Worldcoin Suspended in Kenya, Loses Potential Users

Worldcoin Suspended in Kenya, Loses Potential Users

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Worldcoin, a new crypto project offering digital IDs via iris-scanning, has been suspended by the Kenyan government over privacy and security concerns. 

Kenyan Government Suspends Worldcoin’s Activities

Only 10 days after the official launch of Worldcoin, the project has already been suspended in one of the few countries where the company’s iris-scanning device Orb was available.

Kenya was one of the first countries to open registration for World ID back in 2021. It is also reportedly one of the regions that got the highest number of sign ups. Initially, Worldcoin listed around 18 Orb-locations that would open in Kenya but in the end left only one – Kenyatta International Convention Centre. 

Tens of thousands of Kenyans flocked to the Orb to get their iris scanned and receive the World ID. They may have also been motivated to undergo the procedure by the 25 WLD (equivalent to around 7,000 shillings) Worldcoin promised to give everyone for the identity verification. 

However, despite the platform's high demand in the country, the Kenyan government decided to suspend all Worldcoin’ activities on Wednesday, August 2. The Ministry of Interior and National Administration of Kenya reported that relevant agencies need to “certify the absence of risks to the general public whatsoever”.

"Relevant security, financial services and data protection agencies have commenced inquiries and investigations to establish the authenticity and legality of the aforesaid activities, and the safety and protection of the data being harvested, and how the harvesters intend to use the data,” Kithure Kindiki, Kenya’s Cabinet Secretary for the Ministry of Interior and National Administration, said in the statement.

Worldcoin officials haven’t yet commented on the news.

Worldcoin Continues to Face Backlash

The controversial crypto project has been heavily criticized after its launch and received both applause and judgment. Even though only Kenya has officially suspended Worldcoin’s services so far, the company has been under scrutiny from a number of other countries, especially in Europe. France and the UK have recently reported that their privacy watchdogs are investigating the project to verify the security of the data it collects.

On the day of the Worldcoin’s launch, Ethereum co-founder Vitalik Buterin has also published a long essay about Worldcoin in particular and the biometric proof of personhood in general. He listed four major risks with the project’s system related to privacy of the collected data and accessibility of the Orb device. 

WLD Token Gains 7% in the Last 24 Hours

The Worldcoin token has shown growth in the past week, gaining about 7% just in the last 24 hours, according to CoinMarketCap. However, WLD still struggles to return to its $3.1 mark it reached on the day of its release. The token is hovering at $2.44 at the time of writing. 

Disclaimer: This article is provided for informational purposes only. It is not offered or intended to be used as legal, tax, investment, financial, or other advice.

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