Sam Altman's ChatGPT has shown impressive results in attracting new users, which has led to the increased popularity of Altman's name. However, currently his name has been mentioned in connection with a new project called Worldcoin. The main goal of this project is to develop a new standard for verifying the identity of a real person online by scanning the retina. To achieve this goal, the entrepreneur widely uses an Orb device capable of creating a unique biometric profile of a person (World ID) based on retinal scanning. Details about the Worldcoin project became known back in 2021, when it was announced that it intended to distribute WLD tokens for free for the participation of users in the retina scanning program. At that time, a former employee of the US National Security Agency, Edward Snowden, criticized Worldcoin, pointing out that the project could become a cover for creating a global database of biometric data and be used to spy on people. Recently, the Worldcoin project token with the WLD symbol was added to major exchanges such as Binance, which led to a new wave of interest in the project. However, the project still has some drawbacks and raises serious concerns. The creator of Ethereum, Vitalik Buterin, shared his opinion about the project in his blog, where he summarized its main features.
Many experts believe that solving the problem of bots and fraud in social networks using digital identifiers is not ideal. Today it is easy to create a deepfake using advanced technologies, which makes it difficult to distinguish fake video or sound from reality. In addition, even the presence of verified accounts is not a guarantee against fraud, since fraudsters can use them for their own purposes.
With his post, Vitalik Buterin also raised important questions about privacy and the eye scanning process. The Orb device for creating a unique biometric profile of a person can collect much more data than just the retina of the eye. A general eye scan can reveal information such as gender, ethnicity, and even some medical indicators. This raises concerns about privacy and possible misuse of such data.
Another disadvantage of the Worldcoin project is its limited availability. Taking into account the mass interest in obtaining a unique digital identifier World ID, the project may not have enough resources to effectively interact with millions of applicants. The Worldcoin team announced that during the current year only 1,500 Orb devices will be available in 35 cities around the world. It is assumed that in the near future Worldcoin will be able to issue ids for 200 thousand people per week, but currently the project can process no more than 40 thousand applications per week.
The queue of those who want to get an Orb is impressive, and according to the latest data, at least 2 million people want to use this device. However, the number of Orb devices in different regions of the world is extremely limited, which, according to Vitalik Buterin, is a serious factor slowing down the development of Worldcoin. He notes that although there are billions of smartphones in the world today, the number of Orb devices is only a few hundred. Even with mass production, it will be difficult to ensure that there is a free Orb within a radius of five kilometers from the user. The Worldcoin team must make great efforts to achieve a wide coverage of devices around the world. In addition, there may be bans on the use of Orb in certain regions, as local governments may not like the presence of a third-party database of biometric data.
As you can see, the Worldcoin project has a number of serious problems that can hinder its development and acceptance by society. The limited availability of Orb devices may limit its potential and the ability to provide identifiers to a large number of people. Centralization of device manufacturing also creates potential vulnerabilities and security risks that can be exploited by attackers. It is important that the project conducts regular audits of manufacturers and ensures that identifiers from different manufacturers are distinguishable. In addition, the preservation of biometric data by their owners is also a complex task that can be subject to various threats. All these problems require a serious and attentive approach from the Worldcoin team to ensure the security, accessibility and credibility of the project.
In addition, the competition in the field of proof of identity of virtual or augmented reality, presented by Apple with its Apple Vision Pro headset, can pose a significant obstacle for Worldcoin. Apple has a large budget and human resources, and also has a recognizable brand, which makes it competitive in the market. At the same time, if Worldcoin fails to achieve its goals and prove to be competitive, there is a possibility of combining with other startups in this area or buying out the project by a large company.
It is important to note that despite all the criticism and doubts about the possibilities of Worldcoin, there is an understanding in the crypto community about the need for a tool to confirm identity in the context of the popularization of artificial intelligence. Thus, the future of solutions in this area may depend on which project can offer a more efficient and secure solution. Ultimately, time will tell which companies will lead in this field and which innovative solutions will be offered.
Despite the obvious shortcomings, the Worldcoin project continues to attract attention and arouse interest in the cryptocurrency industry. In the future, it will be interesting to see how this project develops and what solutions will be taken to solve the problems associated with it.