Ethereum co-founder Vitalik Buterin says more work is needed to maintain Tools for Humanity’s proof-of-personality project made possible by the World ID protocol.
Worldcoin must address several issues, including security, privacy, and the threat of coercion from authoritarian governments, before the project can fully achieve its goal.
Bad parties can force mismatches between apps and iris scans
According to Buterin, Worldcoin’s unique hardware design inherently makes it difficult to evaluate for backdoors. Other challenges, such as keeping software decentralized and setting a maximum number of orbs a single manufacturer can build, are possible but may take time to implement.
To sign up for a global ID, users must download the global app and generate a public-private key pair. Next, they must travel to the location of the orb, a device that can take pictures of the eye’s irises.
Orb will associate the hash of their iris data with code from the app to register a global identifier. Then, their app can create evidence of not knowing that the registrant is on the system without exposing any personal data.
However, Buterin argues that malicious limbs can force people to attach their blades to someone else’s irises. In addition, people can voluntarily sell their encryption keys to someone.
Over time, it’s also possible that artificial 3D prints of people’s eyes could trick the Orb into creating invalid identities. Anyone can independently generate the same hash for a person’s eye and check if it is in the Worldcoin database.
There is also the possibility of black market Orbs that can harvest iris data without Worldcoin knowing.
Worldcoin needs pressure to prioritize larger commodities
OpenAI CEO Sam Altman, co-founder of the Worldcoin project, distributed the Worldcoin cryptocurrency to two million people on Monday.
Major enrollment centers are in the United States and Europe, with other regions set to follow.
Not registered with Worldcoin? Learn more about upcoming airdrops here.
To ensure that Worldcoin cannot go rogue, Buterin He says The global community must force project developers to open up their technology and subject them to audits. These checks and balances can ensure that Worldcoin always works for the benefit of the broader community.
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