Worldcoin has recently announced the launch of its World ID verification services in Singapore. This marks a significant milestone in the expansion of the company’s identity verification technology. Utilizing the Orb, a custom hardware device, participants can now easily verify their unique humanness. This launch is particularly notable as it comes after Worldcoin scaled back its operations in India.
The introduction of World ID 2.0 and the open sourcing of Worldcoin’s iris recognition pipeline have played a crucial role in the deployment of World ID verifications in Singapore. The World App, used for these services, has already reached five million users with over 30 million transactions globally. Worldcoin’s Orb, a helmet-shaped peripheral, is central to the identity verification process.
Global Presence Amid Regulatory Challenges
Worldcoin’s identity verification service is now available in 11 countries, including the United States. However, the project has faced regulatory challenges and privacy concerns in various jurisdictions. For instance, authorities in Kenya suspended Worldcoin’s operations over privacy issues. The identity verification initiative began in 2021, and by July 2023, more than five million people had created accounts using their identities, representing approximately 0.06% of the world’s population.
Worldcoin’s decision to pause its offline Orb verification services in India was due to an inability to meet surging demand. The company established 18 offline Orb verification locations across India, which attracted large crowds. Speculation about a potential crackdown by Indian authorities arose as the number of Indian locations listed on Worldcoin’s website began to decrease. The pause in services was described as a temporary measure to develop a more efficient, safe, and orderly registration process for the high demand in India.
Worldcoin’s operations have not only faced challenges in India but globally as well. In July 2023, the French privacy watchdog questioned the legality of Worldcoin’s iris data collection. Similarly, the UK Information Commissioner’s Office announced further inquiries into the project. Additionally, Kenyan authorities suspended Worldcoin’s operations, with police raiding a warehouse in Nairobi and seizing equipment.
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