Vitalik Buterin Questions Worldcoin’s ‘Proof-of-personhood’ Quest

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  • Ethereum co-founder Vitalik Buterin has expressed his skepticism over the iris-scanning technology used by decentralized ID platform Worldcoin
  • Buterin thinks that the platform’s proof-of-personhood authentication method puts users’ data privacy and security at risk
  • Worldcoin however believes the authentication method helps distinguish between humans and bots without compromising on decentralization

Ethereum co-founder Vitalik Biterin has expressed his skepticism over the iris-scanning technology employed by decentralized ID platform Worldcoin. Buterin thinks that the technology puts users’ data privacy and security at risk. Worldcoin, on the other hand, believes that the proof-of-personhood authentication method is secure and helps distinguish between humans and bots without sacrificing decentralization.

Backdoors to Create Phony Human Identities?

According to Worldcoin, users have to scan their iris with a hardware device dubbed an Orb for them to acquire a special identification known as a World ID. The platform can then use this data to curate user-centric services.

What do I think about biometric proof of personhood?

— vitalik.eth (@VitalikButerin) July 24, 2023

The Ethereum co-founder thinks that such a system will be out of reach for most people since a prospective Worldcoin user needs to gain access to an Orb. Buterin added that there’s no way of ascertaining that the scanning device has no backdoors that can be used to create phony “human identities.”

Buterin is also worried that malicious actors can coerce Worldcoin users to reveal their iris details by hacking into their mobile devices.

The Ethereum co-founder however admitted that Worldcoin cannot be blamed for all its platform’s perceived shortcomings since there’s no one perfect way to overcome the challenges.

Jack Dorsey is also Unhappy

He even appreciated Worldcoin’s efforts to unveil a physical device to boost the security and privacy of users, but noted that a hardware-based system is likely to have a higher degree of centralization.

Apart from Buterin, other industry experts such as Twitter co-founder Jack Dorsey, Bitcoin diehard Anita Posch and EthHub co-founder Anthony Sassano have also expressed their dissatisfaction with Worldcoin’s security and privacy approach.

A global database of human IDs issued after an eye scan, paid for with useless Worldcoin token, connected with all financial transaction data of each individual managed by a centralized non-profit collecting sensitive data for KYC/AML.


— Anita ⚡🏳️‍🌈 Bitcoin for Fairness (@AnitaPosch) July 24, 2023

With a divided web3 community, it’s yet to be seen whether Worldcoin will be able to unite the two sides and gain sizable adoption.

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