IAS Gyan

Daily News Analysis


1st August, 2023 Science and Technology

Copyright infringement not intended

Context: OpenAI CEO Sam Altman announced the launch of Worldcoin, a project that aims to create a global identity and financial network based on biometric verification.


What is Worldcoin?

  • Worldcoin is a cryptocurrency project that aims to create a new form of digital identity that can verify that its holder is a real human being, not an AI bot or a fake account. The project was co-founded by Sam Altman, the CEO of OpenAI, and the research organization behind ChatGPT, one of the most advanced AI chatbots in the world.
  • Worldcoin's main innovation is its World ID, which is generated by scanning a person's eyes using a device called an orb.
  • The orb is a silver sphere that can capture a high-resolution image of the iris, which is unique for every individual. The orb then encrypts the image and sends it to a blockchain network, where it is matched with a Worldcoin address. The person who scans their eyes receives some Worldcoins as a reward for joining the network.
  • Worldcoin claims that its World ID is a way to create a universal and decentralized digital identity that can protect people's privacy and enable them to access various services and benefits online. The project also has a vision of using Worldcoin as a means to distribute universal basic income (UBI) to everyone in the world, regardless of their location, income, or status.

Criticism and the main issues raised by critics are:

  • Privacy and security: Many people are concerned about the privacy and security implications of giving their biometric data to a third-party entity. They worry that their iris scans could be hacked, leaked, or misused by Worldcoin or other actors. They also question how Worldcoin will protect their data from government surveillance or censorship.
  • Ethics and consent: Some people are uneasy about the ethical and moral implications of incentivizing people to give up their biometric data for money. They argue that Worldcoin could exploit vulnerable populations who may not fully understand or consent to the risks involved. They also point out that Worldcoin could create social pressure or coercion for people to participate in the project.
  • Regulation and legality: Some people are doubtful about the regulation and legality of Worldcoin in different jurisdictions. They wonder how Worldcoin will comply with existing laws and regulations regarding cryptocurrencies, identity verification, anti-money laundering, and consumer protection. They also speculate how governments will react to Worldcoin’s attempt to create a parallel identity and financial system.
  • Scalability and sustainability: Some people are sceptical about the scalability and sustainability of Worldcoin’s model. They question how Worldcoin will manage the technical and logistical challenges of distributing and operating millions of Orbs around the world. They also wonder how Worldcoin will maintain its value and relevance in the long term, especially if more people join the network or if other cryptocurrencies offer similar or better features.



  • The prospects of Worldcoin depend on several factors, such as its adoption rate, user satisfaction, technical innovation, regulatory compliance, competitive advantage, social impact, and ethical standards. The project faces many uncertainties and challenges ahead but also has the potential to create a new paradigm for digital identity and financial inclusion.

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CRYPTOCURRENCY: https://www.iasgyan.in/daily-current-affairs/cryptocurrency-8


Q. What is the primary objective of the Worldcoin project?

A) To create a global digital currency

B) To build the world's largest identity and financial public network

C) To develop advanced artificial intelligence technology

D) To provide free internet access to underprivileged communities

Answer: B

Explanation: To build the world's largest identity and financial public network. The primary goal of the Worldcoin project is to create a digital network that allows everyone to claim a stake and participate in the global digital economy.