Considering the challenges of Worldcoin
Ethereum (ETH) co-founder Vitalik Buterin has released his take on biometrics to prove that you are human.
Among them, he pointed out the problems of the project “Worldcoin” promoted by Sam Altman, CEO of ChatGPT development company “OpenAI”. Furthermore, we are considering how to solve the problem.
Worldcoin is a project with a grand ambition to distribute crypto assets (virtual currency) to people all over the world. We launched a mechanism to identify individuals by scanning the iris of their eyes with a device called “Orb” and generate a unique ID (World ID).
WLD launched its mainnet on the 24th and was immediately listed on exchanges such as Binance and Bybit.
connection: Cryptocurrency “Worldcoin” mainnet launch, successive listings on exchanges
The four issues Mr. Buterin points out about Worldcoin are as follows.
- Ease of use
For privacy, he mentions how Orb scans the iris of the eye. If someone scans someone’s iris, they could see in the database if that person has a World ID.
Regarding usability, he pointed out the issue of the number of orbs. He argued that a large number of orbs would be needed to allow people all over the world to create World IDs with peace of mind.
Also, regarding centralization, he pointed out that there is no way to verify whether orbs are made safely or whether backdoors are installed. Even if the software were complete and decentralized, the Worldcoin Foundation could still create a backdoor.
Regarding security, he pointed out the possibility that the user’s smartphone could be hacked. He said that iris theft could also occur if forced to do a scan.
Also consider solutions
Mr. Buterin considered solutions for each of the four challenges mentioned above. For example, the risk of privacy leaks is not limited to biometric authentication, but explained that zero-knowledge proof can be used for any mechanism.
What is a zero-knowledge proof?
A type of proof protocol. Refers to a mechanism by which a prover proves that a claim is “truth” without disclosing any information to the verifier other than “their claim is true”.
In addition to considering solutions, he also pointed out that there are other authentication methods for proving that people are human. One of them, he said, is authentication based on a “social graph.”
A social graph is the connection between people who influence each other. Buterin points out that if there are many existing verified identities willing to verify one person’s identity, that one person’s identity could also be verified. He also introduced advantages compared to Worldcoin, such as the fact that social graphs do not require equipment.
Buterin is not unilaterally criticizing Worldcoin. At the beginning of this article, he thanks the Worldcoin team for responding to Worldcoin’s discussions.
Finally, he said that he is looking forward to the development of all means of proof of human identity, and that he hopes that various approaches will eventually converge.
connection: Raised about 16 billion yen in Series C, a development company of “Worldcoin” involved in ChatGPT founders