In a blog post, Ethereum co-founder Vitalik Buterin highlighted his concern with the just-launched Worldcoin human identity verification mechanism. He dug further into Worldcoin’s more expansive ideas and its proof-of-humanity strategy, which tries to solve the problems brought on by the growing overlap between human and artificial intelligence (AI).
Worldcoin, along with other identification solutions such as Proof of Humanity, BrightID, Idenam, and Circles, thinks it will becoming harder to tell people from robots as AI develops. In order to combat this, Worldcoin provides users with a special “digital passport” that enables them to authenticate their human identity and prevent being mistaken for bots.
Buterin expressed worries about possible hazards while acknowledging the significance of the proof-of-personhood mechanism for addressing anti-spam and anti-concentration-of-power challenges. According to him, if these issues are not adequately resolved, such systems might be vulnerable to capture by powerful individuals or adversarial governments, endangering the promise of decentralized governance made by initiatives like Worldcoin.
Buterin was more worried about iris scanning and how it might affect people’s privacy. He was concerned that this approach may unintentionally collect private information like sex, race, and possibly specific medical problems, causing major privacy concerns.
Buterin also worried about centralization and accessibility. Despite the fact that 1,500 Orbs are already available in 35 locations across the world and that weekly registrations have increased significantly, Buterin questioned the viability of reaching universal accessibility, particularly in rural places.
Buterin concluded by highlighting the significance of overcoming the difficulties brought on by proof-of-personhood systems. He understood the potential perils of a world without such precautions, but he also understood that building a robust system would be a difficult and lengthy process. He thought it would take years of focused work to implement a good solution.
Vitalik Buterin’s worries emphasize the necessity for a thorough analysis of the consequences and privacy protections of initiatives like Worldcoin. Stakeholders in the crypto and AI communities will carefully observe the advances and possible solutions presented by these initiatives as the discussion surrounding proof-of-personhood and identity verification proceeds.