Worldcoin Premises in Nairobi Raided by Police

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  • A Nairobi warehouse linked to Worldcoin’s parent company, Tools for Humanity, was raided over the weekend
  • The raid followed the suspension of Worldcoin’s operations in Kenya due to security and regulatory concerns
  • Worldcoin’s concept of rewarding crypto tokens for iris scans, aimed at creating a global financial network, faces skepticism from privacy experts

A warehouse belonging to Tools for Humanity, operators of the divisive cryptocurrency Worldcoin was raided over the weekend, according to local media. They claim that Nairobi police, backed by multi-agency officials, executed a search warrant against the premises over the weekend, confiscating documents and “machines they believe stores data gathered by the firm,” potentially the famous eyeball-scanning orbs. The move follows the suspension of Worldcoin’s operations in Kenya by the government due to security concerns and concerns over the company’s registration status.

Kenyan Suspension Led to Raid

At the heart of authorities’ concerns over Worldcoin appears to be the issue of a lack of disclosure by Tools for Humanity over its true intentions during registration, according to Kenya’s Data Commissioner. Worldcoin contends that it doesn’t store data, yet privacy experts remain apprehensive about the potential exposure of sensitive information collected through iris scanning.

Worldcoin, founded by US tech entrepreneur Sam Altman, has introduced a concept whereby individuals are rewarded with crypto tokens in exchange for permitting iris scans. Altman, known for his role in founding Open AI, expressed aspirations of creating a global identity and financial network accessible to everyone, transcending national boundaries.

However, Kenyan authorities have not taken too kindly to the way that Tools for Humanity has gone about things, leading to Interior Cabinet Secretary Kithure Kindiki suspending Worldcoin’s activities to facilitate an investigation into the legality of its operations. This suspension opened the door for an investigation into the company’s activities, of which the raid was part, with the Kenyan Capital Markets Authority (CMA) also expressing caution, warning the public that Worldcoin lacks regulatory approval in Kenya.

Worldcoin Says it is Toeing the Line

In response to the suspension, Worldcoin indicated intentions to implement crowd-control measures and collaborate with the government before resuming operations. It emphasized compliance with Kenyan regulations and reiterated its ambition to establish a universal financial network and identity system.

Worldcoin’s activities have sparked discussions around potential ramifications, including the verification of human identity and even the concept of universal basic income. Despite these aims, the firm’s current status as an unregistered legal entity in Kenya has raised concerns about privacy and compliance within the country’s legal framework.