Vitalik Buterin highlights the “major risks” of Worldcoin


Sam Altman’s Worldcoin project poses a privacy threat due to its retinal scanning feature, says Ethereum co-founder Vitalik Buterin.

Despite the fact that the system only stores hashed versions of biometric data and uses ZK-SNARK, as well as other encryption methods, there is a real risk of information leakage, Buterin noted.

“If someone scans your iris, they can check it against a database to determine if you have a World ID. Potentially, this system can provide more information about the user,” he added.

Another problem the developer called the availability of technology for scanning Orb. In his opinion, the production of devices needs to be significantly expanded, otherwise there is a risk of an imbalance in favor of simple, and therefore more vulnerable methods of identity verification.

Worldcoin’s core product, the World ID protocol, is based on zero-knowledge proofs. It is a mobile tool that allows people to authenticate without sacrificing anonymity. In addition to biometric data, you can use a phone number to verify your identity.

Buterin singled out centralization as the third risk. According to him, the integrity of the Orb design cannot be verified, which leaves the possibility of backdoors for its creators.

“To Worldcoin’s credit, they have committed to decentralizing over time,” the creator of Ethereum stressed.

He also singled out the problem of the security of mobile devices of the users themselves. When a phone with a World ID is hacked, there is a possibility of “fake people” appearing and using such profiles for malicious purposes.

Nevertheless, Buterin called Sam Altman’s concept for the project “really valuable.” In his opinion, the world needs such confidential applications for identification. However, he noted that “there is no ideal form of identity verification yet.”

The programmer proposed to combine several existing approaches based on social graphs, hardware biometric technologies for general and specialized purposes.

Buterin added that such a solution could provide a decentralized, scalable and privacy-conscious system that is protected from fake identities.

Recall that on July 24, Worldcoin announced the official launch and release of the native WLD token. The listing of the new coin has already been supported by the Binance, Bybit and OKX crypto exchanges.

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