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Worldcoin to Phase Out USDC Rewards for Orb Operators

2 mins
Updated by Geraint Price
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In Brief

  • Worldcoin will stop paying its Orb operators in USDC, replacing the compensation with WLD, depending on regional availability.
  • Initially, operators only received a small allocation of WLD, with most of the supply going to users and non-US market makers.
  • The project has attracted regulatory inquiries in Kenya, the UK, and France for its potential to misuse sensitive information.
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The Worldcoin Foundation will phase out USDC rewards in favor of Worldcoin (WLD) token rewards for its Orb operators by early November. The move completes a transition phase for Worldcoin operators that started on Oct. 10, 2023.

The reward distribution will depend on the availability of the WLD token in different jurisdictions globally. The operators only received a small percentage of the token’s distribution, with $53 million worth of WLD distributed as user grants, and another $156 million loaned to global market makers.

Worldcoin Market-Makers to Return Loans

Worldcoin’s subsidiary, World Assets, will require market makers to return or buy WLD tokens they received to improve the token’s liquidity in regions outside the US. The market makers will need to pay for or return the remaining 25 million ($38 million) by Tuesday, even as World Assets extends loan agreements to Dec. 15, 2023. 

The foundation’s aim is to issue its cryptocurrency to people who prove their “humanness” using the Orb, a cutting-edge photographic device. Independent contractors operate the Orbs in over 35 cities.

They link a special code from Worldcoin’s World app to a person’s retina scan. The process ensures that a unique person is linked to a single World ID.

Read more: What Is Worldcoin? A Guide to the Iris-Scanning Crypto Project

Upon its launch, WLD raised concerns about the concentration of its supply in the hands of market-makers. According to its white paper, this was a feature to create a network of “as many human beings as possible.”

“To achieve this, the majority of the WLD token supply will be given to new and existing users over the years to come.”

Worldcoin WLD USDC operators, WLD Supply
Worldcoin circulation | Source: Dune

There are currently 134 million WLD tokens in circulation. Almost 800,000 thousand tokens are still part of Worldcoin’s unlocked circulating supply, scheduled to be released according to its governance policy.

Read more: Tokenomics Explained: The Economics of Cryptocurrency Tokens

Regulators Probe Worldcoin Data Privacy Policy

The Worldcoin iris-scanning project has concerned regulators over its potential to compromise user privacy. Kenyan authorities raided the foundation’s warehouse after the government suspended the project’s Kenyan operations.

Privacy watchdogs in Germany, France, and the UK have also expressed concern about Worldcoin’s handling of user data. The foundation claims it uses so-called zero-knowledge technology that preserves user privacy through a special cryptography technique called fraud proofs.

Ethereum co-founder Vitalik Buterin called for Worldcoin to open-source its technologies and have them be subject to audits. This would ensure the foundation always acts in the best interests of its users.

Do you have something to say about Worldcoin WLD USDC operators, its data privacy practices, or anything else? Please write to us or join the discussion on our Telegram channel. You can also catch us on TikTokFacebook, or X (Twitter).

Top crypto platforms in the US | February 2024

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David Thomas
David Thomas graduated from the University of Kwa-Zulu Natal in Durban, South Africa, with an Honors degree in electronic engineering. He worked as an engineer for eight years, developing software for industrial processes at South African automation specialist Autotronix (Pty) Ltd., mining control systems for AngloGold Ashanti, and consumer products at Inhep Digital Security, a domestic security company wholly owned by Swedish conglomerate Assa Abloy. He has experience writing software in C,...
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