Worldcoin in Kenya: Here’s Everything You Need to Know and Why it is Suspended by Gov’t

The past few days have seen a new frenzy online surrounding a new cryptocurrency dubbed Worldcoin. Worldcoin is a new global digital currency that aims to create a new identity and financial network owned by everyone.

It was founded by Alex Blania and Sam Altman, the CEO of OpenAI (the company behind the AI Chatbot, ChatGPT), with the vision of increasing economic opportunity, enabling global democratic processes, and eventually showing a potential path to AI-funded UBI.

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How does Worldcoin work?

Well, before diving into Worldcoin, it is important to familiarize yourself with the cryptocurrency space. The posts linked above might give you a general idea of how the crypto world works. It is worth knowing those as they form the basic premise of Worldcoin.

Worldcoin consists of two main components: World ID and WLD. World ID, according to the platform, is a privacy-preserving digital identity that lets you prove you are a real and unique person online, allegedly without revealing any personal information. WLD is the digital currency that you receive ‘simply for being human‘, where laws allow.

Someone getting their iris scanned by the Orb

To get World ID and WLD, you need to visit an Orb, a biometric verification device that scans your eyes and creates a unique hash that represents your identity. The platform adds that the Orb does not store any images or data from your eyes, only the hash.

The hash is then sent to the Worldcoin network, where it is checked against existing hashes to ensure uniqueness. If you are verified as a new user, you will receive a share of WLD in your World App wallet, which is the first protocol-compatible wallet for Worldcoin.

The amount of WLD you receive depends on the total supply and the number of verified users. The total supply of WLD is fixed at 10 billion, and the distribution algorithm is ‘designed to ensure that every human on Earth can get a fair share’.

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They further add that the distribution will last for about 10 years, after which WLD can be used as a medium of exchange, store of value, or unit of account.

What are the benefits of Worldcoin?

Well, I am skeptical about all this but the people behind Worldcoin say that it has several potential benefits for individuals and society. Some of them are:

  • It can provide a universal basic income (UBI) for everyone, regardless of their location, income, or status. UBI is a form of social security that guarantees regular and unconditional payment to every citizen. UBI can reduce poverty, inequality, and insecurity, as well as increase happiness, health, and productivity. There’s still no detailed insight into how this is possible.
  • It can create a reliable solution for distinguishing humans from AI online while ‘preserving privacy’. As AI becomes more advanced and ubiquitous, it becomes harder to tell whether something was created by humans or algorithms. This poses challenges to trust, accountability, and authenticity online. World ID can help verify human identity and prevent AI impersonation or manipulation.
  • It can enable global democratic processes and collective decision-making. World ID can also be used as a voting mechanism for various issues that affect humanity as a whole, such as climate change, human rights, or global governance. World ID can ensure that every vote is valid and unique, and that every voice is heard and counted.
  • It can foster innovation and entrepreneurship by giving access to capital and markets to anyone who has an idea or a skill. Worldcoin can also create new opportunities for collaboration and cooperation across borders and cultures.

How can I join Worldcoin?

If you are interested in joining Worldcoin, you can download World App from the official website or your app store and reserve your share. You can also find the nearest Orb location and book a time to be verified.

In Kenya, this is Quickmatt supermarket in and around Nairobi. These are updated on Worldcoin’s social media platforms so you might want to check those out for the current location of the Orb in your area.


Worldcoin is an ambitious project that aims to create a new identity and financial network owned by everyone. It is still in its early stages and faces many challenges and uncertainties, chief of them being skepticism from privacy-conscious users across the world, and even states and unions over privacy concerns. Skepticism aside, such a radical initiative holds the potential to shape the future of humanity in a positive way.

However, there is a lot of pushback, and rightfully so. Some experts warn that Worldcoin may face legal and regulatory challenges in different countries, especially those that have banned or restricted cryptocurrencies. Some critics also question how Worldcoin will ensure that each person gets only one coin, and whether the eye scan data will be stored or shared with third parties.

Caution is Highly Advised

Admittedly, Worldcoin is a controversial project that involves scanning people’s irises in exchange for cryptocurrency, and it has been criticized for violating privacy and human rights.

In Kenya, the Office of the Data Protection Commissioner (ODPC) has called for heightened vigilance from members of the public as they continue to engage with the digital identification platform. On August 2nd, the government outright suspended the collection of personal data from Kenyans by Worldcoin until all security concerns are addressed.

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As such, caution is highly advised even as this frenzy rages on. Also, beware of narratives online that could be misleading or harmful to the unsuspecting Kenyans looking to make a quick buck off of these platforms.

A rule of thumb when dealing with such platforms is pretty simple: If you are not paying for the product, then YOU are the product. Ask yourself what the person or entity willing to give you heaps of free money is getting out of the data they’re collecting from you.


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