Worldcoin, co-founded by OpenAI CEO Sam Altman, is planning to expand its operations globally and offer its iris-scanning and identity-verifying technology to other organizations, as stated by Ricardo Macieira, general manager for Europe at Tools For Humanity, the company behind the project.
The initiative launched last week, requiring users to provide iris scans for a digital ID and, in some regions, receive free cryptocurrency as part of their goal to create an “identity and financial network.”
Worldcoin has already seen 2.2 million sign-ups during a trial period over the last two years, with plans to continue rolling out operations in Europe, Latin America, Africa, and other receptive parts of the world. The project raised $115 million from venture capital investors in May.
Human Vs AI
The company envisions various applications for its technology, including distinguishing humans from artificial intelligence, enabling global democratic processes, and potentially leading to universal basic income, although the outcomes are not guaranteed.
While some privacy concerns have been raised regarding data collection and handling, Worldcoin claims to prioritize privacy, stating that the biometric data is either deleted or stored in encrypted form. Regulators in the EU, particularly the Bavarian State Office for Data Protection Supervision, are investigating the project to ensure compliance with data protection requirements.
Worldcoin aims to provide its digital identity system to other companies, offering benefits like ensuring that customers do not claim more than one free item without sharing personal data. The long-term plan includes making the technology behind the iris-scanning orb open-source, allowing anyone to use it for the benefit of their communities.
Critics have raised concerns about the project’s scope and necessity, viewing it as an ambitious effort to create a new consumer base for Web3 and crypto products. Web3 refers to the next phase of the internet, centered around blockchain and tradable crypto assets.
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Worldcoin Foundation, based in the Cayman Islands, assures compliance with data protection laws and vows to cooperate with governing bodies’ inquiries into their privacy practices.