Kenyan police officers have conducted a raid on a warehouse belonging to the cryptocurrency project Worldcoin in Nairobi. The officers, accompanied by multi-agency officials, arrived at the warehouse with a search warrant and confiscated documents and machines for further investigation. This action follows the Kenyan government’s order to suspend all activities related to Worldcoin’s registration and the distribution of its native token, WLD, due to concerns about the project’s legality and authenticity.
Worldcoin, which was launched in July, aims to establish a decentralized identification system to distinguish humans from artificial intelligence bots. The project utilizes a proof-of-person concept to protect privacy and address income inequality. However, the most controversial aspect of Worldcoin is the requirement for users to prove their humanity by scanning their irises using a biometric verification device called Orb. This has raised concerns about potential privacy violations.
The seized machines from Worldcoin’s Nairobi warehouse have been taken to the Directorate of Criminal Investigations headquarters for analysis and further investigation. The Data Commissioner, Immaculate Kassait, stated that Worldcoin’s parent company, Tools for Humanity, did not disclose its true intentions during registration.
In addition to the Kenyan government, the Capital Markets Authority has also expressed concerns about Worldcoin’s activities, warning residents that the project is not regulated in the country. Despite Worldcoin’s claims of compliance with Kenyan regulations, Interior Cabinet Secretary Kithure Kindiki has informed Parliament that the project is not registered as a legal entity.
Worldcoin selected Kenya as its first African country of operation due to the nation’s thriving tech scene and the significant number of Kenyans involved in cryptocurrency trading. However, data protection agencies in various regions, including France, Germany, and the UK, have initiated examinations of the project to ensure compliance with data regulations.
The raid on Worldcoin’s warehouse in Nairobi underscores the ongoing scrutiny surrounding the project and its compliance with legal and privacy requirements. As investigations continue, the cryptocurrency community awaits further developments regarding the future of Worldcoin and its operations in Kenya and other countries.