Kenya’s interior ministry has taken the decision to suspend the operations of the cryptocurrency venture known as Worldcoin within the country. This action follows a comprehensive assessment by government agencies aimed at identifying potential threats to public safety associated with the project. The brainchild of OpenAI’s CEO, Sam Altman, Worldcoin introduces a unique concept requiring users to furnish their iris scans as part of an exchange for a digital ID. Furthermore, in select nations, users are incentivized with complimentary cryptocurrency as part of a larger strategy to forge a novel “identity and financial network.”
Interior Minister Kithure Kindiki conveyed that pertinent bodies specializing in security, financial services, and data protection have commenced an exhaustive inquiry and investigation to establish the genuineness and legality of the aforementioned undertakings. Notably, Worldcoin has not yet responded to requests for comment.
Kindiki emphasized the government’s apprehensions regarding the activities of Worldcoin, clarifying that authorities will delve into how the gathered data will be utilized. He also underlined the intention to take action against individuals engaging in these activities, although specifics were not provided.
Recent reports from local media have revealed that a substantial number of Kenyan citizens, exceeding 350,000, have enthusiastically enrolled in Worldcoin, receiving cryptocurrency tokens with an estimated value of 7,000 Kenyan shillings ($49.09).
Since its recent launch, individuals across various nations, including Kenya, Germany, Spain, and France, have flocked to registration sites, eagerly participating in iris scans facilitated by a distinctive, gleaming spherical device dubbed the “orb.”
It is noteworthy that this project has garnered attention and scrutiny in other countries such as Britain, Germany, and France, possibly due to the innovative yet contentious nature of its use of iris scans and its planned data utilization.