"I'm breaking up with you!" "No, I'm breaking up with YOU!"

Telephone Game

Kenya claims it's shutting down Sam Altman's eyeball-scanning Worldcoin cryptocurrency within its borders — but Worldcoin says it's suspending its own services in the country, thank you very much.

In a joint statement, a group of agencies in the East African nation said that Worldcoin "must cease its data collection activities in Kenya until further notice" as it investigates regulatory concerns about the way the project collects biometric data.

Worldcoin, meanwhile, seems to have a different version of events.

Citing an "overwhelming" demand for Worldcoin in which "tens of thousands of individuals" waiting in lines across Kenya since its launch last week, the company told Futurism in a statement that it was the one suspending its services there.

"Out of an abundance of caution and in an effort to mitigate crowd volume," the emailed statement reads, "verification services have been temporarily paused."

So, to break it down in plain English: Kenya is saying that its government has suspended Worldcoin, and Worldcoin is saying that it suspended itself. The mind, it boggles.

Time to Cash Out

In the middle of this company said/country said is the undeniable fact that Kenyans have been showing up in droves to get their eyeballs scanned in exchange for 25 of Worldcoin's bespoke tokens, which are currently worth about $2.30 cents apiece. If the equivalent of $57-ish American dollars is worth a 90-second eyeball scan even in the developed world, that could be an even more meaningful amount in less developed ones like Kenya.

The good news, the company says, is that users can still access their Worldcoin tokens in the company's wallet, which means that the reported 350,000 people who signed up should be able to get to the money they earned in exchange for their iris scans.

What we know for sure is that Kenya, like Germany, France, and the United Kingdom, has major issues with the way Worldcoin collects and stores its data.

What its future may be in those countries and others (like, you know, the United States) is anyone's guess — and until or unless Worldcoin actually shows governments enough proof that it's securing data, rather than just issuing vague platitudes about it, that future will remain uncertain.

More on Worldcoin: I Let Sam Altman's Worldcoin Scan My Eyeballs With a Orb, and They Didn't Even Pay Me Crypto

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