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WorldCoin: the Scariest Project in Crypto!? Maybe not...

Crypto Corner: We talk about the last craze in Crypto

 
Digital Iris Art
Digital Iris Art
 

WorldCoin is in the news a lot lately, people are talking about how invasive it is on your privacy, despite that WorldCoin just rolled out 1500 more iris scanners and the app has been crashing because of it. Let's get into it!


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What is WorldCoin?


WorldCoin was a cryptocurrency that was introduced in May 2013. It aimed to position itself as an alternative to Bitcoin with some distinct features. Here are some key points about the WorldCoin cryptocurrency:

  1. Fast Transaction Confirmation: WorldCoin aimed to have faster transaction confirmation times compared to Bitcoin. This was achieved through its use of a faster block generation time.

  2. Proof-of-Stake (PoS) Mining: WorldCoin used a proof-of-stake (PoS) mining algorithm, which was designed to be more energy-efficient than the proof-of-work (PoW) algorithm used by Bitcoin. In PoS, individuals who hold and "stake" their coins are chosen to validate transactions and create new blocks, based on the number of coins they hold and are willing to "lock up."

  3. Global Accessibility: Like other cryptocurrencies, WorldCoin was designed to be accessible globally, enabling borderless transactions without the need for intermediaries like banks.

  4. Community-Driven Development: The WorldCoin project was initially developed by a community of enthusiasts and developers who shared an interest in creating an alternative cryptocurrency.

WorldCoin launched on July 24th, 2023 after it was founded three years ago by Alex Blania, with the ambition of creating a new identity and financial network owned by everyone. The WorldCoin Foundation believes it could drastically increase economic opportunity, scale a reliable solution for distinguishing humans from AI online while preserving privacy, enable general democratic processes, and eventually show a potential path to AI-funded UBI.


WorldCoin App helps to with Proof of Personhood in the age of AI
WorldCoin App helps to with Proof of Personhood in the age of AI

How does it deal with your digital identity & how do you get access?


WorldCoin consists of a privacy-preserving digital identity (World ID) and, where laws allow, a digital currency (WLD) received simply for being human. We hope that, where the rules are less clear, such as as in the U.S., steps will be taken so more people can benefit from both. You visit an 'Orb', a biometric verification device, you will receive a World ID. This lets you prove you are a real and unique person online while remaining completely private. As the global distribution of Orbs is ramping up, you can find the closest one and book a time slot to be verified with the World App and at Worldcoin.org too.


Alex & Sam Altman's vision is an attempt at global scale alignment, stating the journey will be challenging and that the outcome is uncertain! Finding new ways to broadly share the coming technological prosperity is a critical challenge of our time. They hope you'll join them...

Alex Blania comments on the launch of WorldCoi
Alex Blania comments on the launch of WorldCoin

For us to take part in the coming digital revolution we must experiment with new technologies, so guess what I did... Well I went to go visit one of the shiny looking scanners! Apparently, it was built by an ex-Apple employee, presumably while OpenAi has become the target of Apple recently as they launched a framework called "Ajax" to build LLMs and deployed "Apple GPT" internally which is aiming to be a consumer product next year.


The experience was a little surreal, I had to make my trek through Brooklyn over to Williamsburg where I was trying to look for the entrance to what seemed to be an abandoned building. Much to my surprise and maybe not as much... it was a bohemian co-working space that looked like a WeWork where stationed in the front office near the desk was WorldCoin backdrop for marketing and inside was a 'WorldCoin Operator' that helped you get setup on the device.


Essex Trading throwing up a 'W' at the World Coin
Essex Trading throwing up a 'W' for World Coin

The operator was very friendly and while I was late to my appointment (setup an appointment here) I got a little lost so waited outside briefly (5-10min) and he said that the battery for the Orb needed to be replaced. After chatting a little bit and making sure my app was setup, I had to reconnect with my password, we are all set! And man did this thing look like something out of Blade Runner or the Matrix!



There were no wires and the orb looked like a metallic sentinel from the Matrix, just slick and amazing! Kudos to the design team. Next you wait for the operator to sync there QR code, then you sink your with the WorldCoin Application and then you scan your iris into the Orb. It takes some time., however less than minute to scan your eye and eventually you become a 'unique' human.


I have to say this was very smart on behalf of the WorldCoin team, the biggest for AI has been how to identify between an actual AGI/AI and a sentient being with flesh. This is important if we are to merge with technology like the Neuralink and other exciting tech we need a way to identify between humans and AI easily. In addition, the spin off to promote this as a Universal Basic Income project or UBI is very appealing, something that I myself (a UBI) have stated is very important for humanity.

Future Concept of the WorldCoin Retinal Scanner
Future Concept of the WorldCoin Retinal Scanner

The main issue with that currently is that, again, as we have seen in most parts of Crypto, regulation for U.S. adopters is nowhere to be found with WorldCoin, where the rest of the world is sitting on the cutting edge of Crypto the U.S. is falling behind. They're too busy trying to make Sam Bankman Fried a martyr than to actual get some good work done that could start to lift many people out of poverty. This is where the U.S. Government needs to take note, Brian Armstrong (CEO of Coinbase) and other leaders like MicroStrategy's CEO, Michael Saylor, as well as the President of El Salvador, Nayib Bukele, is Crypto's ability to help create a source of income and transaction for people below the poverty line.


In Brazil, Africa and other countries today people all around the world use Bitcoin to trade goods and services. The U.S. should be at the forefront of this revolution advocating for its ability to change how we fundamentally bank as a nation. I believe this is where the project creators are trying to align themselves with government entities to use WorldCoin, there in lies the rub as they say.. as WorldCoin is looking to actively promote use of its technology and coin by governments.


The biggest skepticism is privacy, they don't require a "name, email, passport or a selfie" so perhaps the news, as they usually do is making much to do about nothing. You're only giving your biometric data if you use the orb. For some, the issue, may be more of the fact of what is happening in China as citizens become part of their 'Social Credit System'. Perhaps, this is a chance where the project can shine to prevent below below the poverty line be subjected to inferior system that prevents social mobility (lower, middle, upper class).


It's a cool and ambitious project for sure and one we'll be watching closely on #blockchainfortheblock, our weekly Crypto space where we talk about all things Crypto!


Will it take... guess we'll have to see!


Thanks for reading if you have any questions on how to sign up or anything I haven't made clear about the project please let me know! And don't forget to...


Trade Confidently!


 

Quote of the Day (QotD)


"all day I dream about flops.”


~ Sam Altman (@OpenAi)

 

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