Thousands of Kenyans who scanned their eyeballs in exchange for money from Worldcoin may not have received it after all, it has emerged.
A Parliamentary committee inquiring into the activities of the project was on Tuesday stunned by the revelation that only a few could access it despite the registration inducement.
The exact number of those who were able to transfer the money to their mobile wallet could, however, not be established.
“From a few people that have been interviewed it was clear that they could access the money from the digital crypto exchanges,” National Computer and Cybercrime Coordination Committee (NC4) submitted.
Kenyans scanned their eyeballs in return for cryptocurrency tokens valued at about Sh7,700.
The Committee brings together key state agencies that include KDF, DCI, NIS, Cybercrime Unit, and Office of the Data Commissioner among several others.
James Kimunya, a Committee director, who had been hard-pressed to give the figures told the MPs that investigations are still ongoing to establish it.
“Are you saying they could or you are confirming they were sent? You should speak with authority and clarity,” Keiyo South MP Gideon Kimaiyo posed.
David Njoga from the Cybercrime responded;
“We don’t want to categorically say yes or no because tracing these individuals is an ongoing process which is part of the investigation.”
Manyatta MP John Mwaniki cornered the official demanding an elaborate explanation about it.
“Did any person, to the best of your knowledge, manage to transfer the Worldcoin into hard cash either dollars or Kenya shillings”? he asked.
Njoga noted that it is possible to get the money going by the explanation from the operators.
The tokens, he explained, can only be redeemed by those with PayPal accounts.
The Committee chaired by Narok West MP Gabriel Tongoyo also heard that the organisation was registered in the country mid-last year as a research organisation.
Its operations started late last year and were on a small scale.
Registration was conducted around universities and malls before it went full-blown mid-this year when it was flagged.
Three Kenyans out of 11 who are the agents have since been identified and under probe.
“We are still yet to find the other eight,” said Njoga.
Proprietors of Worldcoin have been summoned and are set to appear on Monday.
CBK Governor Kamau Thugge failed to appear as scheduled. Solicitor General Shadrack Mose is set to face the Committee on Wednesday.
Worldcoin was co-founded by Open AI CEO Sam Altman.
It aims to create a global financial network and identity by showing proof of personhood.
Currently, it is readily available in cities like Nairobi, Hong Kong, Lisbon, Mexico City, New York, Sao Paulo, Seoul, Singapore and Paris.
It uses a combination of cryptocurrency and biometric registration to create a new kind of global identity service.
On its website, World ID signups have so far hit 2.26 million from 34 countries.
The Committee further heard that Kenyan has the highest number of subscribers at 350, 000 accounting for percent.