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The World-coin cryptocurrency wants to scan your eyes.

Monday marked the official introduction of the digital ID platform Worldcoin, which had been in development for three years. Worldcoin, co-founded by OpenAI CEO Sam Altman, seeks to provide its users with a verified digital identity, as well as a cryptocurrency token and a crypto wallet app.

According to World coin, advancements in artificial intelligence have made it increasingly difficult to determine whether online activity, written text, digital artwork, or anything else on the internet was created by actual humans or AI. The company proposes to assist in resolving this confusion by deploying a type of digital passport based on what it terms “proof of person-hood.”

“The goal is simple: a global financial and identity network based on proof of person hood,” tweeted Altman. “This seems especially essential in the age of artificial intelligence. I am optimistic that Worldcoin can contribute to discussions about how we will share access, benefits, and governance of future AI systems.”

The platform of World-coin verifies the identity of a user by scanning their iris to generate personal, secure identification codes. The company claims that because the codes are stored on a decentralized blockchain, they cannot be duplicated or spoofed to establish false identities or commit fraud.

The company claims that it enrolled more than 2 million users during beta testing. It now intends to implement scanning operations in dozens of locations across 20 countries.

What Exactly Is World-coin?

Worldcoin is a digital identification platform that aims to provide every person on the planet with a simple method to verify that they are actual humans and not bots or AI algorithms.

Tools for Humanity, the company developing Worldcoin, was cofounded by Altman, who is best known for creating ChatGPT. Ironically, Altman was instrumental in igniting the current AI gold rush, which has substantially exacerbated the very issue Worldcoin seeks to address.

Worldcoin’s digital passport system was developed using the cryptographic and blockchain technologies that support the global cryptocurrency market. In addition, it supports the WLD cryptocurrency token and a payment platform.

How does World coin function?

Consider Worldcoin as a tripod with three legs: People must acquire and utilize three mutually reinforcing components for it to be effective.

Global ID

The core of the platform is World ID, which the company asserts will allow users to “verify their humanity” online while maintaining their anonymity. This so-called “proof of personhood” is generated by the Orb, an iris-scanning device.

Similar to fingerprints, each individual’s iris pattern is unique. The Orb scans a user’s iris and utilizes its structure to generate an IrisCode, a unique identification code. The code is not linked to a user’s personal information; its solitary purpose is to prevent individuals from acquiring multiple World IDs.

After scanning your iris and storing an anonymous Iris Code, the Orb generates your World ID. It also deletes each iris image permanently. The system does not rely on constantly pointing eye sensors at your eyes to verify your identity.

Each World ID is added to the Worldcoin blockchain, and users identify themselves using a crypto graphically secure app.

Worldcoin Orbs are now available in approximately 25 cities across the globe, including Hong Kong, Tokyo, Singapore, Seoul, Paris, Lisbon, Mexico City, So Paulo, Nairobi, New York, and San Francisco.
Global App

The World App is where your World ID is stored. The app, according to World coin, protects users’ privacy while providing access to an increasing number of decentralized financial applications.

The application functions as a cryptocurrency wallet, but its primary function is to maintain user credentials so that users can authenticate themselves on any third-party application.

In addition to your World ID, the app can store Bitcoin, Ethereum, and USDC, and according to the company, more cryptocurrencies will be supported in the near future.
WLD Blockchain-Based Token

Users gain access to the WLD cryptocurrency token after creating a World ID and downloading the World App.

WLD was distributed to participants of the beta program. On Monday, as part of the platform’s official launch, a significant quantity of WLD was airdropped to users. WLD has been listed for trading on crypto exchanges, including KuCoin and Binance, the largest exchange by volume in the world.

According to the Worldcoin white paper, ten billion WLD will be issued over a span of fifteen years. 143 million WLD are currently in circulation as of the launch date. Approximately 100 million were sent to market makers to facilitate trading, while 43 million were allocated to verified World App users.

Objections to Worldcoin

The initiative has already been criticized for its lofty objectives and questionable methods.

After the launch of Worldcoin, Vitalik Buterin, the founder of Ethereum, conveyed his concerns in a blog post. He argued that the platform’s iris scans could be harvesting more information than the company is letting on, or that someone could scan another individual’s iris to determine if they had a World ID.

According to an April 2022 article in MIT Technology Review, World-coin engaged in “deceptive marketing practices, collected more personal data than it acknowledged, and failed to obtain meaningful informed consent.”

The corporation issued a 25-page response to the criticisms of MIT Technology Review. “We want to make it very clear that World coin is not a data company, and that our business model does not involve exploiting or selling personal user data,” the company wrote. “Worldcoin cares only about a user’s uniqueness, i.e. that they have never signed up for World-coin before, and not their identity.”

Worldcoin has also been criticized for its extensive platform promotion in developing nations. Significant numbers of new users are located in Asia and Africa, which raises concerns regarding exploitation.

“What I find most alarming is how the World Coin team has proclaimed about their number of users. In actuality, they’ve been exploiting people in developing nations,” tweeted the pseudonymous crypto influencer ZachXBT.

Sam Bankman-Fried, the infamous originator of the defunct cryptocurrency exchange FTX, finally invested in World coin during an October 2021 seed funding round.

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