Vitalik Buterin, the founder of Ethereum, expressed his concerns about Worldcoin (WLD), the new cryptocurrency launched by Sam Altman. According to him, the functioning of the “Proof-of-Personhood” (PoP) of Worldcoin has major flaws in terms of privacy, accessibility, centralization and security.
Vitalik talks about Worldcoin
We reported it this morning in our columns, the Worldcoin (WLD), the controversial cryptocurrency of Open AI CEO Sam Altman, is officially launched on the market. Already displaying the staggering sum of 25 billion dollars of diluted market capitalization (FDV), the WLD however sows controversy with its operation sometimes described as dystopian.
This far from trivial project, which offers to scan the iris for a fee, elicited a response from Vitalik Buterin, the founder of Ethereum (ETH)who published a blog post aimed at explaining what he thinks is currently problematic in Worldcoin’s “Proof-of-Personhood” (PoP).
What do I think about biometric proof of personhood?https://t.co/yozo1buW24
— vitalik.eth (@VitalikButerin) July 24, 2023
In broad outline, Vitalik Buterin asserts that it is vital that a decentralized digital identity system be put in place in order, in particular, to fight against “ spam and concentration of power and because it is a method that avoids reliance on centralized authorities and reveals the minimum amount of information possible “.
He adds that beyond the objectives set by Worldcoin, the PoP could also prove useful for the distribution of airdrops, for voting within decentralized autonomous organizations (DAOs), or as an alternative to captchas, among others.
However, as things stand, Vitalik claims that the solution proposed by Worldcoin has 4 major flaws covering privacy, accessibility, centralization and security.
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What are the current dangers with PoP?
First, about privacy: according to Vitalik Buterin, if someone is able to scan your iris – like the Worldcoin Orb – then they could check it against a database to see if you already have a “World ID”. and potentially extract private information from you.
Second, Vitalik brings up the accessibility problem of Worldcoin. In the current state of affairs, it is necessary to pass a retinal scan with an “Orb” devicewhich limits de facto access to this system.
Regarding centralization, Vitalik writes that the Orb is a hardware device whose structure no one knows except its manufacturer. In doing so, there is nothing to say with certainty that Worldcoin does not include ” backdoor » or fault.
Finally, regarding security, the founder of Ethereum explains that an individual could find himself forced to scan his iris under threat, or that he could be possible to make fake World ID using a 3D printer, for example.
According to him, the ideal system would be based both on the social graphicsgeneral biometric techniques and specialized hardware biometric techniques, each of these methods having their own advantages and shortcomings, but functional if combined :
To finish, Vitalik reiterates that a PoP-based system must emergebut that this is indeed a great challenge that should take ” years before being resolved:
“The problem of creating an efficient and reliable proof of identity system, especially in the hands of people distant from the existing crypto community, seems to be a real challenge. I absolutely do not envy people who take on this task, and it will probably take years to find a formula that works. […] I look forward to seeing progress on all types of proof of identity, and hope that the different approaches will eventually coalesce into a cohesive whole. »
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