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Worldcoin Project UPSC NOTE


What is Worldcoin?

  • Worldcoin is an initiative to create a digital network in which everyone can claim some kind of stake, and join the digital economy. 

  • Using a device called “Orb”.

  • Worldcoin volunteers known as ‘Orb operators’ scan a person’s iris pattern to collect their biometric data and help them get a World ID through the World app.

  • The Worldcoin venture runs on a simple model: allow your eyes to be scanned in order to prove your human uniqueness, and receive some crypto and an ID (called a World ID) in exchange.

  • Worldcoin claims it is building the “world’s largest identity and financial public network” open to people worldwide.

How does Worldcoin work?

  • The users need to be willing to scan irises and/or get their own irises scanned. 

  • Volunteers sign up to be “Orb operators” in their locality and receive basic training and a biometric device with which to scan irises. 

  • Orb operators can even rent out the Orb to others to let them scan eyeballs as well. 

  • Those who have their irises scanned and collect a World ID can use this to claim the WLD crypto, which they may use for transactions or hold on to the asset in the hope that its price might rise, as it did after launching. 

  • However, users can also buy or sell WLD without getting scanned or using the app. 

  • In return for signing up more people to the Worldcoin network, Orb operators get WLD, which is a token based on the Ethereum blockchain. 

    • Ethereum has a native coin, Ether, which is the second-largest crypto by market capitalisation.

  • However, anyone can create a token which runs on the Ethereum blockchain. WLD is one such cryptocurrency.

Why does Worldcoin scan irises?

  • Worldcoin explained that it wanted to include everyone in its network and that using biometric information to avoid duplication was a valid method for this. 

  • The company claimed that India had “proven the effectiveness of biometrics” through its Aadhaar system. 

  • Worldcoin notes that Aadhaar IDs stopped people from signing up multiple times to benefit from social welfare schemes.

  • The company said that it uses a technology known as zero-knowledge proofs (ZKPs) to maintain users’ privacy. 

  • Worldcoin has also said it is fully compliant with Europe’s General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR).

  • Individuals who want to receive a World ID are not required to share their name, phone number, email address, or home address.

  • Images collected by the Orb are used to generate a unique iris code. By default these images are immediately deleted once the iris code is created, unless the user opts in to Data Custody.

Was Worldcoin criticised?

  • Worldcoin was criticised long before its re-launch.

  • NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden pointed out that even if a person’s biometric scans were deleted for privacy reasons — as Worldcoin said it would do — the unique identifier for the scan would match future scans of the same person’s eyes.

Has Worldcoin come to India?

  • Worldcoin lists 18 locations, largely in Delhi, Noida, and Bangalore, where Orb operators are scanning people’s eyes. 

  • Some locations include popular malls and metro stations in these cities.



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Learnerz IAS | Concept oriented UPSC Classes in Malayalam: Worldcoin Project UPSC NOTE
Worldcoin Project UPSC NOTE
Learnerz IAS | Concept oriented UPSC Classes in Malayalam
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