UPDATE: CS Kindiki Suspends Worldcoin Operations in Kenya

The government has suspended all activities associated with the cryptocurrency project WorldCoin.
Interior Cabinet Secretary (CS) Kithure Kindiki said in a statement on Wednesday that the government is concerned about the controversial project, which has so far registered thousands of Kenyans, and that the suspension will remain in effect until relevant agencies certify the absence of any security risks.

“Relevant security, financial services and data protection agencies have commenced inquiries and investigations to establish the authenticity and legality of the aforesaid activities, the safety and protection of the data being harvested, and how the harvesters intend to use the data,” read part of the statement.

“Further, it will be critical that assurances of public safety and the integrity of the financial transactions involving such a large number of citizens be satisfactorily provided upfront.”

Kindiki added that anybody found further aiding or engaging in the activities will be dealt with as prescribed by law.

Worldcoin, owned by American Artificial Intelligence (AI) is registered by having an individual scan their iris and they receive 25 free WLD. The tokens are currently valued at Ksh.7,786.

On Tuesday, long queues led to the Kenyatta International Conference Center (KICC) where thousands flocked for a second day to sign up for the project, despite some admittedly not knowing what cryptocurrency is all about.

The uptake craze, which has so far seen about 350,000 Kenyans sign up, prompted police to stop the registration exercise over security concerns.

Officers asked the Worldcoin team to stop the exercise and kicked out the crowds due to what they said were security risks. They told the team to look for a bigger venue such as the Nyayo or Kasarani stadiums.

Data Commissioner Immaculate Kassait said the commission is conducting its assessment of Worldcoin’s practices to ensure compliance with the law.

The project by OpenAI CEO Sam Altman has been heavily criticised over privacy concerns. Still, the company’s website says the project is “completely private” and that data is deleted or a user can opt to have it stored in encrypted form.

Related Articles

Back to top button