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Worldcoin: a revolution in digital identity or a privacy nightmare?

Also: Ambire launches a mobile Web3 wallet

GM, frens! Ambire here with our weekly newsletter (btw we now have a podcast too). Today we’ll discuss Worldcoin, Arkham Intel paying its first bounty, Ambire launching a mobile wallet, LTC halving getting nearer, US prosecutors dropping one of SBF’s charges and Binance’s Great European Exodus. Let’s get down to it:

Worldcoin: a revolution in digital identity or a privacy nightmare?

The recently launched Worldcoin identity solution is proving to be popular. Reports suggest that there are lines of people waiting outside various Worldcoin facilities around the world to have their irises scanned for the project.

This activity has been gaining momentum ever since Sam Altman shared a video of himself and some potential participants on Twitter. This video further highlighted the sheer enthusiasm around the project and has served as an encouragement for others to join in.

The Worldcoin project is being viewed by many as a major breakthrough in the world of digital identity due to its unique approach towards designing a secure system for online authentication. By utilizing each individual's iris scan, Worldcoin promises an unparalleled level of security that could revolutionize the way in which people interact with digital services. At least, that's what the team behind it is hoping to achieve.

However, there has been considerable debate and criticism surrounding Worldcoin's PoP solution. Ethereum co-founder Vitalik Buterin pointed out several potential issues such as privacy, accessibility, centralization and security. In a blog post, he proposed alternative solutions to mitigate against these potential risks.

These solutions include the use of various cryptographic techniques such as ZK-SNARKs and Merkle trees to ensure that user identity is kept secure. Buterin also suggested exploring decentralized methods for storing and processing biometric data as an alternative to using centralized databases.

At the same time, Vitalik also noted that it's difficult to completely eliminate the risk of identity-related information being leaked or misused. This means that users have to be extra careful when it comes to sharing any sensitive information through Worldcoin's PoP solution.

All in all, the Worldcoin project is an exciting and ambitious endeavor with many potential applications. If it can overcome the various challenges and criticisms that it's currently facing, then it could be one of the most important breakthroughs in digital identity technology.

It could potentially lead to more secure online transactions and services as well as greater access to financial products for people all over the world. Or it's just a part of that future dystopian nightmare we don't want to be part of. Time will tell.

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Ambire launches a mobile Web3 wallet

Today marks a new chapter in the Ambire story - the launch of our mobile app on iOS and Android! After serious development, rigorous testing, and precious community feedback, the app is here!

You can now use Ambire anywhere: from the comfort of your desktop setup to the highest mountain (provided there's a stable connection). But why is it so important to use it anywhere?

While current Web3 stats show clear dominance of desktop/browser over mobile wallets, especially when it comes to experienced users, we believe that there is a high chance that mass adoption will be mobile-driven. Having your crypto in your pocket is also important if we want to transition further from speculation toward real-world use cases. This was the main focus when we designed the Ambire mobile app - create a self-custodial smart wallet that you can use in real life. Whether it is sending crypto to friends fast and cheap (on L2s), minting NFTs, or viewing your POAPs on the spot, we've built Ambire mobile for a streamlined and fast user experience.

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Arkham pays its first bounty

Arkham Intel, the "dox to earn" crypto research platform has just awarded its first bounty. The bounty in question was awarded to two on-chain investigators who provided evidence of wallets owned by Do Kwon and Terra. The bounty, which amounted to 9,519.2625 ARKM or approximately $5,000, was granted to an anonymous user and ErgoBTC, who is a part of the OXT Research network.

The bounty was released during confusion regarding the missing funds of Terra. While Arkham Intel did not publicly disclose the findings of these investigators, ErgoBTC revealed some details. According to the investigator who received the bounty from Arkham, their investigation concluded that Luna Foundation Guard (LFG) was not thorough in covering up its tracks and thus allowing for the discovery of other wallets.

