Worldcoin is reportedly temporarily pausing its eye-scanning operations across India, France, and Brazil, ceasing the use of real-world physical orbs to collect retina data in exchange for crypto, TechCrunch reports.
Tools for Humanity, Worldcoin’s parent company, reportedly told TechCrunch that its real-world scanning operations were a “limited-time” event across certain markets this year.
According to unnamed sources speaking to Money Control, Worldcoin temporarily stopped its offline biometric orb operation in India between three and four months ago due to overcrowding at certain sites.
An anonymous mall management executive reportedly said, “There used to be so much crowding that sometimes police had to come to intervene and control the crowd. At one point, police even had to seize the orbs.”
Reportedly, the orbs couldn’t handle a spike in demand, and operations were “scaled back” so that a “safe and orderly process” could be established.
Worldcoin wants to continue expansion
Worldcoin operations began in July this year, just after its global tour which kicked off in Tokyo three months earlier. The Sam Altman co-founded project has raised $250 million from backers.
According to TechCrunch, Tools for Humanity reportedly rolled out the orb verification service in India before the global tour began and has plans to continue expanding its India operations until October 2023.
A Worldcoin spokesperson told TechCrunch that it remains committed to “working with partners globally to ensure it meets regulatory requirements and provides a safe, secure, and transparent service for verified humans.”
Protos has reached out to Tools for Humanity for comment and will update this piece if we hear anything back.
Edit 12:28 UTC, Dec 22: Updated article to specify that the measures taken by Worldcoin are temporary, and removed reference to Worldcoin failing to reply to Money Control.