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What’s the fuss about Worldcoin

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On Monday, July 24, the Worldcoin launch happened, and the WLD token was listed on top exchanges, making a lot of noise in the crypto space.

Worldcoin is a protocol for identity verification developed by “Tools for Humanity”. It was founded back in 2019 by Alex Blania and Sam Altman, the CEO of OpenAI (the company behind ChatGPT).

The project aims to address the growing challenge of distinguishing between human-generated content and AI or bot-generated activity. To achieve this, Worldcoin leverages iris scanning technology to identify users, rewarding them with 25 WLD tokens (≈$55 at the current rate) for completing the verification process.

On the one hand, Worldcoin solves important problems of the digital world. But on the other, it seems quite dystopian.

Worldcoin technology

The Worldcoin ecosystem consists of three parts: 

📱 World ID. First you register in the World App with your phone number and get a World ID. Then, in the app, you will be asked to go to the nearest Orb point to pass verification. 

👁️ World App. An operator will meet you there, ask you to show the QR-code from the mobile app and scan your iris. An Orb device encrypts this data and converts it into a hash code (IrisHash). 

💰 Worldcoin Token. If IrisHash is unique, your World ID will be verified, and 25 WLD tokens will be credited to your account. As the number of users increases, the reward will decrease; this is how the company encourages people to join the project sooner.

World ID

World ID serves as a digital identifier, confirming a user’s humanity through the Proof-of-Personhood (PoP) technology. WorldID acts as a digital passport, allowing users to verify their identity without compromising your personal information.

Worldcoin identifies users by scanning the iris with a biometric device called an "Orb". According to the creators of the project, such an identification is the most effective way compared to faces and fingerprints.

This is how an Orb looks like:

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According to promises developers make, they do not store biometric data and delete it after scanning and assigning a unique code for each user.

Orb identification is not available worldwide yet, the number of countries and cities with access to it is growing. Currently, 126 points in 18 countries around the world offer Orb verification, with over 2.1 million people identified already, including around 200,000 of them within the last 7 days.

World App

The World App is a mobile application of the Worldcoin project for managing the digital passport and wallet. It functions as a crypto wallet supporting ETH, DAI, and WBTC for storage, receiving, sending, and fiat purchasing. The Learn-to-Earn section in the app allows verified users to earn WBTC, ETH, and DAI through educational activities.

Worldcoin Token

The Worldcoin Token (WLD) is a token that gives users the right to vote for decisions about the development of the project. The WLD token can be obtained as a reward for scanning the iris or bought on exchanges. Additionally, Individuals can earn WLD by becoming an Orb operator and facilitating verification for new users. 

Initially, Worldcoin operated on Polygon, but migrated to Optimism on July 20, aligning with Optimism's goalof creating a Superchain.

Superchain seeks to integrate siloed L2s into a single interoperable and composable system. 

At the moment, the WLD token’s price is about $2,2, with approximately 110,6 million tokens in circulation right now, which is only 1,1% of the supply. According to CoinMarketCap, the total offer will soon be 10 billion tokens. 

To learn more about WLD tokenomics, visit here. A a more detailed analysis of tokenomics and its criticism can be found in this thread. We advise you to familiarise yourself with this when making investment decisions.


Opinions on Worldcoin

The launch of the project has certainly piqued interest, with some countries witnessing queues of people eager to get about $55 for an iris scan.

However, Worldcoin has sparked a mixed reaction. The practice of storing and collecting biometric data raises concerns about anonymity and confidentiality, which are values cherished by cryptopunks. 

Back in 2021, Edward Snowden called this project a "global (hash) database of people's iris scans" and urged others not to participate in such an initiative.

Jack Dorsey, the creator of Twitter and a well-known Bitcoin maximalist, noted that the global financial system should not be solely controlled by states or corporations.

Vitalik Buterin, in a blog post, speculated about the problems faced by "Proof-of-Personhood", which encompasses privacy, accessibility, centralization, and security concerns. He acknowledged that there is no ideal solution for identity verification and that a combination of different approaches may be necessary. Overall, the creator of Ethereum has a positive attitude toward services like Worldcoin, as they provide alternatives to centralized verification systems that currently dominate the world.

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​​This article is not an investment recommendation. The financial transactions mentioned in the article are not a guide to action. Itez is not responsible for possible risks. The user should independently conduct an analysis on the basis of which it will be possible to draw conclusions and make decisions about making any operations with cryptocurrency.

Maria Kachura
Maria Kachura

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