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Worldcoin’s Orb Verification Halted Amid Regulatory Storm

Key Insights:

  • Worldcoin’s Orb technology faced regulatory and safety challenges, leading to withdrawals from major markets like India and Kenya.
  • Controversy surrounded Worldcoin’s onboarding practices, raising concerns about exploitation and privacy issues.
  • Despite challenges, Worldcoin’s cryptocurrency (WLD) displayed market resilience, but uncertainty looms over its future.

Worldcoin, a digital currency venture co-launched by OpenAI’s chief, Sam Altman, has halted its Orb-verification operations in India, Brazil, and France. This decision comes after the company’s rapid global expansion, raising questions about regulatory compliance and public safety issues associated with its unique identity verification technology.

Regulatory Challenges Force Worldcoin to Retrench

Worldcoin’s ambitious venture into identity verification through its Orb technology has hit a regulatory roadblock. The company’s decision to halt operations in major markets like India, Brazil, and France has left many pondering the regulatory hurdles it might be facing. 

Overseeing Worldcoin’s development, Tools for Humanity initially portrayed Orb’s deployment as “limited time access” in various markets, emphasizing the company’s focus on adhering to global regulatory norms. However, following the widespread attention and engagement the Orb received, this sudden withdrawal raises questions about the specific regulatory obstacles that influenced this decision.

Market Withdrawals Spark Regulatory Concerns

According to a report by Moneycontrol, Worldcoin ceased its offline Orb verifications and the process of enrolling users based on biometric identity in India about three to four months ago. This decision came from an overwhelming public response, with many individuals lining up at designated locations to register and earn free Worldcoin (WLD) tokens. While this enthusiasm was initially promising, it soon led to operational challenges, forcing the company to reevaluate its strategy in the Indian market.

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The situation escalated with reports from Kenya, where a witness alleged eye problems after undergoing an iris scan with the Orb. This testimony, presented to the Kenyan Parliamentary Committee, sounded alarms regarding the safety of Worldcoin’s verification methods. In response to these concerns, Kenya’s interior minister, Kithure Kindiki, suspended all Worldcoin activities pending an investigation into potential risks to public safety. This action was taken particularly seriously since over 350,000 Kenyans had registered with the service.

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Worldcoin’s Impact and User Concerns

Launched on July 24, the crypto project, focusing on digital identification, achieved noteworthy milestones but also encountered significant controversies. In May, it secured $115 million in funding from investors such as Andreessen Horowitz, Bain Capital Crypto, and Distributed Global. Furthermore, during its beta phase, Worldcoin managed to onboard over 2 million users, a seemingly impressive figure at first glance.

Nonetheless, this success was accompanied by skepticism and controversy. A study conducted by the MIT Technology Review raised substantial concerns regarding the onboarding practices employed for the first million users. The investigation alleged deceptive tactics, cash incentives, and the exploitation of workers, particularly in developing countries.

Moreover, the project faced criticism from the broader crypto community for various reasons, including worries about the security of users’ biometric data and more general privacy issues. These concerns have overshadowed the project’s significant user growth and funding achievements.

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WLD Token’s Market Performance

Despite encountering several obstacles recently, Worldcoin has demonstrated notable resilience in the market. Its value has increased by 0.70%, reaching $3.64. However, there’s been a contrasting trend in its trading volume. In the last 24 hours, Worldcoin’s WLD cryptocurrency has decreased its trading volume by 7.71%, dropping to $184.742 million. This varied financial performance reflects the current uncertainty about the project’s prospects.

As Worldcoin faces a series of regulatory hurdles and safety issues, the cryptocurrency world and its investors are uncertain about the project’s future. Questions arise about whether Worldcoin can navigate these challenges to fulfill its ambitious goal of transforming digital identity or if the regulatory constraints will be too overwhelming to overcome. Only time will tell as Worldcoin navigates the complex landscape of identity verification and cryptocurrency regulation.

Editorial credit: Rokas Tenys / Shutterstock.com


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Curtis Dye

Curtis is a cryptocurrency news and analytics author with a focus on DeFi, BLockchain, CeFi, NFTs etc. He has publication skills such as SEO optimization, Wordpress, Surfer tools and aids his viewers with insights on the volatile crypto industry.

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