eIt seems irresistible: “A new global digital currency that gives everyone on earth a free stake to start with.” This is how Worldcoin describes itself, a company with roots in California’s Silicon Valley, with strong links to Germany and the concept of adventure. It claims to have developed the first cryptocurrency that would be hacked and used by at least a billion people. Coin for the world, as the name indecently suggests, and for the world to share too, we promise free money.
It’s a bold plan, and how to implement it sounds completely absurd: In order to enroll users in this system and uniquely identify them, Worldcoin collects biometric data, specifically from their eyes. There is also an “orb,” a ball-shaped device the size of a volleyball that is mounted in front of people’s faces to take pictures of their iris. It reminds us of scary science fiction, and privacy advocates are concerned. However, Worldcoin sees this as the only way to prevent fraud and assures that all data collected is anonymous and secure. The company is also careful to point out that its business does not rely on the evaluation of user data – which could be interpreted as digging into internet giants like Facebook and Google.
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