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Thursday, April 18, 2024

Is It About Freedom or Surveillance? (Op-Ed)

It’s been a giant week for Worldcoin, the blockchain brainchild of OpenAI CEO Sam Altman. The blockchain biometrics challenge is closing a $100 million funding deal. The traders on this spherical embrace new backers along with earlier ones.

Worldcoin’s $100 Million Seed Spherical

Previous seed spherical traders in Worldcoin embrace a16z (Andreessen Horowitz), Coinbase’s enterprise capital division, Khosla Ventures, and even Sam Bankman-Fried.

(The disgraced FTX founder is at present defending towards a number of U.S. legal costs and enforcement actions.)

Fortune reports:

“The funding information is a shiny spot in a bleak yr for crypto investments. Enterprise funding for Web3 startups plummeted from $9.1 billion within the first quarter of 2022 to $1.7 billion in 2023, an 82% year-over-year lower, in keeping with Crunchbase.”

The ChatGPT founder’s huge fundraiser reveals there’s nonetheless huge VC demand for investments within the crypto area. That’s regardless of the year-long crypto winter that simply could have resulted in January, a string of failed crypto firms in latest months, and an epic regulatory battle with U.S. regulators.

Biometric Keys: Freedom or Surveillance?

Worldcoin has daring ambitions to carry biometric identification to Net 3.0.

The OpenAI founder’s cryptocurrency challenge seeks to gather and develop ID authentication assist for retina scans. VCs enthusiastic backing of the challenge means they could simply be capable to ship on such a daring plan.

However is Worldcoin extra apt to unleash the advantages of blockchain freedom or high-tech, Orwellian surveillance capitalism? For many years now, civil libertarians have thought of the digitalization of medical data fraught with authorized and humanitarian risks.

Utilizing biometric knowledge as a safety and authentication normal could violate individuals’s privateness. Worldcoin’s intention could be to create a world that finally calls for of us surrender their biomarkers to make use of apps and do enterprise.

Though, this isn’t the inevitable end result of Worldcoin. Shifting biometric knowledge to the blockchain and utilizing Net 3 strategies to handle non-public, personally figuring out data for Web customers may be the most secure, fairest, freest option to do it. Net 3 can use zk-proofs and multi-party computation to maintain that knowledge non-public whereas proving to servers that request it that the consumer is who they are saying they’re.


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