Following its launch on Monday, the worldcoin (WLD) token experienced a surge in value but subsequently faced a decline as concerns arose within the crypto community regarding the Worldcoin identity-verification project. According to CoinMarketCap data, the WLD token reached a high of $3.58 on crypto exchanges before retracting to $1.92 overnight, although it has rebounded recently to trade at $2.43, representing a 25% increase from the low point.
The project revolves around the use of a hardware unit called an Orb, which aims to identify individuals and verify their humanity through iris scanning. Worldcoin envisions this identity verification system as a crucial component of the future digital economy, especially in a society integrating artificial intelligence (AI). Users verified by the Orb can access WLD tokens on the project’s app, subject to local regulations.
However, concerns have been voiced within the crypto community, particularly by Ethereum co-founder Vitalik Buterin. He expressed worries about potential abuses of the system, citing issues related to privacy, centralization, and security in a recent blog post. Additionally, Worldcoin has faced criticism for its extensive promotion in developing regions, with about 30% of Orb-verified users located in Asia and Africa, raising concerns of potential exploitation.
Pseudonymous crypto influencer ZachXBT highlighted the company’s boasting of user numbers, which contrasts with reported concerns of exploiting individuals in developing countries. MIT Technology Review’s story from April 2022 also reported on “deceptive marketing practices” by the firm, concerns about data collection, and a lack of meaningful informed consent.
Today, the U.K. data watchdog announced an inquiry into the project, raising questions about the collection of personal data. A representative from Worldcoin stated that they adhere to the strictest privacy guidelines and requirements in the markets where the project is available.