Worldcoin, which offers people free cryptocurrency in exchange for their biometric data, launched today (24 July 2023). Worldcoin, a startup founded by Sam Altman, the mastermind behind the immensely popular AI bot ChatGPT aims to revolutionise the cryptocurrency space by offering people free digital currency in exchange for their biometric data. Worldcoin’s launch has already garnered significant attention and controversy with its unique approach to user verification, and its potential impact on the global economy.
The Biometric Data Revolution
Worldcoin’s central premise is to leverage biometric data, specifically iris scans, as a means of verifying a person’s unique identity. Scanning the iris enables Worldcoin to create an “IrisCode,” which is a secure and immutable representation of an individual’s biometric data.
This code, in combination with sophisticated algorithms, ensures that each user is a genuine human and not an AI entity. Unlike traditional methods of identification, such as fingerprints or faces, which can be altered or manipulated, the iris scan provides an unparalleled level of accuracy and security.
The Birth of Worldcoin
The idea for Worldcoin took shape nearly four years ago when Sam Altman, driven by his vision of a future where AI and humans coexist harmoniously, set out to create a system that would enable the fair distribution of wealth and economic opportunity. Inspired by the concept of universal basic income, Altman recognised the need for a reliable means of distinguishing humans from AI entities in the digital realm. Thus, Worldcoin was born.
At the heart of Worldcoin’s user verification process lies the iconic metal orb. Designed by Thomas Meyerhoffer, a former Apple employee, the orb serves as the gateway to the world of Worldcoin. Its sleek and futuristic appearance captures the imagination, while its functionality is unparalleled.
Equipped with three sensors strategically positioned within its glossy exterior, the orb captures the iris scan of users with remarkable precision. Worldcoin uses a metal orb to capture people’s biometric data, which they can then use to acquire cryptocurrency.
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The Journey of Worldcoin
Over 1.5 million people eagerly signed up to be part of Worldcoin’s ventures, prior to it’s launch. Each participant received a share of Worldcoin tokens in exchange for their iris scan. This initial response showcased the immense interest and potential demand for Worldcoin’s unique offering.
The path to success has not been without its hurdles, though. Privacy advocates have raised concerns about the collection and storage of biometric data, highlighting the potential for misuse or unauthorised access. Worldcoin has defended its technology, assuring users that their privacy is of utmost importance. The company’s site states that they do not want to know who you are, only that you are unique.
Worldcoin’s native cryptocurrency, named the Worldcoin token (WLD), holds significant value in the digital marketplace. As of now, the token is valued at $2.59 (£2), according to CoinMarketCap. Similar to other cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin, Worldcoin utilises blockchain technology to facilitate secure and transparent transactions. The Worldcoin token can be used for various purposes, including remittances, tipping artists, and buying and selling goods and services.
The Global Scale Alignment
Worldcoin envisions its technology as a catalyst for global-scale alignment, aiming to address critical challenges of our time, such as economic inequality and AI dominance. Co-founder Alex Blania believes that Worldcoin has the potential to increase economic opportunity, preserve privacy, enable democratic processes, and pave the way for AI-funded universal basic income.
Worldcoin has faced significant criticism and scrutiny. The project has been accused of exploitative practices, particularly in developing countries where individuals may be more vulnerable to manipulation or coercion. Reports have highlighted deceptive promises made to orb operators and participants, privacy law violations, and potential corruption. Worldcoin acknowledges that there have been imperfections and areas for improvement, attributing them to the early stages of beta testing.
Going forward, the startup continues to refine its technology and expand its user base, with plans to eventually operate in countries beyond the initial launch regions. The success of Worldcoin hinges on widespread adoption and acceptance of its cryptocurrency, as well as the continued trust and support of its user community.