The Kenyan government halted operations of Worldcoin (CRYPTO: WLD), a crypto project co-founded by Sam Altman, due to concerns over data privacy and public safety.
Worldcoin, which has already registered hundreds of thousands of customers in the country, is currently under investigation by the country’s security, financial services, and data protection agencies.
The Ministry of the Interior and National Administration in Kenya issued a statement on Aug. 2, expressing concerns about Worldcoin’s activities, specifically its approach to digital identity, which involves the use of iris-scanning technology.
“The Government is concerned by the ongoing activities of an organization calling itself ‘WORLD COIN’ which is involved in the registration of citizens through the collection of eyeball/iris data,” said the Cabinet Secretary for the Interior and National Administration, Kithure Kindiki.
The government has suspended Worldcoin from operating within the country until the relevant public agencies can certify that there are no risks to the public.
Appropriate action would be taken against any individual or entity that aids, abets, or is otherwise connected with the activities described, the government warned.
Worldcoin uses iris scanning to verify users’ identities. This method has raised concerns about data privacy and security, leading to the current investigation.
The Kenyan government’s decision to suspend Worldcoin’s operations comes at a time when the crypto project is making significant strides in the country.
The Kenyan government, according to TechCrunch, does not currently accept cryptocurrencies as legal cash and has already issued severe warnings about their uncontrolled, highly speculative, and volatile nature, which puts them in significant danger of losing value.
In several instances, the government has said that it is unable to provide any protection in the event that cryptocurrency exchanges fail, as happened most recently with FTX, added TechCrunch.
“In contrast, Kenya has shifted its position on cryptocurrencies in recent months, proposing to work on a regulatory framework for digital assets as it tries to capitalize on the rising popularity of cryptocurrencies,” said TechCrunch.
Produced in association with Benzinga
Edited by Priscilla Jepchumba and Judy J. Rotich