Kenya Suspends Worldcoin Rollout: Iris Scan Controversy Sheds Light on Cryptocurrency’s Global Impact

The introduction of the US cryptocurrency Worldcoin in Kenya has been halted following the company’s large-scale effort to enroll customers by utilizing iris scans as part of its global rollout.

The Kenyan government’s action represents a setback in the worldwide launch of this product and draws attention to issues such as the collection of personal data by technology companies in less developed nations, as well as the assertion that cryptocurrencies could potentially address global wealth inequality.

The Worldcoin logo on a laptop arranged in Germantown, New York, US, on Monday, July 24, 2023. Worldcoin, the digital identity and crypto payments project co-founded by OpenAI Chief Executive Officer Sam Altman, launched on Monday. Photographer: Gabby Jones/Bloomberg via Getty Images

Why the use of iris scans?

Worldcoin, the entity responsible for the eponymous cryptocurrency, launched on a global scale on July 24th. The initiative is the brainchild of Tools for Humanity (TFH), a technology company headquartered in San Francisco. TFH was co-founded by US tech visionaries Sam Altman, Max Novendstern, and Alex Blania.


Worldcoin contends that its cryptocurrency will be “equitably distributed among a wide range of individuals” and has stated its intention to kickstart its launch by bestowing “a complimentary share to every individual on the planet.”

Sam Altman, one of the co-founders and also the CEO of OpenAI, the creators of ChatGPT, envisions a future where distinguishing between humans and machines will grow increasingly complex. The prevalence of bots imitating human behavior online is exacerbated by the advancement of sophisticated AI-generated counterfeits.