Worldcoin Project Teases Arrival of More Orbs Days After Hong Kong Blocks Sam Altman’s Controversial Project

The Worldcoin project, led by OpenAI’s Sam Altman, has announced that it will introduce more Orbs for verifications soon. The announcement comes days after the project was barred from operating in Hong Kong. Despite the threat of being banned in multiple parts of the world, Worldcoin has shown no signs of halting. Developed by the initiative, Orbs are devices that scan people’s irises to identify them and issue a proof-of-personhood. This data collection has drawn the ire of critics around the world and Hong Kong is the latest region to bar the project.

Worldcoin to Introduce More Orbs

On Monday, Worldcoin’s official X (formerly Twitter) handle tweeted ‘More orbs are coming’, while an unverified Worldcoin account informed users about the next WLD token drop. As per CoinMarketCap, the WLD tokens are currently priced $4.60 (roughly Rs. 380).

As per information available on the project’s website over 165,000 new accounts have been created with Worldcoin over the last seven days, bringing the total of unique humans to 5.4 million. As of Tuesday, the project claims to have existed for 309 days and has managed to have connected with people from over 160 nations.

The website also says that up until now, Worldcoin has manufactured 2,000 orbs. The project, also plans to expand its community in the near future through token airdrops and competitions that people can participate in to win rewards.

Worldcoin Blocked From Operating in Second Region

Last week, Hong Kong’s Office of the Privacy Commissioner for Personal Data (PCPD) raised privacy concerns among Worldcoin’s biometric data collection. In a statement released by the PCPD, it said that Worldcoin has admittedly scanned the eyes and faces of 8,302 individuals during its operation in Hong Kong.

The PCPD said that Worldcoin’s biometric scanning is ‘unnecessary and excessive’. Furthermore, the PCPD also claimed that that neither did the project provide a Privacy Notice and a Biometric Data Consent Form in Chinese language, nor did it inform people about the risks involved with the use of this biometric data for training AI protocols and retaining the data for a decade.

“The Privacy Commissioner has served an enforcement notice on Worldcoin Foundation, directing it to cease all operations of the Worldcoin project in Hong Kong in scanning and collecting iris and face images of members of the public using iris scanning devices. If members of the public notices that Worldcoin is still operating at any premises with the iris scanning devices in Hong Kong, please report the matter immediately to the PCPD,” the statement noted.

In March, Spain banned Worldcoin from collecting personal data and biometrics of Spanish citizens.

Based in San Francisco, Worldcoin was officially launched in July 2023. It aims to assign ‘World IDs’ to global citizens as an ‘international proof of personhood’. With these IDs, people will not need to share their personal details to interact with websites.

Despite several concerns raised by privacy advocates, Worldcoin recently claimed that it has never sold any user data nor does it plan to. The project has been perceived as intrusive and is currently facing legal hurdles in countries like Nairobi and Italy as well.

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