Controversial Crypto Project Worldcoin Faces Potential Data Regulator Inquiry in the UK

The recent launch of Worldcoin has caught the attention of data regulators in the United Kingdom, with concerns raised over privacy and the safety of critical biometric data. According to a report by Reuters, the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO), the UK’s data regulatory body, has confirmed its awareness of the project and stated its intention to investigate the matter further in relation to data laws.

Worldcoin, which was unveiled on July 24, has been at the center of heated discussions due to its focus on digital identification systems, raising questions about the potential implications for user privacy and data security. Co-founded by Sam Altman, the CEO of OpenAI, the project garnered significant attention and financial support during its development phase. In May, it managed to secure a staggering $115 million in funding from prominent investors, including Andreessen Horowitz, Bain Capital Crypto, and Distributed Global.

Despite the substantial funding and backing, Worldcoin has faced criticism and skepticism from various quarters. Throughout its beta phase, the project reportedly managed to onboard over 2 million users; however, this achievement was marred by widespread concerns voiced by users and privacy advocates alike regarding the nature and scope of the project’s data collection practices.

MIT Claims Worldcoin First Customers Gained Through Deceptive Tactics 

In a bid to onboard its initial user base, Worldcoin, a prominent cryptocurrency project, allegedly employed controversial tactics, according to a study by MIT Technology Review. The study claimed that a significant portion of the first one million users were acquired through practices like “deception, cash handouts, and exploiting workers” in developing countries. As a result, the project has garnered criticism within the crypto community, raising concerns about the security of users’ biometric data and privacy issues.

Moreover, the road to the token launch of Worldcoin’s native token, WLD, has encountered obstacles, particularly in the United States. Despite gaining traction globally, WLD will not be available for trading on prominent U.S.-based exchanges like Coinbase and Kraken. The decision is attributed to regulatory uncertainties and concerns raised by U.S. authorities. Notably, the developers have expressed apprehensions about complying with U.S. regulations, considering the contentious classification of the token as a potential unregistered security.

As of now, the project is under scrutiny in the United Kingdom, where authorities are conducting an inquiry into its practices. The outcome of this investigation could have far-reaching implications for Worldcoin’s future operations and the global perception of its token.