Worldcoin cryptocurrency project suspended in Kenya

The new cryptocurrency and digital identity project, Worldcoin, is facing a rough start in Kenya, with the government halting all local activity associated with the altcoin.

Kenya’s Minister of Internal Security took to Facebook on Aug. 2 to announce that the state has suspended the activities of Worldcoin until relevant public agencies had certified the absence of risks to Kenyans.

“Relevant security, financial services and data protection agencies have commenced inquiries and investigations to establish the authenticity and legality of the aforesaid activities,” interior minister Kithure Kindiki said in a statement.

Worldcoin cryptocurrency project suspended in Kenya
A statement by Kenya’s Minister of Internal Security on Worldcoin. Source: Facebook

The minister stressed that the government of Kenya is specifically concerned by Worldcoin collecting crucial identification information like iris scans in exchange for a digital ID.

“Appropriate action will be taken on any natural or juristic person who furthers, aids, abets or otherwise engages in or is connected with the activities afore described,” the statement said.

Related: Worldcoin rebuts reports of lackluster takeup as Altman cites Japan queues

As previously reported by Cointelegraph, the Worldcoin project was officially launched on July 24, 2023 after three years of development. The project was co-founded by Sam Altman, the CEO of OpenAI — the firm behind the popular artificial intelligence (AI)-based chatbot ChatGPT.

Worldcoin’s mission builds on expectations that it will become too difficult to differentiate between humans and bots online as AI technology grows further. In order to differentiate humans from AI, the startup created a digital ID system based on “proof of personhood.” Such a digital ID is generated by scanning an individual’s iris and giving them a “World ID.”

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