Vitalik Buterin, co-founder of the Ethereum network, has released a lengthy essay with his thoughts on the recently launched WorldCoin human identity verification system.
On July 24, Buterin tweeted his response to WorldCoin’s statement. launched same day,
What do I think about biometric proof of personality?https://t.co/yozo1buW24
— Vitalik.eth (@VitalikButerin) 24 July 2023
in his ArticleAlong with an explanation of WorldCoin and how it intends to work, Buterin covered the larger concept under discussion during the WorldCoin token release which is Proof of Humanity.
WorldCoin, along with other similar identification solutions such as Proof of Humanity, BrightID, Idenum and Circles, recognize that as artificial intelligence (AI) advances, it will become increasingly difficult to differentiate between humans and machines.
Most of these systems that provide some sort of token, such as WorldCoin, see human utility as threatened by bots and therefore require some sort of universal basic income (UBI).
Buterin writes that these factors combine to increase people’s need for digital verification. He argues that this personality proof system is valuable for solving “anti-spam and anti-power-concentration problems”.
Furthermore, the co-founder of Ethereum also emphasizes that if systems like WorldCoin continue to be as decentralized as promised, “it will avoid dependence on centralized authorities and reveal the minimum possible amount of information.”
“If proof of personhood is not resolved, decentralized governance … becomes all too easy for capture by very wealthy actors, including hostile governments.”
Buterin also addressed the major concerns emerging over such solutions, which he summarized into four main points: privacy, accessibility, centralization within the WorldCoin Foundation, and security.
On June 27th, there was a minor scare in WorldCoin which was quickly dispelled thousands of secure deployments The optimism fueled speculation of an attack.
Steve Dukh, a developer working on the Ethereum Attestation Service (EAS), the network’s own service that creates, verifies and revokes on/off-chain verifications, commented on Buterin’s post that systems like WorldCoin could complement EAS.
I think WorldCoin can simply be a Proof of Personality using a protocol like EAS and other entities can decide whether they value those Proofs or not.
— Steve Dakh (@stevedakh) 24 July 2023
In conclusion, Buterin said that there is currently “no ideal form of Proof of Singularity” and currently envisions three different approaches to the problem that could potentially become a mix of each other.
He called for community responsibility with audits and checks and balances in the process. Although he says he doesn’t envy the people whose job it is to design and implement such systems, his point is simple:
“A world without ID is more likely to be dominated by centralized identity solutions, money, small closed communities, or a combination of all three.”
register for WorldCoin Exceeds 2 Million In less than half the time it took for World ID to reach the first million.
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