Sam Altman, the CEO and founder of OpenAI and creator of ChatGPT, recently launched his crypto project, Worldcoin. While the project aims to pioneer a “digital passport” called “World ID” to verify human identity and distribute the Worldcoin token (WLD) to unique individuals, it has faced significant backlash on social media, primarily revolving around privacy concerns related to the use of biometric data.
World ID: A “Digital Passport” for Humans
World ID is touted as a groundbreaking initiative that allows individuals to verify themselves as human and not AI bots. The main goal of the project, developed by San Francisco-based Tools for Humanity, is to provide verifiable digital identity to the approximately 4.4 billion people worldwide who lack one. To achieve this, the project relies on privacy-preserving, decentralized, and open-source solutions.
Controversy Surrounding Worldcoin
Despite its ambitious vision, Worldcoin has faced harsh criticism and negative reactions on social media platforms. One prominent concern raised by ZachXBT, a well-known crypto sleuth, is the alleged exploitation of people in developing countries. The verification process to ensure real human users seems to be enforced only at the enrollment stage, leading to the emergence of a black market for accounts.
Criticism has also been directed at Worldcoin’s tokenomics, with accusations of launching a microcap token and pumping its value with a mere 1% of the total supply in circulation, resulting in an inflated fully diluted market cap.
Privacy Implications of Iris Scans
The use of iris scans for identity verification has raised serious privacy concerns among commentators. Some have referred to it as “Orwellian” and have criticized Worldcoin for requesting and storing “iris code data,” questioning the project’s claims of prioritizing privacy.
The Growing Skepticism
Despite Worldcoin’s emphasis on privacy in its announcements, many observers remain unconvinced and skeptical of the project’s intentions. Critiques on social media continue to question the practicality and ethics of exchanging biometric data for a cryptocurrency token.
Worldcoin’s ambitious attempt to provide a “digital passport” and promote financial inclusion through World ID and the distribution of WLD tokens has been met with a flurry of criticism and skepticism. Privacy concerns and skepticism about the project’s tokenomics have cast a shadow on its high-profile launch. As the debate around Worldcoin’s vision and practices continues, the project’s future remains uncertain, and public sentiment may play a significant role in shaping its trajectory in the competitive crypto landscape.