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Worldcoin: Exploring the Privacy Debates Surrounding the Iris-Scanning Crypto Project


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Worldcoin, by OpenAI’s Sam Altman, combines blockchain and UBI, sparking discussions about privacy and security. Will this global financial network based on iris scanning shape social and economic reform?

The Internet has always been a breeding ground for weird and unusual things. As AI technologies such as Language Large Models (LLMs) and OpenAI’s ChatGPT continue to revolutionize the digital landscape, the line between human and machine grows ever greater.

But in this fictional world, one name stands out: Sam Altman, co-founder of OpenAI. Altman’s cryptocurrency project, Worldcoin, has been making waves with its vision of UBI distributed through the blockchain.

Yes, you read it right – cipher code for everyone. But there is a twist: Worldcoin’s unique distribution mechanism involves iris scanning.

What is worldcoin

Worldcoin, launched in 2019, represents a new approach to cryptocurrency underpinned by the ideal of a more equitable distribution of global wealth.

Worldcoin seeks to give everyone on earth an equal share of this digital currency, a concept that draws inspiration from the UBI model.

Universal basic income is a form of social security system in which the state provides all citizens with a normal amount of money, regardless of their income or employment status. The key aspects that define universal basic income are universality, unconditionality, and regularity.

However, access to Worldcoin’s innovative monetary system involves a controversial requirement: users must scan their iris.

This requirement indicates that Worldcoin could collect billions of individual bio-data profiles worldwide, a possibility that has sparked significant debate about privacy and data security.

Worldcoin countered these concerns by stating that hashed data cannot be reverse engineered and is secure. However, the proof of this dessert, as they say, lies in the eating.

How does Worldcoin work?

At the heart of the Worldcoin ecosystem lies the World App, a platform designed to serve multiple purposes.

It acts as a digital wallet, a private digital identity validator, and a conduit for the new financial system. The foundation of the Universal app is World ID, a unique digital identity system that acts as a passport for individuals to access online services.

Users can verify their identities privately using a unique device called an orb. Once verified, this ID can be used to log into various platforms, from websites and mobile apps to decentralized applications (dApps).

This streamlined process ensures each user’s uniqueness and authenticity without revealing personal data, such as names or email addresses.

In addition to verifying identity, the universal application also provides economic opportunities. Eligible users can claim monthly Worldcoin Grants, which are recurring payouts available to any verified person with a global number in eligible countries.

In its beta phase, these bounties are distributed weekly, with plans to move to a monthly schedule after Worldcoin launches.

Despite its beta status, the universal app has already attracted a large user base. According to a statement from Tools for Humanity (TFH), the organization behind Worldcoin, the app is currently one of the most popular ways to access crypto, with 2 million people joining the beta and more than 500,000 monthly active users.

The universal app also caters to users’ financial needs as a digital wallet. Savings are allowed with digital dollars. Users can deposit and withdraw funds using various methods, including bank accounts, local payment options, or nearby agents.

In addition, it enables users to send money to friends or family around the world using phone contacts or crypto addresses.

As of June 16, the global app supports a range of tokens, including Ethereum (ETH), bitcoin (BTC), DAI, USDC, and Beta WLD. It allows users to monitor their balances, receive alerts on important changes, and trade with decentralized exchanges.

Funding and development goals

Worldcoin, with its vision, has attracted significant financial interest. The project has reportedly closed a $100 million funding round, indicating strong investor confidence despite the project’s relative infancy and the broader volatility of cryptocurrencies.

Worldcoin’s backers include famous venture capital firms Andreessen Horowitz (a16z) and Khosla Ventures. These companies played an important role in a previous funding round that estimated the project at around $3 billion. Other notable investors include Digital Currency Group, Coinbase Ventures, and Multicoin.

Worldcoin’s initial goal is to distribute 10 billion tokens in total, 80% of which is planned to be distributed to users.

Worldcoin’s founders believe that the more people hold the currency, the easier it will be to send and receive payments. They hope this widespread adoption will facilitate the growth of a global financial network.

To achieve these goals, the Worldcoin team is improving the accessibility of its unique iris scanning device, Orb. This includes incentivizing subscriptions through coupon offers or access to specific loans.

They also plan to release an SDK that will allow developers to integrate Worldcoin technology into their apps and platforms.

Worldcoin and the future of UBI

The concept of universal basic income is not new. However, Worldcoin’s attempt to implement a blockchain-based issuance is a novel approach.

If successful, it could serve as a blueprint for future attempts to create UBI systems, which could change the way governments approach welfare systems.

By providing a decentralized, transparent and globally accessible economic platform, Worldcoin can empower disadvantaged and marginalized communities.

This would be a huge step towards achieving a fairer global economy, something that traditional financial systems have struggled to achieve.

Worldcoin’s success could also have ripple effects across the cryptocurrency market. It can prove that cryptocurrencies can be more than just speculative assets or mediums of exchange; They can also be tools for social and economic reform.

The possibility of a more inclusive financial ecosystem may inspire other blockchain projects to adopt similar measures. This could lead to new developments in crypto, driven by a renewed focus on social impact and fairness.

Worldcoin future

As Worldcoin continues its journey, it serves as a reminder of what is possible when technology is used to boost global stocks.

However, the project’s success will ultimately depend on its ability to navigate regulatory hurdles, address privacy concerns, and prove the true usefulness of its token. The world is watching eagerly.

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