WORLDCOIN will allow governments to use iris-scanning verification technology

The Orb: Worldcoin Introduces a Device That Combines Black Mirror with the Bible

Worldcoin will expand its operations to sign up more users globally and aims to allow other organizations to use its iris-scanning and identity-verifying technology, a senior manager for the company behind the project told Reuters.

Co-founded by OpenAI CEO Sam Altman, Worldcoin launched last week, requiring users to give their iris scans in exchange for a digital ID and, in some countries, free cryptocurrency as part of plans to create an “identity and financial network”.

In sign-up sites around the world, people have been getting their faces scanned by a shiny spherical “orb”, shrugging off privacy campaigners’ concerns that the biometric data could be misused. Worldcoin says 2.2 million have signed up, mostly during a trial period over the last two years. Data watchdogs in Britain, France, and Germany have said they are looking into the project.

“We are on this mission of building the biggest financial and identity community that we can,” said Ricardo Macieira, general manager for Europe at Tools For Humanity, the San Francisco and Berlin-based company behind the project.

Worldcoin raised $115 million from venture capital investors including Blockchain Capital, a16z crypto, Bain Capital Crypto and Distributed Global in a funding round in May.

Macieira said Worldcoin would continue rolling out operations in Europe, Latin America, Africa and “all the parts of the world that will accept us.”

Worldcoin’s website mentions various possible applications, including distinguishing humans from artificial intelligence, enabling “global democratic processes” and showing a “potential path” to universal basic income, although these outcomes are not guaranteed.

Most people interviewed by Reuters at sign-up sites in Britain, India and Japan last week said they were joining in order to receive the 25 free Worldcoin tokens the company says verified users can claim.

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