Exploring WorldCoin: Crypto Project Seeks Eye Scans for Sign-Ups


Sam Altman, the CEO of OpenAI, recently launched a new cryptocurrency project called WorldCoin. The project has gained more than 2 million sign-ups worldwide in the first week of its official launch on July 24. What makes WorldCoin stand out from other existing cryptocurrencies is its use of biometrics.

For creating a World ID, an eye-scan is essential. As an incentive, WorldCoin offers an amount of its cryptocurrency for free and users can then either sell it or wait for their value to inflate. As of August 1, 2023, one WLD equals 0.57 rupees, according to the crypto exchange platform CoinBase.

The WorldCoin protocol is intended to be the world’s largest identity and financial public network, open to everyone regardless of their country, background or economic status. It provides a unique, verified identity for everyone, and its goal is to enable universal access to the global economy. To help achieve this, the project is working to distribute a new digital token freely to billions of people, including those without a passport or legal identification.

The biometric data will help differentiate between humans and Artificial Intelligence systems and prevent duplication of IDs from the same person. It can then be used as an ID in a variety of everyday applications – such as a cryptocurrency wallet – without revealing the user’s identity, WorldCoin claims. The project has three aspects: a World ID or a digital identity for “proving an individual’s unique personhood,” a Worldcoin token (WLD) that is its cryptocurrency, and a World App that enables “payment, purchases and transfers globally using digital assets and traditional currencies.”

The WorldCoin website claims that images collected by the Orb (its eye-scanning device) are “promptly deleted unless explicitly requested by the person signing up”. However, certain regulators have raised concerns over its large-scale processing of sensitive biometric data.

San Francisco and Berlin-based company Tools for Humanity is behind WorldCoin. Altman is its Co-Founder and Alex Blania is its Co-Founder and CEO. Altman believes that using WorldCoin for Universal Basic Income (UBI), the idea that every person should be given a basic sum every month, regardless of their employment status, could help reduce duplication and fraud issues.

WorldCoin wants to ensure that its project meets regulatory requirements and protect individual privacy. The project has called for “increased vigilance” for compliance with data-processing laws in countries such as France, Germany, Kenya, and India.

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