A Kenyan parliamentary committee has recommended the immediate shutdown of Sam Altman’s cryptocurrency project, Worldcoin, in the country. The committee, formed in August to investigate the operations of Worldcoin, has stated in its report that the project should be disabled both physically and virtually. This includes blacklisting IP addresses associated with Worldcoin’s websites. The committee’s main concern is the lack of regulations governing virtual assets in Kenya.
A parliamentary committee in Kenya has recommended the shutdown of Worldcoin operations due to the lack of regulations governing virtual assets. The committee also calls for criminal investigations into the project’s operations and the implementation of stronger data protection measures. Worldcoin’s ability to resume operations in Kenya is uncertain, and the company faces increasing global scrutiny.
Committee Urges Regulation of Virtual Assets
The committee’s report advises the Communication Authority, Kenya’s ICT regulator, to establish comprehensive oversight frameworks and policies on virtual assets and service providers within the country. It also recommends that the National Treasury, in consultation with relevant stakeholders, develops regulations and enforcement infrastructure to ensure adequate monitoring and regulation of virtual asset providers and their activities.
Criminal Investigations and Legal Action Recommended
The committee calls for criminal investigations into the operations of Tools for Humanity Corp, the company behind Worldcoin, as well as Tools for Humanity GmbH in Germany. It also urges the Kenyan government to take necessary legal action. The ongoing multi-agency investigation focuses on issues related to security, privacy, and the legality of using financial incentives to obtain biometric data.
Review of Legal Framework and Data Protection
The report highlights the need for a review of the current legal framework in Kenya to address concerns surrounding the collection and use of personal and sensitive data. It suggests implementing legislative interventions to govern the collection of biodata from Kenyan citizens, taking into account privacy, security, health concerns, and human rights. The report also proposes the formation of a board where the Office of the Data Protection Commissioner can report on its operations.
Worldcoin’s Implication in Kenya
Worldcoin aims to create a global ID and financial network using iris scans and its own cryptocurrency. Kenya was one of the first countries where Worldcoin launched sign-ups, and it quickly gained traction, especially after the official launch in late July. However, the large number of people lining up for the sign-up bonus drew the attention of government agencies, leading to the suspension of Worldcoin’s iris scans in the country.