Worldcoin has a new idea of providing proof of personhood in the entire world with the release of its software development kit and updated protocol.
The project aims to lower the number of fake social media accounts to prove whether you’re chatting with a human or a chatbot. This will help in reducing fraud and helping people to be confident in their dealings on the internet.
Discord was the first platform to enjoy the integration of Worldcoin. Discord users can sign in with a world ID which helps to prove they are human and gives them special privileges.
Contrary to expectation, the protocol and world ID do not give proof of who a person is. Since no biographic information is collected, it has no way to prove the person using it is the same one who did the registration. It can only prove that one is a human and not a bot.
There have been many controversies regarding the project, with some considering it a scam experiment that would exploit vulnerable people. There are so many loopholes in the project.
The rollout of Worldcoin
World coin has so far registered up to 1.36 million individuals. The project used the strategy of scanning the iris of people in the communities in the world. It started in Indonesia and spread to other areas.
Although it started with 250 custom-built iris-scanning orbs, it has expanded to 50,000 scanning devices.
The central vision of Worldcoin as a cryptocurrency is to create a world where everyone has an equal chance to redistribute wealth. With this, there was a need to verify whether an individual had already been registered. This inspired the team to introduce iris scanning for more accuracy.
Upon registration, users were promised 25 Worldcoins once the cryptocurrency launched. Although the project’s goal is to go worldwide, some places have restrictions, such as Cuba; some US states, such as Illinois, Texas, Washington, Portland, Oregon, Maryland, and Baltimore, are not allowed to be part of the project.
Controversies about the projects
The IEEE Spectrum did an experiment and realized that World ID would be much bigger than cryptocurrency. The IEEE argues there has been little transparency regarding the project and how everything will be launched.
According to research done by MIT, there have been cash bribes and payments to local officials to promote signups to the platform. In the rollout of the project, more personal details were collected than those that were promised. It means they are capturing more biometrics than they had promised.
Dr Maggie Cheeseman from Mineiro Central Technology and Democracy argues that Worldcoin is one of the many scam experiments worldwide.
Another controversy is that the latest SDK release on the protocol does not mention Worldcoins.
The company is currently looking for a $120 million investment at a valuation of $3 billion before it goes public in the last quarter of the year.
World ID integration
The Worldcoin and World ID are intertwined and work hand in hand.
To get started, a user will need to download the World app. The app will be rolled out in 50 countries apart from the UK. The app will generate a private key for the world ID. A user will then need to go through two levels of verification, which will be linking a mobile number or undergoing an iris scan for both eyes using the chrome effect Orb.
When you go to an Orb, it uses biometrics to determine whether you have previously verified or not a world ID. If you have not, it will stamp the passport. And when you use the World ID, take that passport to show the page with a stamp that will prove that you’re unique and one of the World IDs.
It, however, does not reveal any other personal information about yourself. This is not the same as biometrics; you must verify personal identification at every point.
When the Orb captures the iris, it creates an iris hash and sends it to the Worldcoin public key to store in its central database. If it gets into the database and there’s a duplicate, the region registration is rejected. If not, the IRIS will be added to the public key and enter the Worldcoin blockchain. The iris code cannot be deleted from the system.
According to the head of product Tiago Sada, the passport stamp is just a stamp, and it’s not linked to a person’s biometrics. It is just proof that a unique person on the world ID private key. It proves that the owner has a unique World ID but does not reveal any further information on who they are.
A smartphone acts as a private key for more security. The new users who use a desktop will still be redirected to the smartphone.
Although getting a world ID is not complicated, it takes a while to reach an Orb. This is because when you download the World app, it will generate a random private key, which will continue as your World ID.
There is a low level of verification as you need to verify your mobile number, and for further modification, you will need to visit Orb.
Worldcoin partnered with Twilio to do telephone number checks for more security. This allows developers to use signals such as phone number verifications in addition to the iris code.
As a rule of the app, you need to have biometric verification to use the features of the app.
Personhood versus identity
As mentioned earlier, there are no biographic details captured on registration. The goal of World ID is to prove personhood/individuality. Other biographic details such as name and age have to be added through other integrations if there’s a need.
According to Sada, it’s not an issue if the current system does not prove that the unidentified user is the same one who initially registered on the platform. They are working on how to avoid the duplication of the iris.
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