MPs told how much WorldCoin paid to rent space at KICC

A month after the WorldCoin craze amongst Kenyans that saw them exchanging eyeballs for money, the Kenyatta International Convention Centre (KICC) has provided an explanation as to why World Coin’s followers gathered within its premises.

This explanation was presented during a meeting with the AD-HOC Committee tasked with investigating the activities of World Coin.

KICC stated that a client named Everline Adingo approached them with a request to use their facilities for a product activation event. The event was initially planned to last for four days, from July 29 to August 1.

Exp Momentum branded tents were utilized for the event, which aimed to engage the public. However, Adingo subsequently requested a 13-day extension to conclude the product activation.

KICC explained that this extension request was denied due to the large crowd that had gathered in the area, causing significant traffic congestion. The statement mentioned, “Request was later made to extend the event with 13 days but it was declined due to concerns that arose once management realised that the event had attracted large crowds affecting the flow of traffic along the city hallway.”

All communication with the client (WorldCoin) was conducted through emails. The facility usage fee was invoiced to Adingo, totalling Sh 448,920 for using KICC Grounds for the product activation. Adingo made a payment of Sh 441,180, which included a 2 percent withholding tax.

The Directorate of Criminal Investigation (DCI) has also held discussions with KICC regarding this matter.

Following public frenzy over the WorldCoin cryptocurrency, the government, through the Ministry of Interior, suspended all World Coin activities. Interior Cabinet Secretary Kithure Kindiki expressed concerns about data security and usage, especially since around 350,000 Kenyans had their irises scanned for digital identity through the World Coin orb.

Thousands of Kenyans had queued up at KICC on August 1, where they had their eyes scanned by an orb and received Sh 7000 in return.

Cabinet Secretary for Information, Communications, and the Digital Economy Eliud Owalo stated that Kenya became aware of World Coin in April 2023. Owalo clarified that World Coin wasn’t violating any data protection acts but advised caution regarding the information shared.

WorldCoin contended that Kenyans willingly provided their information in exchange for money. The cryptocurrency’s value had dropped to $1.24, equivalent to Ksh. 180 at prevailing foreign exchange rates. This was a significant decline from its previous retail price of Sh 7000 per token.

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