More thoughts on Worldcoin



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A year ago

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🌎 Some more thoughts on @worldcoin Here are some things people seem to be confused about it, and some answers to the most common questions I've seen.

First, what is Worldcoin? If you haven't read it already, I wrote a thread yesterday summarizing what it is and why I'm excited about it. Make sure to check that out first πŸ‘‡

Also, a few people were confused as to what my affiliation with Worldcoin is. ❎ I'm not part of the Worldcoin team or an investor, nor have been paid or even asked to talk about it. βœ… I know people on the team, and have gone through the onboarding and claimed 25 worldcoins.

Let's recap how the whole thing works: You get onboarded by an orb that scans your iris, creates a hash, and publishes a signed version on-chain. You get a private key that you can use to generate zero-knowledge proofs (prove you've been verified without revealing who you are).

Once you have this proof, you can use it to redeem your share of Worldcoin, which is vested over time. This ensures that, even if someone gets tricked into selling their Worldcoin at the beginning, they have plenty of time to learn about it and decide to keep the rest.

Worldcoin is an ERC-20 token that runs on an Ethereum optimistic rollup, easily bridgeable to mainnet or other L2 and sidechains. The orb onboarding and sybil proof are only used to distribute the initial supply, after that you can just use it like you'd use any other token.

To de-incentivize anyone from selling or buying these proofs of identity, the original owner can "steal them back" at any point by going to an orb and completing the procedure again. Note that this requires they verify themselves again, Worldcoin cannot do this by themselves.

Aside from checking that the iris is unique, the orb also performs a collection of checks to make sure you are alive, which range from infrared sensors to measuring how your skin's temperature reacts to light. This makes sure you can't use an image of an eye or a dead body.

Some people were concerned about supply chain attacks or having to trust the orb's code does what we're told. This is obviously a hard problem, and the team is researching how hardware wallets or the iPhone's secure enclave approach this issue. No doubt we'll hear more soon.

I know there are additional concerns about the coin, especially with the project keeping 20% of the reserve. I really wish this project had been structured as a DAO or treated as a public good with no investor allocation. Still, this doesn't fully invalidate the project IMO.

While the coin part is pretty cool, it's not the reason why I'm really excited about Worldcoin. The reason is we'll finally have a biometrics-based solution to sybil resistance, accessible to more and with better UX than anything before. Also, onboarding millions into crypto.

Like I said last time, no technology is perfect. There are still lots of edge cases the team needs to figure out. The whole thing is still running on a testnet for now. But I'm optimistic it can work out, and I'm really excited to see the project develop, now in public. ✨

To learn more about @worldcoin: - Here’s an 11 min read about the protocol and the launch: - Here’s a 3 min read on the privacy considerations: All those resources are linked from the homepage πŸ‘‡