In a remarkable turn of events, Worldcoin’s iris-scanning project witnessed an extraordinary surge in Argentina, with an astounding average of one user registering every nine seconds. The ambitious Human ID project, known as Worldcoin, achieved a groundbreaking milestone by enrolling over 9,500 users in Argentina in a single day during the month of August. This remarkable achievement set a new record for single-day sign-ups and showcased the nation’s rapid adoption of this cutting-edge technology.
To accomplish this remarkable feat, facilitators diligently onboarded participants at an astonishing rate, taking less than nine seconds per person, as revealed in an announcement made on August 31 by the Worldcoin project. Argentina boasts Worldcoin facilitators in as many as 38 different locations, with the majority concentrated in the vibrant capital city of Buenos Aires.
Worldcoin, at its core, is a blockchain-based project that offers individuals a unique way to prove their humanity by undergoing iris scans. Upon successful verification, users are bestowed with a “World ID” that can be seamlessly integrated into various applications, serving as proof of their human identity and distinguishing them from bots or artificial intelligence (AI) entities. This pioneering project was conceived by none other than Sam Altman, co-founder of OpenAI, who argued that human IDs would become imperative as AI programs continue to advance, blurring the lines between human and machine.
Since its launch on July 25, Worldcoin has not been without its share of controversies, particularly from data privacy advocates. Critics have raised concerns about the project’s centralization and the potential risk of users’ biometric data being compromised, leading to adverse consequences.
Despite the criticism, the Worldcoin team revealed in their August 31 update that a significant number of Argentinians are actively signing up for World IDs. The post stated, “There was a significant increase in demand for World ID verifications in countries around the world [after launch],” and that trend “continued into August, which saw 9.5K Argentinians verify their World ID in a single day.”
The surge in sign-ups even propelled the Worldcoin app to briefly claim the title of the number one app in Argentina on the App Store. As an incentive, Worldcoin grants its native coin, WLD, to new users upon sign-up. At present, the sign-up bonus amounts to 25 WLD, which equates to approximately 10,239.48 Argentine pesos (ARS) or $29.25 in the open market. This sum is sufficient to cover two meals from the “basic lunchtime menu” in business districts of major Argentine cities, as indicated by cost-of-living data from travel website Expatistan. On its launch day, the 25 WLD bonus reached an all-time high value of approximately 23,791 ARS or $68.
In response to concerns raised by critics, the Worldcoin project asserts that it is “fully compliant with all laws and regulations governing biometric data collection and data transfer.” However, the Argentine government has initiated an investigation into Worldcoin’s privacy practices. Additionally, the project has faced suspension in Kenya, prompting the Worldcoin team to present a document defending their adherence to privacy laws within the country.