DEC 29, 2023
Worldcoin launches in Singapore post India hiatus
Digital identity and financial network Worldcoin, the cryptocurrency project co-founded by OpenAI CEO Sam Altman, has revealed its expansion into Singapore.
Five Orb-scanning locations
Following the successful launch of World ID 2.0 and the open-sourcing of the Worldcoin iris recognition pipeline in mid-December, the project now offers World ID verifications in Singapore through the Orb, its custom hardware device. The product launch in the Southeast Asian city-state comes hot on the heels of Worldcoin pausing its activities in India.
According to a blog post published by the project on Wednesday, Singaporeans can now avail themselves of World ID verifications at five locations through the Orb, the iris-scanning device that forms a crucial part of the project’s identity verification process.
Adding to its presence in Singapore, Tools for Humanity (TFH), a Berlin-headquartered project contributor and the lead developer behind Worldcoin, has become a member of two prestigious startup and tech associations in Singapore: ACCESS and the Singapore Fintech Association (SFA). Through these associations the project’s developers are seeking to further embed Worldcoin within the region’s technology ecosystem.
Expanding global footprint
Expanding its global footprint, World ID verifications are not limited to Singapore alone. The project has also extended its services to Seville and Bilbao in Spain. Moreover, in South America, World ID verifications in Chile have expanded to Concepcion, Curico and Viña del Mar, joining Santiago. Meanwhile, Argentina achieved a notable milestone, setting a national record with over 10,000 verifications in a single day. In Japan, Fukuoka on Kyushu Island now joins new locations in Tokyo for proof of personhood verification via World ID.
Earlier in December, Worldcoin introduced World ID 2.0, an upgrade that builds upon its existing “proof of personhood” protocol. This upgrade introduces “Apps, Levels, and a series of core improvements” to the protocol launched earlier in the year. The accompanying apps enable World ID integration with various services, including Reddit, Discord and Shopify.
It’s worth noting that despite these positive steps being taken to expand the Worldcoin global footprint, the company has faced challenges in certain markets also. It emerged in recent days that it has temporarily halted its services in India, France and Brazil.
Despite the temporary pause, World App continues to gain popularity in India, where thousands download the app each week. The Worldcoin Foundation explained that Orb-verified proof of personhood services has been scaled back temporarily as they work on developing a safe and orderly process to meet the increasing demand for World ID in India. Sources close to Worldcoin suggest a relaunch in India is anticipated in 2024.
Despite its expansion, Worldcoin has faced criticism since its launch. Reports from August indicated that German regulators had been scrutinizing the project since 2022, while French officials raised concerns about the legality of collecting biometric data.
The authorities in Kenya suspended the activities of Worldcoin within the country a few months ago, pending a review by public agencies in respect of security and data protection. Earlier this month, Tiago Sada, head of product for Tools for Humanity, tried to allay privacy concerns on the basis of the product’s anonymity. Sada stated:
“You can use it completely anonymously; the only thing you’re doing is proving you’re unique.”