The World ID is described as a “digital passport” to prove you’re a human and not AI in exchange of biometrics.
OpenAI CEO Sam Altman’s cryptocurrency Worldcoin is open to the public after being tested under the Worldcoin Foundation for three years. It aims to be “a new identity and financial network owned by everyone.” The rollout began on Monday.
According to the official cofounder’s letter from Alex Blania and Sam Altman, the idea is to have a privacy-preserving digital identity called World ID and a digital currency (token: WLD) for every human being. More importantly, this is done to separate humans from AI. Anyone can download the World App wallet and visit an “Orb” near them to register their biometrics. This “lets you prove you are a real and unique person online while remaining completely private.”
At the time of writing, there are a total of 124 Orb locations in the world to do this biometric registration.
Co-founder Alex Blania said to Forbes (Link—Paywalled) that the need to prove a person is real is “no longer a topic of serious debate” in the age of AI and that Worldcoin hopes to build a “privacy-first, decentralized and maximally inclusive” way of addressing the problem.
The coin is not currently available n the US. US regulators are cracking down severely on digital assets as they can help facilitate fraud and speculation. In a statement to Financial Times (Link—Paywalled), Altman said that “U.S. does not make or break a project like this.”
Biometric data such as eye scans pose privacy risks and collecting and storing such data by a for-profit company that Microsoft is a prominent investor of is not something that everyone is very excited about. In fact, the project has had its fair share of critics since its inception. The fact that the cryptocurrency was given away for free to early sign-ups has further fueled the criticism.
Britain’s Information Commissioner’s Office told Reuters that the data regulator will be examining Worldcoin.