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Essential facts about Worldcoin

4 Minute Read

Worldcoin is a multifaceted project with an ambitious mission: building the world's largest human network to improve trust online and access to the global economy.

Its diverse elements can and should provoke curiosity and healthy skepticism. This fosters open dialogue, accountability and trust. 

This article will help answer some of the most frequently asked, and often incorrectly answered, questions about Worldcoin to both inspire and inform constructive conversations about the project. 

For a general understanding of “What is Worldcoin, and how does it work?”, click here.

Is Worldcoin legal?

Yes. Worldcoin operates lawfully in all of the locations in which it is available.

Worldcoin is designed to be fully compliant with all laws and regulations governing data collection and data transfer, including Europe’s General Data Protection Regulation (“GDPR”) and Argentina's Personal Data Protection Act 25.326 (Ley de Protección de los Datos Personales), among many others. In the European Union, the project is also under the supervision of the Bavarian State Office for Data Protection Supervision (Bayerisches Landesamt für Datenschutz). 

For more information on Worldcoin regulatory compliance, click here.

Is Worldcoin open sourcing its component parts?

Yes. The nonprofit Worldcoin Foundation, which owns all of the project intellectual property (IP), is taking strides to open source, or give full visibility and access to, all key components of the project.

Notable milestones in open sourcing the Worldcoin project include:

For more information on open sourcing Worldcoin, click here.
For more information on the Worldcoin Tech Tree, click here.
For more information on the path to a permissionless Worldcoin protocol, click here.

Does Worldcoin buy, or exchange money for, biometric data?

No. Iris biometrics are never bought or exchanged for money at any part of the Worldcoin project. 

Iris biometrics are only used to fully verify a person’s World ID, which is a tool for verifying humanness online in the age of AI. A fully verified World ID can be used by individuals to authenticate as a unique human in a growing number of applications.

Fully verified World IDs can also be used, where legally available, to claim WLD grants.*

*Eligibility for Worldcoin (WLD) tokens is restricted based on geography, age, and other factors. WLD are not available to, or intended for, people, companies or organizations who are residents of, or are located or incorporated in the United States or certain other restricted territories (or have beneficial ownership in the United States or such other restricted territories). However, World ID and TFH’s World App remain available in the United States. For details, go to: www.worldcoin.org/tos. Crypto products can be highly risky. Important User Information can be found at www.worldcoin.org/risks.

Does Worldcoin sell biometric or other personal data?

No. The Worldcoin Foundation and its contributor Tools for Humanity have never sold, do not sell and will never sell any personal data, including biometric data.

Additionally, both World ID and World App are fully self custodial when it comes to the keys of World ID and the non-custodial wallet, and no information like name, email address, phone number, etc. is required to download and use World App or to verify and use World ID.

Worldcoin does not seek to know who a person is, just that they are a unique human. 

What does Worldcoin do with biometric data?

Iris biometrics are only used to fully verify a person’s World ID.

Iris images can be voluntarily shared with Worldcoin only if a user gives explicit permission. In this case, the shared images are used solely for the purposes of ensuring trust and safety and improving the system.

Does Worldcoin have protections in place to ensure biometric data is secure?

Yes. The orb’s hardware is equipped with diverse, highly-advanced security features designed to ensure that data is secure and cannot be accessed by anyone unauthorized to do so. The security experts at Trail of Bits performed a specialized audit of the orb’s software, which can be reviewed here.

For more information on Worldcoin data security protections, click here.
For a more technical readout of the orb’s data security protections, click here.

Yes. An individual’s World ID cannot be fully verified at an orb without first:

  • Learning about the orb and how it uses biometrics
  • Reviewing and agreeing to all World ID terms and conditions
  • Deciding whether to store orb images to ensure trust and safety and improve the system.

Does Worldcoin allow minors to join?

No. The Worldcoin project is open and available to all humans 18 years of age or older. 

Each user must confirm in World App that they are over 18 years old before verifying at an Orb. “Mystery shoppers” are also regularly used at World ID verification locations worldwide to ensure Worldcoin Operators do not allow minors to verify their World ID. Any operators identified doing so are immediately subject to a range of disciplinary actions, including permanent suspension of their operations.

Does Worldcoin involve retina scanning?

No. The highest and most secure level of World ID verification is based on iris biometrics, not retina scanning. 

To fully verify a World ID, an individual must visit an orb, which generates an iris code from images that are, by default, promptly deleted without ever leaving the device. Retina scanning is not performed at any part of the World ID verification process. 

For more information on World ID verification, click here.

Learn more

A wealth of information about the Worldcoin project is available and is consistently being added/updated on the Worldcoin website. You can also stay informed by joining the daily conversations on Twitter/X, Telegram, Discord and LinkedIn or signing up for the blog newsletter at the bottom of this page.

Additional important information concerning the project is available in the Worldcoin protocol whitepaper.


The above content speaks only as of the date indicated. Further, it is subject to risks, uncertainties and assumptions, and so may be incorrect and may change without notice. A full disclaimer can be found in our Terms of Use and Important User Information can be found on our Risks page.