Unraveling Worldcoin, WLD, and World ID: A Kenyan Perspective.

The topic at hand needs no introduction given the circus that has ensued after Worldcoin exploded onto the Kenyan scene in the past week or so. Everyone and anyone seem to have their two cents on it. As we try to better understand this situation, let us keep in mind that Kenya is one of the most vibrant global markets for cryptocurrencies with over 4.5 million people dabbling in them so Worldcoin is not an anomaly when it comes to our appetite for crypto.

The Kenyan Government doesn’t seem to have a very clear stance on it even as Worldcoin sign-ups were indefinitely suspended. The Communications Authority of Kenya and the Office of the Data Protection Commissioner also rebuked it.

What’s going on? Let’s take a deep dive into the controversial yet fascinating venture in the realm of digital finance – Worldcoin, its integral cryptocurrency WLD, and the pioneering World ID.

What Is Worldcoin, World ID & WLD?

Worldcoin is an open-source protocol that aims to democratize participation in the global economy. Supported by a global community, the Worldcoin Foundation is leading the project until it becomes self-sustainable. Meanwhile, Tools for Humanity serve as advisors to the Foundation and operate the World App.

At the heart of Worldcoin is a novel concept – World ID. It’s a privacy-first, decentralized identity protocol that uses zero-knowledge proofs to let you verify your uniqueness without revealing personal data.

Think of Worldfcoin as a digital passport for the internet that verifies you as a unique individual while retaining your privacy. The World ID can prove this uniqueness through various methods, such as phone number verification and Orb biometric verification.

The WLD is the native token of the Worldcoin network. The vision is for it to become the most widely distributed digital currency, with most of it being handed to individuals simply for being unique humans, potentially making it the most widely held digital currency worldwide!

World ID in Action.

One can use the World ID to sign in to websites, mobile apps, and crypto. It’s as simple as selecting “Sign in with Worldcoin” on a website, mobile app, or crypto, and approving or rejecting the request from your self-custodial wallet to authenticate your personhood.

In its quest for personhood verification, World ID uses phone number verification and, for higher accuracy, Orb biometric verification. The Orb is an ingenious device, developed by Tools for Humanity (TFH), capable of capturing iris scans in a privacy-preserving manner.

The shiny, spherical gadget is an integral part of the project, acting as an iris scanner and an essential tool for World ID verification. This aspect seems to be where most of the drama in Kenya seems to be revolving around as it potentially is a major risk area where data privacy is concerned.

Advantages of Worldcoin.

Worldcoin, WLD, and World ID, in combination, offer a unique proposition. It’s a move towards self-sovereign, decentralized identification which could potentially make the internet safer and more democratic. Bot protection, secure voting, fraud prevention in financial services, improved customer incentives, and more transparent marketplaces could all be within reach. Additionally, the WLD token could enable universal access to the global economy regardless of a person’s location or background.

What’s The Problem With Worldcoin in Kenya?

Now that we understand the basics let’s delve into the current state of affairs, especially here in Kenya.

Interestingly, Kenya emerged as one of the strongest markets for Worldcoin, with one of the largest networks of Orb venues. Unfortunately, it is the first country in the world to ban it outright. Previously, Worldcoin listed 18 Kenyan venues where locals could verify their World ID. Worldcoin has seen an unprecedented rush in Kenya, with over 350,000 Kenyans signing up to receive free WLD tokens.

After the global launch, Kenyans could convert their tokens to USDT or sell them for cash to local brokers, leading to an influx of people at the Orb stations. Each person who signed up received free WLD tokens worth around Kes. 7,500.00 ($50.00) – if you crunch the numbers that’s Kes. 2.8B (US$17.5M) in current WLD token value in Kenya alone! This ‘pesa bure’ (free money) promise spread like a virus, resulting in larger venues like the Kenyatta International Convention Centre (KICC) being used to accommodate the crowd.

However, this swift adoption led to government scrutiny, culminating in a suspension of Worldcoin’s activities while safety assessments are conducted. The unexpected decision now casts uncertainty on the future of the circulating Worldcoin tokens, which are currently being traded in the grey market.

This situation is not unique to Kenya. Other countries, including Britain, Germany, and France, have also started examining Worldcoin, showing that the project’s road to global acceptance isn’t without speed bumps.

What Is The Way Forward for Worldcoin In Kenya?

So, where do we stand now? As it turns out, in a grey area. Worldcoin, despite its promise of democratizing global digital finance, is caught in a whirlwind of controversy and uncertainty. Key questions need answering. What will be the fate of the circulating Worldcoin tokens in Kenya? What does this mean for the future of crypto regulations in Kenya? So many questions and too few answers.

In the Kenyan context, it’s crucial to maintain open communication about Worldcoin’s operations and intentions, especially in light of our government’s concerns. For Worldcoin to truly serve as a public good, trust must be established with the communities it seeks to benefit. To this end, Worldcoin must demonstrate transparency and adhere to all legal and ethical guidelines.

In conclusion, Worldcoin, WLD, and World ID represent an innovative leap toward democratizing the digital economy. However, as we move forward, it is essential to continually assess the safety and privacy implications of these technologies. For Kenyans, this is particularly crucial, given the response by the Kenyan Government.

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