Meet World Chain, Worldcoin’s (WLD) New Layer-2 Ethereum Blockchain

OpenAI founder Sam Altman’s cryptocurrency initiative, Worldcoin, which involves retina-scanning technology, is set to launch its own blockchain. Named World Chain, this layer-2 network on Ethereum is scheduled for release this summer and will offer benefits to users who provide retina scans in return for a digital passport known as “World ID”.

This new blockchain extends Worldcoin’s ongoing strategy to establish a platform for “verified humans”, aiming to eliminate bots and enhance authenticity in the age of advanced artificial intelligence.

World Chain Will Offer Cheaper Fees When Compared to Transactions Directly With Ethereum

Until recently, Worldcoin’s World ID protocol functioned solely as a decentralized application consisting of smart contracts on the Ethereum blockchain. The decision to establish an independent blockchain could afford the developers enhanced control and flexibility over the project, potentially lowering costs for users.

Tools For Humanity, the organization behind Worldcoin, announced that verified human users would receive priority in block space allocation over bots and some complimentary gas. They emphasized that this new chain would serve as a platform for developers to connect with millions of users through applications that have practical, real-world uses.

The newly proposed World Chain will utilize the OP Stack, a blockchain framework favored by startup developers, including Coinbase for its Base network. Similar to other layer-2 “rollups,” World Chain will aggregate transactions before committing them to the Ethereum blockchain, where they are permanently recorded. This method aims to offer users lower transaction fees than those incurred on Ethereum’s main network.

Tiago Sada, head of product, engineering, and design at Tools For Humanity, noted the challenges with increased bot activity that often leads to higher transaction fees and network congestion on existing blockchains. He stated that automated transactions constitute between 50 and 90% of all on-chain activity. Despite World Chain being open and permissionless, where anyone, including bots, can initiate transactions, those verified as humans will receive priority, ensuring faster processing.

World Chain’s Focus Is The “Proof Of Personhood” Mechanism

Worldcoin distinguishes itself in the digital realm through its unique device known as the “orb,” a chrome sphere resembling a bowling ball that incorporates an eyeball-scanning lens. This feature sets Worldcoin apart by verifying the human identity of each account holder, thereby eliminating the risks of one individual owning multiple accounts or robots creating accounts.

The project focuses on “proof of personhood” to address and leverage the growing demand for AI applications. Tools For Humanity, associated with Worldcoin, has actively promoted the orb by conducting in-person eyeball scans at various conferences, events, and temporary retail locations. To date, the project has successfully registered over 10 million users from more than 167 countries.

Presently, the primary interface for Worldcoin users is the World App, a crypto wallet that not only supports several well-known protocols but also provides enhanced features to those verified by the orb. The app is currently integrated with the OP Chain, a secondary layer of the Ethereum blockchain developed from the OP Stack.

Worldcoin ranks as the second-largest protocol on the OP Chain based on transaction volume, with its WLD token holding the highest market cap on the chain after ETH and OP’s native coin. Moving to a proprietary network, according to Sada, will facilitate continued growth in user onboarding and offer existing users benefits like faster and less expensive transactions.

If The Project Succeeds, WLD Will Become A First-Class Token Just Like Ether (ETH)

Initially, Worldcoin’s concept centered on providing universal basic income by rewarding individuals in certain regions (excluding the United States and some others) who scanned their retinas with WLD tokens and a verified World ID account. As artificial intelligence continues to influence online platforms, Worldcoin has increasingly focused on digital identity, although financial aspects remain part of its agenda.

Worldcoin is integrating bot-detection capabilities into the core framework of its network, enabling other wallet applications to incorporate World ID, beyond the initial World App. Additionally, World Chain elevates WLD to the same status as Ether (ETH), allowing both to be used for paying network fees.

Worldcoin experienced a challenging year following its 2021 launch, confronting privacy criticisms linked to the perceived invasiveness of its retinal scanning orb. Despite assurances from its founders that the device securely encrypts biometric information, these concerns have persisted.

An investigative report by the MIT Technology Review accused Tools for Humanity, the organization behind Worldcoin, of exploiting economically disadvantaged communities by offering free tokens in exchange for sign-ups during its test phase. The report charged Worldcoin with deceptive marketing practices, excessive collection of personal data, and a failure to secure truly informed consent.

Amid a surge in AI development and a buoyant crypto market, Worldcoin has introduced several updates and new functionalities that do not require retinal scans, along with enhanced encryption technologies aimed at mitigating privacy concerns that have been a recurring issue since the project’s outset.

These improvements have allowed Worldcoin to expand its reach, achieving over 70 million transactions, as per the latest figures from the project. Even Ethereum’s founder, Vitalik Buterin, who previously critiqued Worldcoin, acknowledged in an X post in March that the project has made significant strides in addressing privacy issues, praising its efforts to minimize data usage.