As much as the crypto world has had some very innovative products launched over the years, it has also seen some very controversial ones. One example of this is Worldcoin, a blockchain startup backed by Sam Altman, the CEO of OpenAI. Ever since it hit the market, the project has sparked controversy, as well as discussions regarding online privacy and ethics. Now, Worldcoin is putting a new spin on its flagship eyeball-scanning device by announcing that a new Orb will be launching soon.
New Orb Coming Soon
This news was confirmed by Alex Blania, the CEO and co-founder of Tools for Humanity, Worldcoin’s parent company. Blania also said that there will be several iterations of the orb and each will look different.
Speaking at the recent StrictlyVC event, the CEO claimed that the new Orbs will be launched in the first half of 2024 and will be more friendly-looking. This is rather significant because the Worldcoin project has gotten a lot of criticism for being potentially exploitative towards users.
The Scandals at Worldcoin
The idea behind Worldcoin has been to usher in next-level digital identity and this is apparently being done through eyeball-scanning. Those who sign up for the project will have their eyes scanned and this grants them access to Worldcoin’s products, including a wallet and a digital passport.
By scanning their eyeballs, Worldcoin says, users can verify that they are legitimately human and avoid any instances of account duplication. In return for doing so, they also receive Worldcoin tokens. But while this idea has seemed fine in practice, it has been heavily criticized since it hit the market.
First, there is the fact that Worldcoin has not formally launched in the United States, despite its close ties to US-based companies. Allegedly, the reason for this is concerns about privacy violations and fraud by US regulators. Instead, Worldcoin has rolled out its program in other countries like India and Kenya. This, in turn, has led to accusations of being predatory towards consumers outside of first-world countries. These accusations were further exacerbated when the project was ordered by the Kenyan Office of the Data Protection Commissioner to cease collecting data.
Despite all of these controversies, Worldcoin has seen a lot of backing from investors. To date, it has raised $250 million from the likes of a16z and Bain Capital Crypto and claims that it continues to receive new signups. Its website claims that over 190,000 people have opened new accounts in the last 7 days and clearly, Worldcoin is optimistic about the future.
As the new Orb hits the market, it will be interesting to see if Worldcoin’s public perception can be recovered and if it will formally roll out in the United States.
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