As the number of investors in the cryptocurrency market grows, tech start-up teams have to come up with more and more sophisticated approaches for their projects, trying to attract public attention to them. One of these was Sam Altman's Worldcoin, which offers people to scan the retina of their eyes.
What is Worldcoin?
Worldcoin is one of the boldest attempts to bribe people with cryptocurrency. The founders of the startup are OpenAI CEO Sam Altman and theoretical physicist Alex Blania. The idea was based on the distribution of free cryptocurrency in exchange for scanning the retina of users.It will be performed not using their portable devices, as with KYC checks on exchanges, but using the Orb device, which has become the technological base of Worldcoin.
In an effort to live up to its name, Orb looks like a metal sphere. The user just needs to bring his face closer to it for the device to scan his eyeball. As a result, he will be assigned a code, which will then need to be driven in when registering and receiving a certain amount of free digital currency. To date, 30 Orb prototypes are being tested, and the creators expect to install more in the next few months.
The Worldcoin (WDC) token is a Layer 2 cryptocurrency built on top of Ethereum but uses its own economy. According to Alex Blania, they observed many problems with the scalability of the Bitcoin network, so they decided to choose a more reliable option in the form of Ethereum. In addition, there are thousands of talented developers working on the ETH network and Blania hopes that they will accept Worldcoin and help improve the project.
The distribution of WDC tokens looks quite standard: 80% will be distributed to users, 10% will be reserved for the Worldcoin team and another 10% will be given to the organizing investors. WDC's primary funding is $25 million, and its contributors include industry giants such as Andreessen Horowitz, FTX, Day One Ventures, and many others. The very idea of Worldcoin was valued at over $1 billion. However, all assumptions about the emergence of a new "unicorn" on the market were immediately dismissed by co-founder Alex Blania, saying that the company and its intellectual property would be further transformed into a fund.
Of course, the ambitious project, "collecting" the eyes of people around the world, immediately caused, to put it mildly, the bewilderment of millions of members of the crypto community and outright indignation among security experts.
Edward Snowden was one of the first to urge the Worldcoin team “not to catalog the eyeballs” in a recent tweet. Previously, Snowden has repeatedly stressed that biometrics should not be used by anyone to identify users or supposedly "ensure their safety", since "the human body is not a ticket."
This looks like it produces a global (hash) database of people's iris scans (for "fairness"), and waves away the implications by saying "we deleted the scans!"— Edward Snowden (@Snowden) October 23, 2021
Yeah, but you save the *hashes* produced by the scans. Hashes that match *future* scans.
Don't catalogue eyeballs. https://t.co/uAk0NYGeZu
Many critics of Worldcoin rightly noted that almost all projects of Y Combinator the leading incubator of startups in Silicon Valley, of which Sam Altman was listed as president highlighted the intention to “use user data” in machine learning, improving artificial intelligence and computer vision. At the same time, Altman has repeatedly said that all the data that Worldcoin receives from the user is the iris of the eye, arguing that no one in the company will ever know which person it belongs to.
But no less significant red flag for the crypto community has become the "premine" of the project, which implies the allocation of 20% of the total emission of tokens in favor of the team and investors. Since many believe that this approach is typical of projects created to enrich insiders.
So far, for many crypto enthusiasts, WDC looks exclusively like another attempt to spy on users, covered by the “common good”. But it is rather creepy that many are really ready to “share” their eyes in exchange for a minimal reward.
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