Kenyan Parliamentary Panel Calls for Shutdown of Worldcoin Operations
A Kenyan parliamentary panel has called for the shutdown of cryptocurrency project Worldcoin by the country’s information technology regulator until more stringent regulations are put in place. This comes after the government suspended the project in August due to privacy concerns over the scanning of users’ irises in exchange for a digital ID.
Worldcoin, which was rolled out in various countries around the world by Tools for Humanity, has faced scrutiny in several other nations, including Britain, Germany, and France. Despite the August suspension, the project still maintains a virtual presence in Kenya and can be accessed via the internet.
In a report, the ad hoc panel of 18 lawmakers urged the Communications Authority of Kenya to disable the virtual platforms of Tools for Humanity Corp and Tools for Humanity GmbH Germany (Worldcoin) and blacklist the IP addresses of related websites. They also called for the suspension of the companies’ physical presence in Kenya until there is a legal framework for regulating virtual assets and service providers.
Worldcoin’s press office stated that they had not seen any official announcements from the committee directly. However, the panel’s report will be tabled at the National Assembly for consideration and adoption at a later date.
During the suspension of data collection in August, authorities raised concerns over the project’s method of obtaining consumer consent, which involved inducement through a monetary award. The investigation by the parliamentary panel also found that Worldcoin may have scanned the eyes of minors since there was no age-verification mechanism in place during the exercise.
The panel additionally called on government ministries to develop regulations for crypto assets and firms that provide crypto services. They also requested the police to investigate Tools for Humanity and take any necessary legal action.
It remains to be seen how the government and regulatory bodies will respond to the panel’s recommendations. As the adoption of cryptocurrencies grows globally, governments are grappling with the challenge of creating appropriate regulations to protect user privacy and ensure financial stability.
In conclusion, the Kenyan parliamentary panel’s call for the shutdown of Worldcoin operations highlights the need for more robust regulatory frameworks in the cryptocurrency space. As governments worldwide navigate the complexities of digital currencies, finding a balance between innovation and consumer protection will be crucial.