Peter McCormack, the host of the ‘What Bitcoin Did’ podcast, tweeted a scathing assessment of Worldcoin, inferring the project is redundant as “Bitcoin is world coin.”
McCormack slammed Worldcoin using several unflattering descriptors, including “sh*tcoin,” “VC dystopian rug pull,” and “exit liquidity” – enforcing its already dubious reputation.
Worldcoin unable to shake its reputation
Worldcoin burst on the scene in late 2021, immediately stirring controversy over its goal to scan people’s eyes in exchange for cryptocurrency.
The company’s vision proposed a global participation model, with people collectively benefiting from a growing decentralized digital economy. For this to happen, widespread mass adoption of the underlying cryptocurrency would require incentivizing new users to join at scale.
To manage new joiners and combat fraud from duplicate registrations, the project put forward using biometric safeguards via its Orb-iris scanning technology.
“Our approach relies on a custom biometric device – we call it the Orb – that verifies the uniqueness of a person through iris recognition, while ensuring their privacy through zero-knowledge cryptography.”
Critics voiced concerns on several fronts, including invasion of privacy, the long-term goal of introducing a universal basic income, which some deem a “flawed idea,” and the scope for Orwellian control. However, proponents argue that the project could lead to more widespread adoption of cryptocurrencies and contribute to a more inclusive global economy.
This unsavory reputation has plagued Worldcoin since it was first announced. But with the project ramping up development efforts recently, including raising $115 million in a Series C fundraise led by Blockchain Capital, the concerns are mounting.
Blockchain Capital is not phased.
VanEck Advisor Gabor Gurbacs questioned why investors would “throw money at nonsense” instead of backing Bitcoin and other truly egalitarian projects.
“VCs and fund managers continue to throw money at nonsense with perverse incentives yet fail to support Bitcoin and real infrastructure projects that make the world better.”
Referencing desperate sign-ups, particularly in under-developed parts of the world, On-Chain Detective, ZachXBT said Worldcoin users “are just people that were exploited.”
Twitter account Bit Paine echoed McCormack’s sentiment, predicting the project will be “the biggest dump-the-premine-on-retail in history.” On the other hand, Worldcoin supporters believe that the project’s focus on biometrics and privacy could lead to a new and more secure identity verification system as World ID keys are reportedly self-custodied.
General Partner at Blockchain Capital Spencer Bogart said he, too, thought Worldcoin was “some dystopian Orwellian nightmare.” However, Bogart said he changed his mind after looking deeper – as iris scanning solves the problem of Sybil attacks by differentiating bots and humans.
“Worldcoin has a unique opportunity to establish and scale a new privacy-preserving primitive for the internet (World ID) that enables any application to easily distinguish between machines (bots) and humans.”