Launched by OpenAI founder Sam Altman, the Worldcoin project goes live after three years of heated debate. The crypto company promises users an airdrop of Worldcoins (WLD) if they scan their eyeballs with a futuristic sphere.
To many market observers - both inside and outside the crypto scene - Worldcoin seems like a dystopian joke straight out of a science fiction movie. But the project's developers are promoting it as a valuable weapon in the fight against AI bots. The eyeball scans are supposed to prove the "humanity" of an online user and thus separate their identity from artificial intelligence (AI).
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Free crypto tokens for eyeball scans
Worldcoin was founded in 2020 by a group of prominent tech entrepreneurs and investors. In its early stages, the project focused primarily on its cryptocurrency (WLD). Users were invited to prove their "humanity" by scanning their eyeball. As a reward, early participants received Worldcoin tokens before the official launch. The propagated vision was to create a global universal basic income (UBI). The token was to be a central means of payment in this future world.
However, aside from the outlandish nature of the project, Worldcoin had to contend with some controversy. Increasing media coverage shed light on Worldcoin's controversial practices of hiring outside companies to capture people's iris data via their eyeballs. This raised concerns about violations of privacy laws and allegations of corruption. However, Worldcoin still claims to cryptographically protect all people's biometric data through a sophisticated protocol.
Worldcoin Shifts Focus to Artificial Intelligence (AI)
After the highly successful launch of the first version of ChatGPT last winter, Worldcoin shifted its focus from the original UBI approach. Faced with new challenges from the rapid emergence of sophisticated AI bots, the project was to serve anew as an identity protocol. Iris scans became the basis of an ID for all participants. This was to be able to distinguish real people from artificial intelligence on the Internet. From now on, the Worldcoin tokens (WLD) only served as an incentive mechanism to attract users to the platform.
There are now around 150 Worldcoin orbs ("orbs") in operation worldwide, verifying nearly 2 million users to date. By the end of the year, the number of operational Orbs should increase tenfold. The official launch of the Worldcoin token, which has already been listed on leading crypto exchange Binance, was said to be the first step in an ambitious growth phase. The exact tokenomics of the WLD token should also be released soon. With a maximum offering of 10 billion tokens, Worldcoin is already trading at a fully diluted valuation of over $28. billion.