On July 24, Worldcoin, a cryptocurrency project founded by OpenAI CEO Sam Altman, was launched.
The main feature of the project is its World ID, an account exclusively available to real humans. To obtain a World ID, customers need to scan their eyeball using Worldcoin’s ‘orb,’ a silver ball roughly the size of a bowling ball. This scan validates their humanity and creates the World ID.
Founded in 2020 by Sam Altman, known for his work with OpenAI and ChatGPT, Worldcoin is currently being led by Alex Blani, who serves as the CEO of Tools for Humanity, the parent organization developing Worldcoin, until the project reaches full decentralization.
Worldcoin’s aim, as stated in a statement on Monday, is to achieve global scale alignment. However, the journey is expected to be challenging, and the outcome remains uncertain.
During its beta phase, the project garnered 2 million users. With the official launch, Worldcoin is expanding its ‘orbing’ operations to 35 cities across 20 countries. Other users can acquire tokens by downloading the company’s app until they gain access to the orb. As an incentive, users signing up in certain countries will receive Worldcoin’s cryptocurrency token, WLD.
The integration of cryptocurrency in World IDs is crucial as it enables storing the IDs on blockchains, ensuring privacy and preventing centralized control or shutdown by any single entity, explained co-founder Alex Blania to Reuters.
World IDs hold significance in the era of advanced AI chatbots like ChatGPT, which produce language that closely resembles human speech. World IDs can help distinguish between real individuals and AI bots online.
According to Altman, AI will significantly impact society, and one example he mentions is universal basic income (UBI). UBI is a social benefits program, often government-run, where every individual receives regular payments. Altman believes that as AI takes over more jobs traditionally performed by people, UBI can help address income inequality. By allowing only real individuals to possess World IDs, the system could help reduce fraud in UBI distribution.
Altman acknowledges that a world with UBI is still distant, and he doesn’t have a clear idea of the entity responsible for distributing the funds. Nonetheless, Worldcoin sets the groundwork for exploring and experimenting with such concepts to eventually bring them into reality.
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