Kenyan Government Suspends Worldcoin Operations Over Data Privacy Concerns
Nairobi, 02/08 – The Kenyan Ministry of Interior, after receiving approval from Minister Kithure Kindiki, has shared a letter on Facebook announcing the immediate suspension of Worldcoin’s activities within the country. The decision comes as the government expresses deep concerns regarding the digital currency project’s citizen identification methods, which involve collecting personal data through iris scans. The government has also warned against any other similar organizations until they can be assured that these entities pose no harm to the public.
This news has dealt a significant blow to the much-talked-about project owned by ChatGPT’s founder. Nairobi, the capital of the East African nation, was a key market for Worldcoin, with an impressive 250,000 registrations in December last year.
Worldcoin suspended in Kenya. pic.twitter.com/JO0FKTJ8zM
— Crypto India (@CryptooIndia) August 2, 2023
Worldcoin, a digital currency initiative developed by the startup Tools for Humanity, was unveiled on July 24 and has its headquarters in San Francisco (USA) and Berlin (Germany). During its testing phase, the project managed to attract over 2 million users.
The project operates by authenticating users’ personal information through retinal scans using the Orb device, commonly referred to as the “magic sphere.” In return, users receive an identification ID and a portion of the project’s free airdrop of WLD, the project’s native token. It is worth noting that Worldcoin is currently ramping up Orb production to expand its user base worldwide. Some quick interviews in areas where communities have lined up to “sell” their data revealed enthusiasm, with one person excitedly stating, “Why not take $80 for free?”
While the idea may sound intriguing, Worldcoin is facing skepticism from regulatory authorities in several countries. Prior to Kenya, the project has been under investigation by the governments of Germany, France, and the United Kingdom. According to the Electronic Privacy Information Center in the United States, Worldcoin’s user data collection is a “potential nightmare.” Even Ethereum co-founder Vitalik Buterin has issued a warning about the project.
The news of Worldcoin’s ban in Kenya has sparked widespread frustration among many people. The suspension of the project’s operations has left its Kenyan supporters disappointed and curious about the future of this innovative digital currency initiative in their country.
- Vitalik Buterin Identifies 4 Concerns Regarding Worldcoin’s Approach
- Worldcoin Faces Investigation Over Biometric Data Collection, Says French Data Protection Agency
- Worldcoin Faces Ongoing Probe By German Regulators Over Data Collection Practices