Sam Altman’s Worldcoin App goes offline – limiting users’ access to wallets

Innovation

The mobile app of Open AI CEO Sam Altman’s Worldcoin stopped working in the early hours of Monday as the number of unique users signed up to the controversial eyeball-scanning project nears 2.2 million, barely two weeks after the rollout of the cryptocurrency initiative that has faced a barrage of regulatory reviews over data privacy concerns.
In this photo illustration, a Worldcoin logo seen displayed...

Worldcoin’s users are unable to access their tokens on the World App wallet after the mobile application stopped working on Monday.

Key Takeaways
  • Users encountered difficulties accessing their crypto wallets as attempts to log in on World App were met with different versions of error messages, including “network error occurred: rate limit exceeded”, “no backups found’ and “returning shortly”.
  • World App’s support team confirmed the development on X, formerly Twitter, saying that the mobile application is “experiencing higher than usual traffic” and asked users to “try again later” if they face any issues.
  • It’s unclear how long it will take to fix the glitch but the support unit in a response to questions on the failure said that the app is “currently under maintenance” and “it will be back soon”.
  • The glitch comes as the project rolled out an additional 1,500 eyeball-scanning devices to boost global adoption and amid stiff regulatory pushbacks in countries such as in Kenya, where it was the most downloaded mobile application last week, according to AppFigures.
  • The price of the Worldcoin (WLD) token, the cryptocurrency of the human verification project, has dropped 43% in market value to $2.04 since it hit a record of $3.58 on Coinbase exchange the day it launched.
Big Number

257,853. That’s the number of new accounts signed up globally on World App over the past week, according to Worldcoin. The first account was created on the platform on May 5, 2021, and hit its first one-million users on January 5, 2023.

Key Background

Altman’s Worldcoin launched two weeks ago after about three years of development but the artificial intelligence entrepreneur’s aim to scan people’s iris in order to verify they are human—and not an online robot—has faced security concerns as critics question whether the benefits of this type of identity verification are worth the privacy risk.

Once verified, users are offered 25 Worldcoin (WLD) tokens, currently worth about $51, on the World App’s wallet in exchange for a digital scan of their eyeballs and a unique World ID, which can be used to verify their identity to third parties without any other personal information being shared.

This article was first published on forbes.com and all figures are in USD.

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