The controversy surrounding the Worldcoin cryptocurrency project is entering a new phase, as reports now reveal that some Kenyan individuals who underwent eye scans to register for the currency are facing health problems. Furthermore, certain affected individuals are alleging that they were deceived, receiving Ksh.2,000 instead of the promised Ksh.7,000 for signing up as new Worldcoin users.
During a testimony before the National Assembly Ad Hoc Committee investigating the Worldcoin controversy, one witness claimed that after undergoing the eye scan, they began experiencing eye issues, necessitating medical treatment. The witness shared, “After the scan, my eyes started becoming watery. I have been wearing prescribed glasses since that time. I’m unsure if it’s a coincidence or if it’s related to the Worldcoin scan.”
The witness explained to lawmakers that the eyeball scan was intended to confirm the user’s humanity during registration. Regarding the promised compensation, the committee learned that users were assured of receiving 70 US dollars (approximately Ksh.7,000), but they ultimately only received Ksh.2,000.
One witness named Bernard Ochieng recounted, “They came to our school and registered us. They used an iris scan to confirm that we were human beings. Once they verified our humanity, they were supposed to give us 25 World coins, equivalent to 70 USD. They promised Ksh.7,000, but I only received Ksh.2,000 via M-Pesa.”
The committee was also informed that there was no written consent agreement between the cryptocurrency company and the users regarding the eye scans and collection of private data. Additionally, some individuals who enrolled in Worldcoin are facing social stigma, especially from peers who did not undergo the eye scan.
Meanwhile, Central Bank of Kenya Governor Kamau Thugge, who appeared before the committee, clarified that the CBK had no involvement in licensing or endorsing Worldcoin’s founders. He further stated that the CBK had no knowledge of Worldcoin’s activities in the country.
The seventeen-member Committee is actively investigating the connection between cryptocurrency trading in Kenya and the recent actions of Worldcoin, with a particular focus on determining the source of the funds distributed to Kenyan citizens before the iris scans were conducted.