Worldcoin, the recently hyped project founded by OpenAI CEO Sam Altman, has stirred controversy among crypto members. The controversy centers around Worldcoin’s ambition, which aims to offer a unique digital passport for verifying users as real individuals rather than AI bots.
The zK-based “World ID” vision meets growing criticism from industry leaders, including CryptoQuant CEO and Dogecoin co-creator.
In a tweet on July 25, CryptoQuant CEO Ki Young Ju raised concerns about the project’s exclusion of U.S. citizens from the iris scanning process. The project reportedly authenticates the user’s digital identity using an Orb that scans the iris.
Ki Young additionally questioned the necessity of a new cryptocurrency to replace Bitcoin. Notably, the CEO labeled Worldcoin a scam due to its lack of utilities and its opaque tokenomic.
While the co-creator of Dogecoin Billy Markus didn’t take a strong stance against the Worldcoin project like Ki Young, he recently said that the new cryptocurrency was “creepy and weird.”
His comment was in response to a tweet from Jack Dorsey. Twitter’s former CEO mentioned the Orb, saying, “Visit the Orb or the Orb will visit you…”
In response to recent criticism, Worldcoin defended its “World ID” initiative, asserting that iris scanning is crucial for verifying human identity, safeguarding against bot intrusion and fake accounts, and ensuring a secure ecosystem.
The company clarified that the collected iris data is not used to manage digital wallets or transactions, addressing privacy and data security concerns.
Many crypto researchers have similar opinions. Worldcoin’s technical solutions are yet to be thoroughly tested and widely adopted, leading to uncertainties about their feasibility. Concerns are emerging regarding the reliability and privacy protection of their biometric technology.
While the team claims not to link users’ biometric data to the Orb and to generate locally irreversible one-way IrisHash, privacy issues persist. Additionally, the Proof of Personhood (PoP) mechanism may not always guarantee that the registered account matches the user, raising doubts about the platform’s effectiveness in identity verification.
Led by Sam Altman, CEO of OpenAI and the mind behind ChatGPT, Worldcoin’s ambitious goal is to address the global challenge of aligning economic incentives and human identity. The project uses Proof of Personhood as its consensus to distinguish between humans and bots.
From A Bad Novel
The Orb, a small device in the form of a silver ball, plays a central role by scanning individuals’ eyes to generate a unique digital identity called a “World ID.”
Worldcoin’s project involves using a spherical device to scan a user’s iris and generate a series of personal identifiers. They plan to distribute free tokens to eligible users in different countries weekly and monthly, with the goal of expanding financial services globally.
Although the project is still in beta phase, it has attracted nearly 2 million registers. Those have reportedly provided biometric data, primarily in the Southern Hemisphere, and Worldcoin has received support from 25 countries, including France, Indonesia, Sudan, and Chile.
Worldcoin fueled debates when it was first introduced in 2021. Two years after the controversial launch, the project returned by the end of May 2023 after it successfully raised $115 million, with contributions from crypto investment giants like Blockchain Capital, a16z, Bain Capital Crypto, and Distributed Global
Recently, the Worldcoin Foundation announced the completion of its transition to the Optimism ecosystem. Users have already started utilizing Optimism Superchain, signifying a significant step in expanding the Web3 ecosystem on Optimism Superchain.
Worldcoin’s native token, WLD, has been listed on major exchanges, including Binance. The total supply of WLD is 10 billion, with 8 billion distributed freely to users worldwide. The remaining 2 billion tokens are allocated to the Worldcoin Foundation and investors.