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Should You be Worried about WorldCoin - the Eye-scanning Crypto?
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Worldcoin has a generous endeavor - give everyone free money and build a massive network. The idea behind it is to entice a bigger user base of cryptocurrency while providing those involved with a stable income.
That’s what Sam Altman says, anyway.
As of now, there’s still so much we don’t know about Worldcoin, such as its maximum supply. While the price hovers around the $0.05 mark, there have been substantial trading volumes daily. Altman and his team set the goal at one billion users by 2023. With a valuation of over $1 billion, this seems like a reasonable target.
How they will achieve this goal is as mysterious as Worldcoin itself. Though backed by distinguished entities like Ben Horowitz and Reid Hoffman, little has been said about their future proceedings. Right now, all we know is to receive Worldcoin, all you need to do is let them scan your eyeball. This system supposedly prevents people from getting it twice, but we’ll talk more about that in just a moment.
The big picture here, according to Altman and his CEO Alex Blania, is to support the realization of Universal Basic Income (UBI), which is also a theory. As technology and demand for it rise, the need for automated production rises along with them. That would result in fewer jobs for humans, threatening a higher poverty rate. UBI attempts to solve that problem by making sure every citizen gets a standard amount of money regularly.
That money, of course, comes from the government. Assuming the increase in automation would improve output and, in turn, the economy, the government could afford to nourish its people.
That said, if Worldcoin successfully reached every citizen in a country, they would all have a (somewhat) stable income. This sounds like a dream come true for most people, but are things as simple as they seem? Does the world really need another coin?
Let’s analyze the situation with the little data we have and see where we end up.
How Worldcoin Works
Mechanically, Worldcoin is a Layer 2 protocol on the Ethereum blockchain. It oversees its own economy and currency and only relies on the main server for verification purposes.
Worldcoin intends to reach every human on earth and implant cryptocurrency on their smart device. To do that, Altman and his team need participants to prove they are actual humans and not...something else. Since biometrics are unique and difficult to exploit, this method ensures each person can only receive Worldcoin once.
There is a device called the Orb that scans your eyeball when you want to receive some coin. We assume it’s an iris recognition technology that digitalizes the patterns of the colored part of your eyes. It would then compress the patterns into a code that represents the ID of a coin holder. Where the Orb stores replicas of your iris and what they do with them is still unknown.
Worldcoin is currently scanning the eyeballs of thousands of people across Asia, South America, Africa, and some parts of Europe. The amount of coin given isn’t clearly stated, but considering it’s valued at only a few pennies, it might not be life-changing.
Another glaring detail is Worldcoin being developed in the West, but its prototypes and experimental procedures are carrying out in different parts of the world, especially in poorer regions.
The Implications of Worldcoin
Worldcoin is attempting one of the boldest missions in the economy since bitcoin - making everyone on earth a crypto user. Since holding a coin makes you a part of its network, the future Worldcoin network would be the first true global kind.
But what does it mean if we all owned the same currency?
Let’s look at the number of internet users worldwide - roughly 4.6 billion people. That’s more than half the world population. As you would need the internet to use Worldcoin, this number would almost double if Altman reached his goal. More internet users means more ISPs, and more ISPs means more jobs.
However, it also means more energy consumption, which could also translate to mining reduction. In other words, a new method of crypto mining would need to be improvised in order for this to work.
Potential Problems of Worldcoin
One of the primary concerns surrounding Worldcoin is security. As data collection becomes more prevalent and despised, people couldn’t help feeling antsy about getting their eyes scanned. Even as Worldcoin assures users no biometrics data would be kept, there is an all encompassing vulnerability when staring into that soulless device called Orb.
Iris recognition can do many things. It helps employers keep track of worker attendance. Law enforcement also uses this technology to quickly identify criminals or record their information. Smart devices are starting to use iris recognition in place of password for more secure logins.
The problem with this technology is it’s easy to defeat and exploit. You can even zoom in on a photo of a person’s eye and bypass some iris detectors. Worldcoin not only has a copy of your iris, but knows where it goes as long as you hold it. If that’s true, the things you purchase or the people you pay would presumably be recorded.
Another potential problem with Worldcoin is supply and demand. It’s easy for demand to rise, bringing up the price when supply is low. If only half the world has Worldcoin, the other half would want to put their hands on it. Hence, demand rises and so does the price. That creates a healthy economy as opposed to everyone having the same thing and waiting for the price break that might never happen.
We could probably all agree by now that Worldcoin has clear-cut intentions, despite their somewhat ambiguous approach. If one day we manage to unite every human on earth through a single network, what level of energy would be required to sustain it.
Also, if everyone used cryptocurrency would it become regular currency? We’d have to come up with ways to replace all the obsolete cash by that point, no doubt.
What about you? Would you open your eye to a Worldcoin adventure?
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