akon is good enough at blockchain technology to make this happen, don’t worry — as he says, “I come with the concepts and let the geeks figure it out.” Akon is planning to launch the beta version of his platform shortly. ChangeNOW is going to follow the news — so we will let you know how things are going with Akoin in a while!
The second cryptocurrency we want to tell you about carries a lot less noble intention. In fact, it has not even been launched by a pop star — but we found this story ridiculous enough to put it on this list.
Some cryptocurrencies have a rather short life span, but Coinye seems to have beat them all — the main part of this coin’s story barely exceeds one week. This was a rather fabulous story though — it took it only several days to go through a chatroom joke to Internet sensation.
In early January 2017, seven anonymous coders announced Coinye West with the catchphrase “WE AIN’T MININ’, WE PICKIN”. Authors promised “no premine, no screwed up fake “fair” launches, shyster devs, muted channels, and f**ked up wallets”. But Kanye West, who apparently didn’t have any affiliation with this currency, and especially his lawyers, did not really like this trick. They filed an order to stop any activity against the coders.
However, this was not the end. The developers of Coinye West have removed all references to Kanye, and even changed a logo from this:
They even tried to communicate with the rapper:
Sadly, this didn’t help to convince Kanye’s lawyers. They filed another lawsuit against the developers, forcing them to sell all Coinyes and leave the project. This happened very shortly. And the words “Coinye is dead. You win, Kanye” that appeared on the website that day seems to be the ultimate epitaph to the project — no one seems to be trading Coinye anymore. For better or worse, this currency has made its way to the crypto graveyard.
In April 2018, a pretentious Russian pop singer Olga Buzova announced her own cryptocurrency called Buzcoin. Just for the context: Buzova is a Russian socialite, host of a reality TV show “Marry Buzova”, a permanent participant of different sorts of scandals, and so on.
Her cryptocurrency was supposed to rise at the center of a new shopping and entertainment platform Buzar, which was going to bring together dozens and hundreds of services, ranging from job search to dating and shopping platforms. The idea seemed so impressive to the public that it raised over €210 million of investments. Names of the investors were supposed to be made public in January 2020.
But since then, the news about Buzcoin have been quite sparse. Neither Buzar was launched, nor the investors had a chance to see where their money went. In 2019, it was announced that the initial project was trying to squeeze too many services in one, and now it needs to focus. Also, Olga Buzova left the project.
And this is when the developers of Buzcoin met Michael Lanovoy, founder of a club called “The World of an Ideal Woman”. The new focus was immediately found — now, developers plan to embed Buzcoin into this ecosystem for women including a social network, international dating service, games, online radio, and many more. The team claims this project is of very strong ideology and is going to run nationwide. By the end of February 2020, no new announcements have been issued. The team is probably deep into trying to guess what an “ideal woman” “really wants” …
One more local pop star who launched his own crypto was Manny Pacquiao — a popular boxer, singer and senator of the Philippines. His Pac token has already been listed on a Singapore-based exchange and aims at fostering communication with his numerous fans. The same goal drives SM Entertainment — the main firm behind the K-pop movement, who also announced launching its own crypto.
Are these all a kind of artificial projects with a short-term commercial effect, or something that will change the industry forever — we don’t know yet. More time has to pass. However, they show clearly that the interest in crypto is growing. And since pop stars with millions of fans are engaged, millions are going to learn about crypto — and this is how this industry’s influence will only widen.