Sam Altman Launches Worldcoin Crypto Project
August 15, 2023
Last Monday marked the launch of Worldcoin, a cryptocurrency project driven by OpenAI’s CEO, Sam Altman. The central feature of this project is its World ID, which the company describes as a “digital passport” designed to verify an individual’s authenticity as a human rather than an artificial intelligence bot.
To obtain a World ID, users must register and undergo an in-person iris scan using Worldcoin’s “Orb” device, a silver sphere roughly the size of a bowling ball. Once the Orb’s iris scan authenticates the person as a human, it generates a global identification.
Behind Worldcoin is the company Tools for Humanity, headquartered in San Francisco and Berlin. During its beta period, the project attracted 2 million users,. And with its launch on Monday, Worldcoin has expanded iris scanning operations to 35 cities in 20 countries. As an incentive, those who register in certain countries will receive Worldcoin’s cryptocurrency tokens, WLD.
The price of WLD experienced an increase in early Monday trading. On the world’s largest cryptocurrency exchange, Binance, it reached a peak of $5.29, and by 1000 GMT, it was at $2.49, having started at an initial price of $0.15. Additionally, $25.1 million in trading volume was recorded, according to the Binance website. Blockchain technology can store global IDs in a way that preserves privacy and cannot be controlled or shut down by a single entity, co-founder Alex Blania told Reuters.
Generative AI Chatbots
The project argues that in the era of generative AI chatbots like ChatGPT. Which are capable of producing remarkably human-like language. World IDs will be necessary to differentiate between real individuals and AI bots online.
According to Sam Altman, in an interview with Reuters, Worldcoin could also play a role in addressing how the economy will be transformed by generative AI.
“AI will increasingly take over tasks that people currently perform, which will have enormous economic implications”
Altman mentions the concept of Universal Basic Income (UBI) as an example that interests him. UBI is a social benefit program where each individual receives payments, usually administered by governments. As AI takes on an increasing number of jobs, Altman believes UBI could be a way to address income inequality. Altman suggests that World IDs, which only real individuals can possess, could be used to mitigate fraud in implementing UBI.
Altman acknowledged that the vision of a world with UBI is “light-years in the future” and that he still doesn’t have a clear vision of which entity would be responsible for distributing the funds. But he stated that Worldcoin is laying the groundwork to explore these possibilities.
“We believe it’s important to start experimenting with these ideas to understand how to proceed”