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Thursday, April 18, 2024

Worldcoin Quietly Halted Orb Verification in India Months Ago: Report

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Worldcoin has disabled its offline orb verification feature for users in three markets – India, Brazil, and France. The development comes after a surge in people lining up at specified venues amid the excitement to register and acquire free Worldcoin (WLD) tokens, according to the report by MoneyControl.

Worldcoin’s ‘Orb’ is a spherical hardware device designed to establish a user profile within the Worldcoin app ecosystem. It achieves this by capturing the unique biometric identity of the user through eyeball scanning.

Worldcoin Ends Orb Verification Process Without Fanfare

During Worldcoin’s launch in late July 2023, India was included among the listed countries on the site, featuring 18 on-ground Orb verification locations, primarily situated in Bengaluru and Delhi NCR. These locations spanned shopping malls and metro stations within the two cities.

Worldcoin initially planned to introduce Orb services in more than 35 cities across 20 countries. However, India has recently been completely removed from this list and is no longer featured on Worldcoin’s website.

According to a source familiar with the situation, Orb verification services in India were temporarily scaled back as the company is in the process of implementing a customized, secure, and organized registration process in India to address the overwhelming demand.

While the deployed orbs were reportedly unable to handle the demand, which eventually led to the suspension of new World ID signups, there continues to be a substantial daily influx of World App downloads in India.

Regulatory Hurdles

Initiated by Tools for Humanity (TFH), a company established in 2019 by Altman (who also serves as the CEO of OpenAI), Alex Blania, and Max Novendstern, the Worldcoin project introduced a digital framework consisting of three primary components: World ID, Worldcoin token (WLD), and World App. World ID, a personalized biometric digital identity for users, is crafted through Orb verification, a process the company asserts is designed to uphold privacy.

However, the project has garnered significant apprehension from global regulators and privacy advocates. The concerns revolve around the alleged lack of transparency in the organization’s approaches to data collection from individuals.

Since its launch, countries such as Argentina, France, Germany, and the UK have initiated investigations into the crypto project to verify compliance with data regulations and ensure that no breaches have occurred. The Kenyan government also established a parliamentary committee consisting of 15 members to investigate the controversial cryptocurrency project.

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