Sam Altman, the CEO of OpenAI and the founder of Worldcoin, is launching the cryptocurrency initiative on Monday. primary feature of the project is its World ID, an account exclusively accessible to actual humans. To obtain a World ID, individuals must undergo an in-person iris scan using Worldcoin’s unique ‘orb,’ a silver sphere roughly the size of a bowling ball. Once the orb’s iris scan confirms the person’s identity as a genuine human, a World ID is generated.
The company behind Worldcoin is San Francisco and Berlin-based Tools for Humanity.
The project has 2 million users from its beta period, and with Monday’s launch, Worldcoin is scaling up “orbing” operations to 35 cities in 20 countries. As an enticement, those who sign up in certain countries will receive Worldcoin’s cryptocurrency token WLD.
Co-founder Alex Blania informed Reuters that the cryptocurrency aspect of the World IDs holds significance because it allows storing the World IDs on cryptocurrency blockchains in a manner that preserves privacy and prevents any single entity from controlling or shutting them down.
The project says World IDs will be necessary in the age of generative AI chatbots like ChatGPT, which produce remarkably humanlike language. The active voice of the sentence would be: “World IDs could differentiate between real people and AI bots online.” Binance, the largest cryptocurrency exchange, said it will list Worldcoin with the tentative opening of trading expected to be on Monday at 0900 GMT.
Sam Altman told Reuters that Worldcoin can also assist in addressing how generative AI will reshape the economy. He stated, “AI will supercharge people, leading to significant economic implications.”
One example Altman likes is universal basic income, or UBI, a social benefits program usually run by governments, which entitles every individual to payments.Because AI “will do more and more of the work that people now do,” Altman believes UBI can help to combat income inequality.
Since only real people can have World IDs, Worldcoin could use them to reduce fraud when deploying UBI. Altman said he thought a world with UBI would be “very far in the future” and he did not have a clear idea of what entity could dole out money, but that Worldcoin lays groundwork for it to become a reality. “We think that we need to start experimenting with things so we can figure out what to do,” he said.