Worldcoin suspended in Kenya, one of its biggest markets for sign-ups so far

Quick Take

  • Kenya’s Ministry of the Interior said Worldcoin has been suspended until relevant agencies in the country can assess what risks it poses to the population.
  • The East African nation’s capital city of Nairobi had been a key market for Worldcoin, responsible for more than a quarter of a million sign-ups by December of last year.

Worldcoin, the identity-focused crypto project co-created by Sam Altman, has been suspended in Kenya — a market in which it has already signed up hundreds of thousands of customers.

“The Government is concerned by the ongoing activities of an organization calling itself ‘WORLD COIN’ which is involved in the registration of citizens through the collection of eyeball/iris data,” said Kenya’s Ministry of the Interior in a statement shared on Facebook on Wednesday and signed by Minister Kithure Kindiki.

It added, “Accordingly, the government has SUSPENDED forthwith, activities of ‘WORLD COIN’ and any other entity that may be similarly engaging the people of Kenya until relevant public agencies certify the absence of any risks to the general public whatsoever.”

The news will come as a blow for Worldcoin, which — in an investor presentation obtained previously by The Block — had previously highlighted Nairobi, the country’s capital, as a city in which it had seen significant demand. In December 2022, when the presentation was prepared, Worldcoin boasted of more than a quarter of a million sign-ups in Nairobi, with 45 of its