Crypto, Crypto regulation, Kenya, OpenAI, Sam Altman, SEC, Worldcoin

Worldcoin, a crypto project co-founded by OpenAI CEO Sam Altman, has been under the microscope in several countries, including Britain, Germany, and France.

The project, led by Tools for Humanity, promises users a new “identity and financial network” but has faced criticism and scrutiny over its method of acquiring user data, particularly the scanning of individuals’ irises.

Worldcoin’s Controversial Presence In Kenya In a recent decision, an ad hoc panel of 18 Kenyan lawmakers has urged the country’s IT regulatory body, the Communications Authority of Kenya, to halt Worldcoin’s operations. This comes after the government suspended the project in early August over privacy concerns.

Despite the suspension, Worldcoin has managed to maintain a virtual presence in the country, accessible to residents via the internet. The parliamentary panel’s report highlighted serious privacy concerns, particularly the lack of age-verification mechanisms, which may have led to the scanning of minors’ irises.

The method by which Worldcoin obtained user consent – offering a monetary reward of slightly over $50 – was seen by authorities as bordering on inducement. Furthermore, the data collection drive in August witnessed lengthy queues of people eagerly waiting to get their irises scanned.

The panel’s stern recommendation to the Communications Authority of Kenya doesn’t end at simply halting Worldcoin’s operations. They’ve called for “disabling the virtual platforms of Tools for Humanity Corp and Tools for Humanity GmbH Germany (Worldcoin)” and even blacklisting related IP addresses.

This would essentially cut off Worldcoin’s access to Kenyan residents until legal frameworks for virtual assets and service providers are in place.

Regarding the panel’s report, Worldcoin’s press office mentioned they “hadn’t received any formal notification from the Committee.” However, the report is expected to be presented at the National Assembly for further deliberation and potential adoption.

The Road Ahead For Crypto Regulations In Kenya It is worth noting that Kenya’s relationship with Worldcoin shines a spotlight on the broader challenges many countries face with the rapid advancement of cryptocurrencies.

The parliamentary panel, recognizing the growing influence of digital assets, has appealed to government ministries to craft regulations specifically for crypto assets and companies providing related services.

Moreover, the panel has sought police intervention, urging them to investigate Tools for Humanity and take any necessary legal actions. While the Kenya authorities are pushing for stringent regulations on crypto, the United States Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has only continued to be more strict on the industry.

Last week, the US SEC deferred its decisions regarding multiple proposals for spot Bitcoin exchange-traded funds (ETFs) from leading financial institutions, including BlackRock.

The global crypto market cap value on the 1-day chart. Source: Crypto TOTAL Market Cap on Featured image from Unsplash, Chart from TradingView

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Samuel Edyme Edyme is a mysterious figure in the world of crypto, a writer who has explored every aspect of the blockchain. Some say he’s a trader, others claim he’s a hacker. His writing is like a key to unlocking the secrets of the crypto world, and his words can move markets. Edyme’s stories are like cryptographic puzzles, waiting to be solved. But who is he really? Some speculate that he’s hiding behind a pseudonym, like the legendary Satoshi Nakamoto himself.

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February 2024


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