More than 2.4 million people have signed up to have their irises scanned by Worldcoin’s “orb” devices in exchange for a digital ID and free cryptocurrency, shrugging off privacy campaigners’ concerns that the database could be misused.
Worldcoin, co-founded by Altman, says its aim is to create a global identity and financial network, suggesting on its website a variety of ambitious use cases, including distinguishing people from artificial intelligence bots and providing a means for distributing universal basic income (UBI).
The company’s head of product, Tiago Sada, told Reuters the company sought to emulate India’s Aadhaar system, which ascribes unique ID numbers, and records individuals’ fingerprints, face and iris scan.
“A really good analogy for the type of impact something like Worldcoin can have is the Aadhaar project in India,” Sada, the company’s head of product, engineering and design, said.
Various regulators, including in the United Kingdom and Germany, have said they were looking into Worldcoin following its launch in July.