Sam Altman, the renowned tech entrepreneur behind OpenAI and the creator of ChatGPT, has become a participant in the controversial cryptocurrency project, Worldcoin. Altman, who recently secured $100 million in funding for the venture, had been unable to join the project in his home country, the United States, until now.
During a trip to Europe, where restrictions on the technology are not in place, Altman signed up for Worldcoin using a silver orb that employs iris scanning technology to capture users’ biometric data. This data serves to verify an individual’s “unique personhood,” entitling them to a free share of Worldcoin tokens upon the official launch.
Worldcoin, described as a “new, collectively owned global currency,” aims to distribute its cryptocurrency, called WLD, fairly among as many people as possible. The company claims that anyone in the world is eligible for a free share of the cryptocurrency. Similar to other cryptocurrencies, WLD can be utilized as a store of value or for making payments, including remittances, tipping artists, and buying and selling goods and services.
The project has garnered controversy due to its practice of collecting biometric data from individuals in developing countries in exchange for free gifts and cash. However, Worldcoin argues that this unique approach to crypto enables fair and inclusive distribution.
The chrome orb, referred to as the “chrome orb,” is the device used to scan a person’s iris. Once scanned, the user receives their designated share of Worldcoin. This ensures that no individual can acquire more than their allotted free share of the digital currency. However, it will still be possible to purchase and trade Worldcoin separately, similar to any other cryptocurrency.
Altman, along with other co-founders of Worldcoin, expressed their excitement and uncertainty about the project in a blog post, highlighting their belief in the potential of blockchain and cryptography to empower individuals and promote global equality of opportunity.