A Shaky Worldcoin Operation in Kenya
Recent discoveries about the operation of Worldcoin, a crypto project, in Kenya has raised eyebrows within the Kenyan government, putting a government official under questioning. Kenyan law requires crypto projects to acquire licensed approval from the Communications Authority of Kenya, which allegedly was not achieved by Worldcoin’s infamous eye-scanning tool, “Orbs”.
The Unlicensed Cryptocurrency Drama
The task of looking into Worldcoin’s functioning was assigned to a committee within the Kenyan parliament. Eliud Owalo, the Kenyan ICT cabinet secretary, was subjected to intense scrutiny as the committee noted variations in his statements about Worldcoin’s licensure status. According to the committee led by Gabriel Tongoyo, the crypto project might have been operational for over a year without possessing the required license, following Owalo’s statements from Sept. 11.
Eliud Owalo, initially, was thought to be supporting the crypto operation. However, his standpoint seemed to have changed drastically when he accused the firm for operating without respecting the registration license requirements. This led to the formation of a new parliamentary committee to enquire into the reality of Worldcoin’s licensure status among other aspects of operation.
The committee’s investigation led them to conclude that Owalo’s testimonies were misleading regarding Worldcoin’s claims of being licensed. They noted that Worldcoin started gathering public data on May 31, 2021, and only applied for registration as data controllers in Kenya on August 22, 2022, contradicting the Data Protection Act of 2019.
The confusing part for the committee was when Owalo denied ever declaring that Worldcoin’s Kenyan operations were legal.
Unauthorized ‘Orbs’ and Worldcoin’s Legal Status
Finally, it wasn’t just the licensing that raised suspicions but also the legal approval of Worldcoin’s ‘Orbs’. The committee stated that these eyeball scanning devices were not approved by the Communications Authority of Kenya.
Furthermore, they alleged that transferring and storing user data in South African Amazon Web Services servers by Worldcoin breached section 48 of the Data Protection Act.
Upon investigating the status of Tools for Humanity Corp and Tools for Humanity Gmbh Germany, who were running this crypto project, the committee revealed:
“Neither of the companies features in the Business Registration Service database of registered businesses or firms in Kenya. This makes them unfit to conduct any business transactions within Kenya according to the Companies Act, 2015.”
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Frequently asked Questions
1. What is the Worldcoin project and why is it controversial in Kenya?
The Worldcoin project is a cryptocurrency initiative aiming to provide universal basic income to every person on Earth. It has faced controversy in Kenya due to the mixed messages from the Cabinet Secretary regarding the project’s license status.
2. What role does the Cabinet Secretary play in the Worldcoin project?
The Cabinet Secretary is responsible for overseeing and regulating cryptocurrency projects in Kenya. Their role includes issuing licenses and providing clarity on the legality and status of such initiatives.
3. What are the mixed messages that the Cabinet Secretary has conveyed regarding the Worldcoin project?
The Cabinet Secretary has given conflicting statements about the license status of the Worldcoin project. At times, they have indicated that the project has a valid license, while at other times, they have suggested that it lacks the necessary approvals.
4. How has the contradictory information from the Cabinet Secretary affected the Worldcoin project?
The mixed messages from the Cabinet Secretary have created confusion and uncertainty around the Worldcoin project. This has led to a lack of clarity for both the project’s developers and potential investors, hindering its progress and potentially damaging its reputation.
5. What are the potential consequences of the Worldcoin project lacking a valid license?
If the Worldcoin project does not possess a valid license, it could face legal repercussions, including fines and potential shutdown. Additionally, users of the cryptocurrency might become hesitant to engage with the project, fearing possible legal complications.
6. How has the public and media reacted to the Cabinet Secretary’s mixed messages?
The public and media have been critical of the Cabinet Secretary’s mixed messages regarding the Worldcoin project. They have raised concerns about the government’s transparency and effectiveness in regulating cryptocurrency initiatives, and have called for clearer communication.
7. What steps should the Cabinet Secretary take to address the controversy and provide clarity?
To address the controversy and provide clarity, the Cabinet Secretary should make a definitive statement on the Worldcoin project’s license status. Additionally, they should outline the specific regulations and requirements that the project needs to fulfill, ensuring consistency in their messaging and avoiding further confusion.