- The price of Worldcoin, the cryptocurrency project launched by US-based AI company OpenAI, has experienced a sharp decline by half since its inception on July 24.
- Despite the suspension, users who had registered for the project could still access their grants.
The price of Worldcoin, the cryptocurrency project launched by US-based AI company OpenAI, has experienced a sharp decline by half since its inception on July 24.
This downturn comes alongside a suspension of Worldcoin operations in Kenya due to concerns over privacy issues.
The Worldcoin project garnered significant attention in Kenya during its initial two weeks, with residents queuing at makeshift centres in Nairobi to undergo eye scans using the Worldcoin Orb.
This process, known as the World ID, was designed to verify users' online identities. New members were offered 25 free cryptocurrency tokens, referred to as grants, redeemable through the World App.
As of August 1, the value of one Worldcoin reached $2.28, translating to Sh7,786 upon verification.
However, the cryptocurrency's fortunes soon changed. Its peak value of $2.45 on August 2 marked a high point that was followed by a continuous decline.
A recent evaluation on Monday found that the value of Worldcoin had plummeted to $1.24, equivalent to Sh180 at current foreign exchange rates.
Consequently, the value of 25 tokens fell to approximately Sh4,500.
While over 350,000 Kenyans underwent eyeball scans with the Worldcoin Orb, the Kenyan government suspended Worldcoin's operations on August 2.
The suspension was enacted to facilitate an investigation by relevant security, financial services, and data protection agencies into the company's legitimacy and legality.
Despite the suspension, users who had registered for the project could still access their grants.
Worldcoin reported significant traffic to its World App, leading to temporary downtime, indicating ongoing user engagement.
In the midst of the turmoil in Kenya, Worldcoin has expanded its presence to countries such as Germany and France.
The company boasts 2,261,457 sign-ups and verifications across 34 countries.
However, this global rollout has not been without challenges. European authorities are closely scrutinizing the project for potential violations of the General Data Protection Regulations (GDPR) in EU member states.
The Information Commission Office of the United Kingdom and France's privacy watchdog CNIL have both expressed concerns about Worldcoin's data collection practices.
CNIL, after a preliminary review, revealed its concerns about the legality of the biometric data collection associated with Worldcoin.
Furthermore, it indicated that it was engaging with its counterpart in the German state to explore these concerns further.
As Worldcoin grapples with a declining value and increasing regulatory scrutiny, its fate remains uncertain.
The cryptocurrency landscape is proving to be a complex terrain, where innovation is met with questions of privacy, legality, and financial stability.