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Kenya suspends Worldcoin till security concerns cleared

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The Republic of Kenya has suspended Worldcoin, a cryptocurrency project co-founded in 2019 by OpenAI chief Sam Altman, while the country’s security and data protection services look into the authenticity and legality of the project, the Ministry of the Interior and National Administration said on its Facebook page on Wednesday.

See related article: Is Worldcoin’s free crypto more than just a freebie?

Fast facts

  • “The government has suspended forthwith activities of ‘World Coin’ and any other entity that may be similarly engaging the people of Kenya until relevant public agencies certify the absence of any risks to the general public whatsoever,” the statement said. 
  • Worldcoin, where users are required to provide their iris scans to get a digital identification and free cryptocurrency in return, has faced criticism over privacy and security concerns.
  • The project is also unavailable in the U.S. due to regulatory restrictions, while Britain’s data regulator has said it will examine Worldcoin.
  • After launching its application in May 2022, Worldcoin reached a milestone of 2 million World ID sign-ups on July 13, 2023, and aims to increase the number of Orbs to 1,500 this summer and fall across some 35 cities in more than 20 countries.
  • The WLD token was trading at US$2.42 at 9.10 p.m. in Hong Kong, an increase of 3.73% in the past 24 hours, according to CoinMarketCap data. Its market capitalization gained 5.21% to US$280.92 million, while its trading volume increased 17% in 24 hours. 

See related article: Tokenization could bring mass adoption to crypto — or trigger disaster: Opinion

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