These wallets did not match those reported by LFG, suggesting that the funds were actually distributed into several other wallets.

This new evidence raises further questions about what happened to Terra-Luna's missing funds and whether or not they will ever be recovered. It also calls into question the trustworthiness of LFG, as it appears that the foundation was not honest about its reserves.

As Do Kwon’s case continues, it is likely that more bounty awards will be issued in order to encourage further research into the case.

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LTC halving is close

Litecoin, a crypto coin forked from Bitcoin in 2011 is going to be halved on August 3rd, 2023, just a few days from now.

This means that the reward miners receive for mining blocks will be cut in half, from 12.5 LTC to 6.25 LTC per block.

Litecoin stands out from other cryptos in a few regards. It's faster and cheaper when it comes to transactions, and its design goal is focused on becoming a digital currency users can purchase and trade with ease.

Despite the upcoming halving, Litecoin has only seen a 29% rise since the beginning of this year, compared to Bitcoin's 77% increase. That doesn't mean Litecoin hasn't been actively developing and improving, though.

The halving of Litecoin is seen as a positive event by many people in the crypto community. It's an important milestone, and it may lead to higher prices for the asset due to its scarcity. It will also reduce supply and increase demand, leading to further appreciation of LTC.

Despite its lagging performance this year, Litecoin is still an important asset in the crypto space and will remain so for years to come.

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Victory for SBF as prosecutors drop one of the charges

US prosecutors have dropped one of the charges against SBF, namely, the charge that he violated campaign finance rules.

Apparently, the Bahamas government had not intended to extradite on this particular count when they allowed SBF to be brought back to the US from where his company FTX was based. The prosecutors' filing said that in keeping with its treaty obligations to the Bahamas, they will no longer proceed with trial on this count.

The other five charges that were added to SBF's indictment are still being pursued and the US Attorney's Office plans to take the case to trial in October. Prosecutors have accused SBF and those at FTX of using customer deposits to make $90 million in political contributions to about 300 candidates or political action committees.

Worst of all that is all those contributions were taken directly from FTX customers' pockets. In response, bankruptcy lawyers for FTX have been asking recipients of those donations to return the money.

Though SBF isn't guaranteed to walk free yet, the dropping of the charge is undoubtedly a victory for his legal team. It remains to be seen if they will succeed in overturning the other five charges.

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Binance's great European exodus

Binance is pulling out from 3 more countries, with the most recent one being Germany. A spokesperson from the company confirmed to crypto news websites that they had proactively withdrawn their application to BaFin, the financial regulator of Germany.

Managing Director Jonas Jünger said their primary focus was to successfully establish a branch in the country but found the regulatory prerequisites for doing so quite stringent. They plan to reapply once they have addressed these changes in the landscape.

The previous exits, including those from the Netherlands and Cyprus, were also made in the interest of providing a compliant service. Binance has repeatedly mentioned that being reliable is paramount to their success and they are working hard to comply with local regulations as well as EU’s MiCA framework.

The thing is, EU's MiCA is unforgiving towards the mishandling of customer funds and requires companies to update their AML/KYC policies. These new increased security measures can be burdensome for exchanges, especially the ones that always treated crypto like it was their own little Wild West and they were the self appointed sheriffs.

Now, companies like Binance have to abide by the same regulations as traditional financial institutions and it appears that it's not really feasible for them.

Don't expect the exodus to end here; chances are that rigorous enforcement of regulations will force more and more exchanges out of various markets in Europe.

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Other worthy reads

ETH staking update from kopremesis:

What happened to ARB Odyssey btw?

A thread on future prospects of Coinbase by Ishan B:

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That's all for now, frens.

We'll see you next week. And remember, the market conditions are temporary, but our commitment to building a better DeFi is here to stay. Thanks for joining us and we look forward to seeing you back next week. Cheers!

Yours, The 🔥 Team

Brought to you by Ambire: The Only Web3 Wallet That You’ll Need