Privacy versus the World[coin]

Ryan Erickson

It’s hard to argue that one day, in the not too distant future, cryptocurrency — as something that only a few of your friends care about — will change to being something that everyone in your life will have.

Not because it’ll be “cool,” but because paper money will be irrelevant. I haven’t any doctoral research to back up this claim, though I’m sure there is some, but it’s hard to argue that it’s not going that way. A newer kid on the block, Worldcoin, wants you to help push it that way too.

Worldcoin, a venture with some serious financial/tech players behind it (LinkedIn founder Reid Hoffman, Coinbase, Anderson Horowitz, and others), has a plan to give everyone cryptocurrency for free. There is, however, a catch (nothing is ever free, remember that). To get your share of the funds, you need only give up an iris scan. That is, a digital scan of your unique eye print (as opposed to your finger).

Once that’s captured, your print(s) will be added to a blockchain (I assume a proprietary one). From a tech perspective, this is pretty cool. There’s a lot that can be done with this info. Think digital ID (driver's license) or voting validation. But this kind of tech also brings about a personal issue. Personal privacy.

It’s no secret that I’m a big fan of digital and IRL privacy. While I’m a huge proponent of digital innovation- specifically in the cryptocurrency sector- I’m also a major advocate of privacy-centric projects (PIVX anyone?). Apps and tools such as Signal, Skiff, and ProtonMail are my go-to's. No, I haven’t anything to hide, but Uncle Sam and Google don’t need to know what I’m thinking or talking about daily.

Giving up my iris scan for some crypto isn’t my idea of a good thing. Sure, it’s hard (not necessarily impossible) to hack a secure blockchain, but there is no reason to add such personal data to a database “just for money.” If history has shown us anything, if a product is free, then you’re the product.

“What’s wrong with that?” you may ask. Unfortunately, it’s hard to pinpoint a single thing. So instead, I offer you this; would you be willing to sell your soul to the devil(opers) for a “piece of paper” that might be worth something in the future?

Some would say yes, and others would question my melodramatics. And I promise I’m not a doomsayer- but you really could be selling your soul- digitally- per se. Perhaps I’m being too worrisome, nobody but a handful of people know the specifics or the legal gotchas of this murky digital future. All the same, I’d suggest that before you jump in too deep, you do your own research.

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An Agilistic Practitioner of Project & Program Management with proven military & civilian records of success; PMP, PMI-ACP, & CSM | Let's solve problems, together.

Kalaheo, HI

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