Worldcoin, co-created by OpenAI’s Sam Altman, finds itself at the center of a controversy. Recent reports from a Chinese news site revealed that individuals in China, unable to directly participate in the forthcoming Worldcoin token distribution, are resorting to unconventional means.
Taking advantage of the world’s interconnectedness, these individuals are acquiring iris scans in far-flung regions such as Cambodia and Africa.
This astonishing development highlights the lengths at which people are willing to go to secure their share of the digital currency.
In the realm of digital currencies, Worldcoin has emerged as a highly anticipated project, poised to introduce a unique token that will be distributed to individuals who can establish their distinct identities.
The primary method of achieving this involves undergoing an iris scan through one of the crypto project’s so-called “orbs.” An orb is a device that scans people’s irises to prove they are authentic and human, and rewards them with Worldcoin tokens.
Already, an impressive number of over 1.7 million people have registered for the distribution, predominantly from regions in the Global South.
However, as the launch date draws near, unscrupulous individuals are devising methods to deceive the system, raising concerns and sparking a contentious situation.
Recently, BlockBeats, a Chinese news site, took to Twitter to expose an alarming development: it revealed that individuals in China are resorting to purchasing iris scans acquired from Cambodia and Africa at remarkably low prices – as low as $30.
Worldcoin is going viral especially in mainland of China，even though the region can’t register the app
crypto users are finding a new way：buying “iris”（$30 or cheaper）to register the worldcoin app and get the reward($20）. These iris are from Cambodia village、Africa… pic.twitter.com/BQlGCpob1W
— BlockBeats｜We’re hiring! (@BlockBeatsAsia) May 18, 2023
These scans, procured through dubious means, allow individuals to bypass the authentication process and potentially gain access to Worldcoin tokens without complying with the necessary criteria.
Acknowledging the gravity of the situation, a spokesperson for Worldcoin addressed these incidents in a written statement provided to The Block.
While admitting the occurrence of such instances, the spokesperson emphasized that the problem was limited to a relatively small number, estimated to be “a few hundred.”
In March, the crypto initiative confronted the issue of account theft through a blog post, underscoring the significance of robust security measures in preserving the integrity of their system.
To combat the illicit sale of proof-of-personhood credentials, Worldcoin outlined a mechanism for users to regain control of their World ID, the verified account associated with the token distribution.
According to Worldcoin, users have the ability to reclaim their World ID by undergoing a secondary scan with one of the orbs.
By implementing this additional layer of scan, the project aims to discourage unauthorized access to proof-of-personhood credentials and promote the safeguarding of user accounts.
The intent is to strike a balance where the process is challenging enough to deter theft or unauthorized selling while remaining accessible for legitimate account recovery purposes.
-Featured image from KARSTEN MORAN FOR FORTUNE
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