Crypto Biz: Worldcoin’s rocky launch, Saudi Aramco’s digital asset plans, and more

The crypto industry is always buzzing with new developments, innovations, and controversies. In this article, we will cover some of the latest news from the crypto world, focusing on the topics of Worldcoin, Saudi Aramco, and more.

Worldcoin is a controversial crypto project that aims to create a universal basic income system by distributing its native token, WLD, to anyone who scans their iris using a device called an Orb. The project claims to have 2 million pre-sign-ups, but the actual launch on July 24 saw a lukewarm response from the public.

According to a report by South China Morning Post, the three designated locations in Hong Kong each saw about 200 sign-ups on the first day, for a total of 600 overall. This accounted for nearly half of the total number of sign-ups across all the new markets where Worldcoin operates. The project has not disclosed the exact number of sign-ups, but it is estimated to be around 1,200.

The project has also faced criticism and skepticism from the crypto community, regulators, and privacy advocates. Some have questioned the security and ethics of collecting biometric data from millions of people, especially in developing countries where data laws are weak. A report by MIT Technology Review revealed that the project used deceptive marketing techniques, cash handouts, and other incentives to lure people into signing up.

Crypto Biz: Worldcoin’s rocky launch, Saudi Aramco’s digital asset plans, and more
Crypto Biz: Worldcoin’s rocky launch, Saudi Aramco’s digital asset plans, and more

Worldcoin has defended its project by saying that it does not collect personal information and can delete the biometric data upon user request. It also claims to have a noble vision of creating a more inclusive and fair economy. However, many remain unconvinced and wary of the project’s potential risks and pitfalls.

Saudi Aramco considers digital assets as part of its diversification strategy

Saudi Aramco, the world’s largest oil company, is exploring the possibility of entering the digital asset space as part of its diversification strategy. The company’s CEO, Amin Nasser, said in an interview with CNBC that the company is looking at various opportunities in the emerging sector.

“We are looking at it very carefully. We have a team looking at it. We have a venture capital arm that invests in different technologies. So we are exploring the digital assets area,” Nasser said.

Nasser did not specify what kind of digital assets the company is interested in, but he hinted that it could involve using blockchain technology to improve the efficiency and transparency of its operations. He also said that the company is open to partnering with other players in the industry.

Saudi Aramco is not the only oil giant that is eyeing the digital asset space. Earlier this year, BP, one of the world’s largest energy companies, announced that it had invested in a blockchain-based carbon offset platform called Finite Carbon. The platform allows forest owners to generate and sell carbon credits using blockchain technology.

More crypto news from around the world

Here are some other notable news from the crypto industry that you may have missed:

  • The United States Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has approved the first Bitcoin futures exchange-traded fund (ETF) in the country. The ETF, called ProShares Bitcoin Strategy ETF, will start trading on the New York Stock Exchange on October 19. The ETF will track the performance of Bitcoin futures contracts, not the spot price of Bitcoin. The approval of the ETF is seen as a major milestone for the crypto industry, as it could attract more institutional and retail investors to the market.
  • The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has announced that it will launch its own digital currency, called eNaira, on October 25. The eNaira will be a legal tender in the country and will be issued and regulated by the CBN. The eNaira will be backed by the Nigerian naira and will be interoperable with other digital currencies and payment systems. The CBN hopes that the eNaira will enhance financial inclusion, reduce transaction costs, and improve the efficiency of the payment system in the country.
  • PayPal, one of the world’s largest online payment platforms, has expanded its crypto services to the United Kingdom. The company announced that its UK customers can now buy, sell, and hold Bitcoin, Ethereum, Bitcoin Cash, and Litecoin using its app or website. The company also said that it plans to introduce more crypto features and services in the future, such as allowing customers to pay with crypto at millions of merchants worldwide.

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