At the beginning of this week, Worldcoin officially made its cryptocurrency WLD available. This project focuses on a form of digital identification to counter the ‘dangers of artificial intelligence (AI)’. For example, users of Worldcoin would have to identify themselves with an iris scanner to gain access to all functions, which raises questions from all kinds of authorities and even governments.
Controversial crypto targets UBI
According to the inventors, making a distinction between real people and AI will become increasingly important in the future, because AI will increasingly compete with people in the job market. Worldcoin wants to use biometric data to show that people online are ‘real people’ and not AI models or bots.
In time, Worldcoin even wants to provide users with a UBI (universal basic income). According to the creators, this will become increasingly important in the future, because AI will increasingly compete with humans in the job market. However, it must then be possible to state with certainty whether it concerns a real human being or a robot.
For this purpose, it has developed its own striking iris scanner, which is now gradually being distributed all over the world. This caused a lot of controversy, because many people are afraid that the privacy of users is not protected as much as claimed. The number of users of the project would also be questionable. This is very difficult to prove. Worldcoin itself says that more than 2.1 million ‘unique people’ be part of the network.
French and German authorities are looking into worldcoin
Apparently governments also have reservations about the project. According to Reuters and Decrypt both the policy maker of the German state of Bavaria and the French privacy watchdog CNIL are investigating the project. According to Decrypt, the United Kingdom is also investigating.
The French privacy watchdog has concerns about whether it is legal for the company to collect people’s identities on such a large scale and put them on the blockchain. It also wonders whether privacy is adequately guaranteed. Governments consider this type of data to be risky. For example, a possible data breach could reveal gender, ethnicity and perhaps even medical conditions.