Kenya clamps down on Worldcoin over national security and tax evasion concerns
Kenya's Attorney General said Worldcoin is not a registered business in the country.
Kenya’s National Computer Cybercrimes Coordination Committee (NC4) warned that Worldcoin activities pose national and economic security challenges to the African country, local media outlet Standard Media reported.
Threats posed by Worldcoin
Colonel James Kimuyu, the director of NC4, presenting before a parliamentary committee, outlined the risks associated with the Sam Altman-backed project.
Kimuyu expressed concerns regarding Worldcoin’s biometric data collection, emphasizing its potential impact on national security. Additionally, he noted that the project’s utilization of blockchain technology and cryptocurrencies could introduce competition to foreign exchange systems and remittance providers due to its rapid and cost-efficient transaction processing.
The director emphasized concerns about potential tax evasion linked to Worldcoin transactions, citing the challenge of tracking and taxing them due to their decentralized nature. Additionally, he discussed how these transactions could influence the central bank’s control over monetary policy in the country.
Kenya’s Attorney General Justin Muturi said Worldcoin and its affiliate, Tools for Humanity, have been operating illegally in the country, local media The Star reported.
This is in correlation with a separate local media report that revealed that Worldcoin began its operations in Kenya disguised as a research project.
Muturi disclosed that the mentioned projects lacked the appropriate authorization to operate in the country, with only the Sales Marketing company, another subsidiary, fully registered.
One Kevin Odumbe reportedly registered Sales Marketing in 2013, and its offices are at LR 209/37 Langata/Kitengela Road.
Earlier this month, the Kenyan government suspended Worldcoin’s operation within its jurisdiction, citing concerns about how it intends to use the collected biometric data of Kenyans.
The authorities later raided a Worldcoin warehouse, confiscating various documents and machines believed to store the data collected by the company.
On Aug. 28, the Kenyan High Court ordered Worldcoin and its associates to cease further processing of biometric data until the pending case against the company is duly heard and resolved.