Worldcoin, the web3 startup co-founded by OpenAI CEO Sam Altman, plans to open up access to its digital identity platform to third-party companies as part of its global expansion strategy. The news comes after the company’s recent launch, which requires users to undergo iris scanning for “proof of personhood” in exchange for a digital ID and, in some regions, free cryptocurrency.
A senior manager at Worldcoin explained that the platform’s pseudonymous identity verification capabilities would be made accessible to other organizations willing to pay for the service. This means that companies could utilize Worldcoin’s iris-based identity verification to ensure secure and non-duplicative interactions with their customers. For instance, a coffee shop could offer a free coffee to all customers without the need for gathering personal data, preventing any one individual from claiming multiple free samples.
Worldcoin’s digital identity platform relies on iris scanning technology to verify the identities of its users. The company claims that over 2.2 million individuals have already signed up for the service during a trial period over the past two years. However, data protection authorities in Britain, France, and Germany have expressed concerns over the potential misuse of biometric data and are currently investigating the project.
Ricardo Macieira, the general manager for Europe at Tools For Humanity, the company behind Worldcoin, stated that the company is on a mission to build a vast financial and identity community worldwide. The recent funding round in May raised $115 million from prominent venture capital investors, including Blockchain Capital, a16z crypto, Bain Capital Crypto, and Distributed Global, further fueling the expansion efforts.
Worldcoin aims to continue rolling out its operations across Europe, Latin America, Africa, and other regions that welcome its services. The eventual goal is to have the technology behind the iris-scanning orbs open-source, allowing anyone to create their own orbs to benefit their communities.
While Worldcoin remains optimistic about its mission, privacy campaigners and data protection regulators have raised red flags, emphasizing the importance of stringent data protection measures. Worldcoin has asserted that it complies with the EU’s data protection rules and is willing to cooperate with the inquiries initiated by the relevant governing bodies. The company stresses that personal data is stored in encrypted form to maintain privacy and security.
August 4, 2023 – by the Mobile ID World Editorial Team