Worldcoin, a new cryptocurrency project launched by the same team behind OpenAI has caught the collective attention of the digital ecosystem. But what is Worldcoin? Where did it emerge from? What potential promises and challenges does it hold? Why is it scanning iris’ with an orb? What is an orb?
Founded over three years ago, Worldcoin was established with a lofty ambition: to create a new identity and financial network owned by every global citizen. The grand rollout commences today, paving the way for a venture that could ambitiously seeks to reshape economic opportunity on a global scale, address online security concerns, enable global democratic processes, and provide an intriguing new pathway to AI-funded Universal Basic Income (UBI). But can it be trusted?
At the heart of Worldcoin is the revolutionary concept of a privacy-preserving digital identity, aptly called “World ID”, coupled with a digital currency known as $WLD. Just by proving one’s humanity (and by humanity they mean identity), individuals can receive (sign up for an airdrop of) $WLD.
Just download the World App, if you dare, which is the “first protocol-compatible wallet for Worldcoin”. Users can use the app to reserve their $WLD coins and sign up to visit an ‘Orb’, a unique biometric verification device in order to receive their “World ID”. The verification process represents Worldcoin’s desire to distinguish between real people and artificial intelligence online, while maintaining user privacy (again, if you trust them).
The rollout of Orbs worldwide is picking up speed, making it easier for individuals to locate the nearest device and book a verification slot through the World App or the official Worldcoin website. You can find over 1,500 orbs across the world in 35+ cities throughout 20 countries.
Critics and skeptics question whether trading one’s digital identity for some free Worldcoin is a worthy transaction.
It’s a decision that U.S. residents currently do not need to make, as they’re not currently eligible.
Worldcoin represents an ambitious endeavor to share technological prosperity more broadly. It demonstrates how crypto-tech can potentially bring about significant changes in the realms of digital identity and financial inclusion. Yet, the balance between personal privacy and economic benefits remains a topic of vigorous debate.
Worldcoin’s advent marks a fascinating chapter in the evolution of cryptocurrencies, the concept of digital identity and the development of artificial inteligence. Only time will tell whether it will emerge as a significant player in this rapidly changing landscape.