Worldcoin Sparks Frenzy In Kenya: Free Tokens for Eye-Scanning Verification
- Kenyans are intrigued by Worldcoin’s free WLD tokens for eye-scanning verification.
- Quickmart Outlets in Nairobi attract enthusiastic young participants.
- Privacy concerns and token volatility raise questions amidst strong investor support.
The new cryptocurrency Worldcoin has sparked immense interest among Kenyans, as the platform rewards users with free WLD tokens in exchange for verifying their humanity through retinal scans, according to Daily Nation.
Launched just five days ago on Monday, July 24, the Worldcoin app utilizes special machines, known as Orbs, stationed in 35 countries, including Kenya, to perform the eye-scanning verification process.
The allure of receiving free tokens has drawn a surge of young people to at least 13 Quickmart Outlets in Nairobi, where these Orb devices are located. Eager participants can scan their eyeballs, and upon successful verification, they are rewarded with WLD tokens. These tokens can then be transferred to popular crypto exchanges, such as Binance, and used to purchase various other cryptocurrencies.
The value of the first 25 WLD tokens stands at around Sh7,786 ($55), offering early adopters a tangible incentive to participate in the scheme. James Makau, a bodaboda driver from Ruaka, shared his success story, having earned Sh6,461 ($45.6) from scanning his iris and subsequently converting his tokens into Kenyan shillings by trading them for USDT, a different cryptocurrency.
Worldcoin, co-founded by Sam Altman, the CEO of OpenAI, the developer of ChatGPT’s artificial intelligence platform, has ambitious goals. Their mission is to grant global market access to everyone by providing a verified digital ID, free crypto tokens, and a cryptocurrency wallet. According to their whitepaper, Worldcoin aims to create an inclusive digital currency accessible to people worldwide, regardless of their socio-economic status.
Despite the promising prospects, concerns loom over the true implications of this novel approach to identity verification. Worldcoin’s founders, Altman and Blania, caution that the journey will be challenging, and uncertainties remain in the outcome. To encourage widespread adoption, participants receive a few WLD tokens as compensation for their involvement, with the exception of the United States, where regulatory scrutiny has made this option unavailable.
The core concept behind Worldcoin’s iris scanning system is to establish a trustless digital identity to combat the growing capabilities of AI and robots to imitate real humans. The free tokens, in addition to potentially granting voting rights within the platform, are intended to facilitate the cryptocurrency’s adoption on a global scale.
However, the initial performance of the WLD token has been volatile, with its value doubling shortly after launch but subsequently experiencing a sharp 90% drop. Moreover, the project faces challenges raised by the UK’s data regulator. The regulator emphasizes the importance of users being able to withdraw consent “without detriment,” a challenge given the immutability of blockchain technology, which stores data permanently.
Questions have also been raised by prominent figures in the crypto community, including Twitter co-founder Jack Dorsey and Ethereum’s Vitalik Buterin, further adding to the scrutiny. Notably, Worldcoin has garnered significant support from various venture capital investors, such as Reid Hoffman, Andreessen Horowitz, and Coinfund, among others. Presently, 107 million WLD tokens are in circulation, with a notable concentration held by a limited number of entities.
As the excitement around Worldcoin grows in Kenya, the Office of Data Protection Commissioner (ODPC) has issued a warning urging caution. The ODPC advises Kenyans against sharing sensitive personal data until they have been provided with sufficient information regarding how their data will be utilized within the platform.
Worldcoin’s innovative approach to digital identity verification and its incentivization with free WLD tokens have piqued the curiosity of many Kenyans. However, the venture faces challenges and scrutiny over data privacy and the volatility of its cryptocurrency. As the project evolves, careful consideration of the potential risks and benefits will be vital in shaping the future of this ambitious cryptocurrency initiative.