On Tuesday, an unnamed ICO official told Reuters that the organization would “note the launch of WorldCoin in the UK and will be making further inquiries.”
The news came amid growing concerns about potential threats from widespread iris scanning. The use of sensitive biometric information in a financial context raised concerns among privacy advocates and regulatory bodies.
According to critics, collecting and storing biometric data on a large scale could pose serious harm to users, such as identity theft and misuse of sensitive information. They argue that the benefits of iris scanning Worldcoin offers do not outweigh the potential dangers of giving biometric data.
Besides experts, some Worldcoin users have also raised concerns about their data safety. A Japanese user named Saeki Sasaki, 33, acknowledged the risk of Worldcoin’s iris scan system.
“There’s a risk with having the data of your own eyes collected by a company, but I like to follow the most up-to-date crypto projects,” said Sasaki, as quoted by Reuters. “I was a bit scared, but I’ve done it now and can’t take it back.”
Worldcoin co-founder Alex Blania told Reuters the company privately stored biometric data from iris scans in blockchains. He assured that no entity could control the data.
“In the age of AI, the need for proof of personhood is no longer a topic of serious debate,” said Blanca. “Instead, the critical question is whether or not the proof of personhood solutions we have can be privacy-first, decentralized and maximally inclusive.”
Worldcoin was launched on Monday, with two million people participating in its trial. It targets iris scanning in 35 cities and 20 countries, including Barcelona, Berlin, Buenos Aires, New York, Seoul and Tokyo.
The iris scanning is for one of its features, World ID. Worldcoin’s developer, Tools for Humanity, describes this feature as a “digital passport” to create cryptographic representations. It is expected to prevent bots from participating in its ecosystem.
The project argues that this move would foster financial inclusion for those who do not have access to traditional banking systems. Customers will receive Worldcoin’s native token, WLD, after signing up.
WLD has been listed on major crypto exchanges like Huobit and is accessible through personal crypto wallets. This token’s price rose significantly in its early trading.
On Monday, the world’s largest crypto exchange Binance reported that WLD had peaked at $5.29 from its starting price of $0.15. This token settled at $2.49 later in the day. Binance recorded that overall trading during this period had reached $25.1 million.
Worldcoin also provides a mobile application, World App. The app facilitates various functions, including verifying a person’s identity, accessing Worldcoin Grants (weekly token stipends for eligible individuals) and conducting token transactions.
Tools for Humanity secured a Series C funding worth $115 million in May. It then announced plans to develop a network and support the concept of universal basic income (UBI). The initiative aims to resolve the negative impact of artificial intelligence (AI) in the traditional labour markets.
Altman said the rise of AI might lead to a significant shift in the economy, particularly in the displacement of human workers. The UBI aims to provide a safety net for all citizens during the economic transition.
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