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Worldcoin Under Scrutiny For Eyeball Scans Despite Promoting Zero-Knowledge Privacy Technology

Published April 26, 2024 1:50 PM
Giuseppe Ciccomascolo
Published April 26, 2024 1:50 PM

Key Takeaways

  • Worldcoin’s iris scanning offer faces regulatory hurdles and privacy concerns.
  • New features and possible partnerships aim to address those issues.
  • Sam Altman’s OpenAI may offer help in tackling regulatory problems.

Worldcoin, a cryptocurrency project offering digital identity and a cryptocurrency built on iris scanning, is pressing forward despite facing regulatory roadblocks and privacy concerns. While recent setbacks stalled its ambitions, the project is navigating scrutiny from multiple countries. Fresh accusations of allowing underage participation and limitations on US investors further complicate the picture.

However, Worldcoin remains undeterred, unveiling new privacy features and hinting at potential partnerships with tech giants like OpenAI, suggesting their commitment to navigating these challenges and achieving their goals.

Worldcoin Regulatory Problems

Despite facing regulatory hurdles and privacy concerns, Worldcoin, the Web3 project utilizing iris scanning for digital identity and crypto token distribution, continues its quest to onboard users amidst increasing scrutiny. Recent setbacks, including raids on its “orb verification locations” in Hong Kong, haven’t deterred its ambitious trajectory. Now, eyeing partnerships with tech giants like OpenAI, Worldcoin’s parent company, Tools for Humanity, navigates probes in Germany and Argentina and a ban in Kenya.

Fresh allegations in Spain and Portugal, accusing Worldcoin of allowing minors to undergo iris scans for its blockchain-based World ID, have prompted regulatory intervention. Notably, Worldcoin’s token, WLD, remains inaccessible to US investors due to regulatory constraints.

Alex Blania, CEO of Tools for Humanity, attributes the heightened scrutiny in part to co-founder Sam Altman’s high-profile status. While engaging in proactive dialogue with regulators, Blania refrains from disclosing potential positive developments. However, recent discussions with Malaysia’s digital ministry hint at ongoing efforts to address regulatory concerns.

Central to Worldcoin’s architecture is user sovereignty over their World ID. Each user’s World ID resides solely within their device, ensuring maximum privacy and security. Upon installation of a compatible identity wallet, like the World App, a unique and randomly generated private key is created directly on the user’s device, where it remains securely stored.

New Features Added But Still Not Enough

Worldcoin unveiled  enhanced privacy features due to heightened regulatory scrutiny. These aim at empowering users while fortifying network integrity. It introduced groundbreaking advancements designed to grant users unprecedented control over their data.

Central to this update is the introduction of Personal Custody, alongside a novel Unverify World ID option. Powered by cutting-edge ZKPs , this innovative approach enables transaction verification without divulging sensitive details like transaction amounts or involved parties.

Integrating ZKPs ensures secure and confidential transactions, safeguarding users’ financial privacy from external scrutiny. Moreover, World ID holders now possess the ability to permanently delete their iris code, rendering their World ID inactive. Following deletion, a mandatory 6-month “cool-off” period ensues, mitigating potential fraud risks.

Upon the cool-off period’s expiration, the user’s iris code undergoes irreversible deletion, further bolstering privacy measures. Additionally, Worldcoin implements on-site age verification checks, restricting platform access to individuals aged 18 and above. These robust privacy features mark a significant milestone for Worldcoin. But they also underscore its unwavering dedication to user-centric innovation.

Beyond enhancing privacy standards, these updates broaden Worldcoin’s appeal, attracting a diverse range of users. These include individuals and businesses seeking secure and confidential biometric solutions.

OpenAI May Offer A Solution

Worldcoin’s Tools for Humanity business is forging partnerships with major players in technology and finance, according  to CEO, Alex Blania. last year saw the collaboration with cybersecurity powerhouse Okta Inc.  on a groundbreaking “sign in with Worldcoin” authentication service. This service, offering developers an alternative to or complement for similar offerings by industry giants like Apple and Alphabet’s Google, exemplifies the project’s commitment to innovation.

While hinting at a potential collaboration with OpenAI, Blania remained tight-lipped about specific details. He teased: “There’s some natural things in how we might and will work together,” but refrained from divulging further until concrete announcements are ready.

Since the launch of the WLD token in July 2023, Sam Altman has assumed a more hands-on role within Tools for Humanity. His involvement spans aspects like recruitment, strategy development, and vision shaping, although his primary focus remains on OpenAI.

Moreover, Blania disclosed  ongoing discussions with payments giant PayPal Holdings, albeit without any confirmed developments. A PayPal spokesperson declined to comment on the matter.

Worldcoin, OpenAI, Tools for Humanity, and PayPal did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

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