New Worldcoin project wants to scan user eyeballs for crypto , looking to create a new world currency to help with UBI one day
The cryptoverse is evolving at warp speed in 2021, with massive new developments in the areas of DeFi, NFTs, GameFi and the metaverse announced almost daily. In an industry where NFT “Jpeg art” goes for millions of dollars, where you can borrow assets and get rewarded for it, where and dog-themed meme coins are worth tens of billions of dollars now, and where investors lose millions after a Squid Game-themed coin rugpulls , it’s rare to find something so eye-poppingly different, pardon the pun.
Well, that’s exactly what the wacky new Worldcoin offers. Tech millionaire Sam Altman’s new start-up is offering free crypto in exchange for scanning your eyeballs. While this concept may seem like something out of a sci-fi movie like Minority Report, Worldcoin has already amassed a user base of 100,000 globally and aims to acquire 1 million users by 2023. And it’s backed by the likes of Coinbase and Andreesen Horowitz, two of the biggest names in crypto, making it potentially eye-wateringly good!
CEO of Worldcoin Alex Bania has stated that the company’s technology could be used as infrastructure for a universal basic income (UBI) one day.
How does WorldCoin work?
The company, which was launched last week, verifies user accounts by utilizing a round metallic device called an “Orb” to scan people’s eyeballs and pay them in cryptocurrency in exchange. Testing data has revealed that the company could onboard its first billion people into crypto in the next two years.
With this technology, Worldcoin aims to create a new global currency that is fairly distributed and used by as many people as possible. In order to put the Worldcoin token into the hands of these people, Worldcoin lets everyone claim a share of it in exchange for scanning their eyes.
The company has already attracted $25 million in funding from the likes of Silicon Valley investors like Andreessen Horowitz and Coinbase and LinkedIn co-founder Reid Hoffmann, which gives the firm a $1 billion valuation.
Worldcoin is the brainchild of Sam Altman, CEO of artificial intelligence group, OpenAI and former president of start-up accelerator Y Combinator, together with theoretical physics student Alex Blania and former investment associate at Bridgewater Associates, Max Novendstern.
According to crypto.com, less than 3% of people are crypto users. However, Worldcoin aims to change this by convincing more people to adopt crypto. Blania explains that the bigger their user base grows, the more cryptocurrency adopters there will be.
How does Worldcoin’s Orb create “proof of person”?
Blania says that one issue Worldcoin tried to overcome early on is ensuring that users don’t try to cheat the system. He calls this problem “proof of person”. In order to overcome it, the founders came up with the idea of scanning people’s eyeballs. “It’s the most secure and privacy-preserving way we found to prove everyone in the world is unique,” says Altman.
Users can sign up to the platform by getting their irises scanned by one of the Orbs that will be operated by independent entrepreneurs around the world. The image is then encrypted into a unique code and the original data is deleted to protect the user’s privacy. In return, the user is given some Worldcoin cryptocurrency.
The device is used to verify that the user is real and whether they have received their free Worldcoin yet. In contrast to most other centralised crypto companies, no other personal data is required.
“We designed the whole system to be fundamentally privacy-preserving,” Blania told CNBC.
Additionally, users who don’t visit an Orb will still be able to join the Worldcoin network, they just won’t receive their free share of the coin.
An early feature of Worldcoin will be a digital crypto wallet that allows users to store their crypto and make payments with it. But eventually, the company hopes to attract developers who can build apps on top of the existing infrastructure, resulting in even more people around the world adopting cryptocurrency.
The future of blockchain and crypto applications is being written every day and it doesn’t consist only of inflated meme coins and pricy JPEGS. The concept of Worldcoin might seem crazy at first, but with the convergence of industrial AI, smart homes, and blockchain, it’s very likely that this type of currency will one day be needed to help support the unemployed, and hopefully not to sell more ads to us in augmented reality.
With such a strong list of investors in their pocket, it would be foolish to disregard this forward-thinking project, and others like it. In any investment, see who’s behind it and always try to anticipate what’s coming next. Identify the coming trend, then get ahead of the curve if you can.