Why Worldcoin Paused Orb Verification Services in India?

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Worldcoin has paused the offline Orb verification services in India, as it could not reportedly cater to the rising demand.

India is one of the largest markets for businesses worldwide. Hence, when Sam Altman launched Worldcoin in July, the company established 18 offline Orb verification locations in the country.

Did Worldcoin Quitely Abandoned Indian Market

Worldcoin’s Orb verification locations attracted crowds in public places like shopping malls. In July, the founder of Bitinning, Kashif Raza, shared pictures of the long queue from one of the locations on X (Twitter) and wrote:

“Probably the most interest for Worldcoin is from India🇮🇳. Long que were seen outside the Mall in Bangalore where the mall admin could not manage the crowd. Are Indian regulators even informed about it? Europe is already scrutinizing it.”

Queue Outside Indian Mall For Worldcoin Orb Verification. Source: X (Twitter)

However, gradually, the Indian locations listed on the websites started to decrease. In August, the crypto influencer Aditya Singh wondered if the Indian authorities launched a crackdown on Worldcoin’s operations. He wrote:

“World coin had over 10 locations for Orb iris scan in India, now it’s down to only 1. Not sure what happened but maybe authorities finally took action & started asking questions.”

Read more: What Is Worldcoin? A Guide to the Iris-Scanning Crypto Project

Finally, Worldcoin has completely halted its offline Orb verification service in India. A source familiar with the development told Moneycontrol that the service is temporarily halted because the Orbs could not cope with the surging demand. They elaborated:

“Orb verification services in India were temporarily scaled back as the company is working to roll out a bespoke, safe and orderly process to register in India that could cater to the massive demand.”

Regulatory Hurdles

Apart from India, Worldcoin has received scrutiny from authorities in many countries. For instance, in July 2023, BeInCrypto reported that the French privacy watchdog questioned the legality of Worldcoin’s iris data collection.

Prior to that, in the same month, the UK Information Commissioner’s Office declared that it would make further inquiries regarding the project.

Not to mention, on August 7, the Kenyan police reportedly raided a Worldcoin warehouse in Nairobi and seized some of the machines. The raid happened after the Kenyan government suspended Worldcoin’s operations on August 2.

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