Worldcoin iris biometrics

Worldcoin is a self-described 'digital identity and financial network' that uses a 'chrome orb' to scan the irises and faces of people agreeing to sign up for a share of its new WLD currency. 

Worldcoin was started in 2019 by Sam Altman and Alex Blania under the auspices of technology company Tools for Humanity (TFH). TFH claims it was established to 'accelerate the transition towards a more just economic system.'

The WLD currency started trading on July 24, 2023 under the auspices of the Worldcoin Foundation, a Cayman Islands 'exempted limited guarantee foundation company'. The currency trades in multiple jurisdictions - except the US, in which the laws are 'unclear', according to Worldcoin. 

Developer: Tools for Humanity/Worldcoin
Country: Argentina, Benin, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, France, Germany, Ghana, Hong Kong, India, Indonesia, Israel, Italy, Kenya, Mexico, Netherlands, Nigeria, Norway, Portugal, South Africa, Spain, Sudan, Turkey, Uganda, UK, Zimbabwe
Sector: Banking/financial services
Purpose: Develop digital identity
Technology: Iris scanning; Facial detection; Vital signs detection; Blockchain; Virtual currency
Issue: Ethics/values; Privacy; Security
Transparency: Governance; Privacy; Marketing

Risks and harms 🛑

Worldcoin's governnace, field-testing and other operational activities have caused controversy  in several countries across the world.

Field-testing methods

Regulatory investigations

Regulatory suspensions

Market withdrawals

Page info
Type: System
Published: April 2022
Last updated: May 2024