Deep Dives

Sam Altman's iris-scanning crypto just launched

July 24, 2023
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OpenAI boss Sam Altman has introduced a new project, Worldcoin, that gifts users cryptocurrency in exchange for their iris scan. This project has drawn attention due to its controversial request for biometric data.

Worldcoin Introduction: Worldcoin, launched by OpenAI's Sam Altman, is a cryptocurrency project that asks users to provide iris scans.
  • The project has recently been made available in countries where it is not prohibited for legal or regulatory reasons.
  • It has gained more than 1.5 million subscribers before its official launch, all of whom received Worldcoin tokens in exchange for their biometric data.

  • Use of Biometric Data: Worldcoin uses iris scans to ensure the uniqueness of each participant.
  • The data is utilized to confirm that each person signs up only once.
  • Despite privacy concerns raised, Worldcoin maintains that their primary goal is to ascertain the uniqueness of users, not their identities.

  • Worldcoin Value and Usage: Worldcoin can be used like other cryptocurrencies for digital transactions.
  • Its value stood at $2.59 as of the official launch date.
  • It can be used for remittances, tipping artists, and buying and selling goods and services.

  • Concerns and Criticisms: The controversial data requirement of Worldcoin has raised several concerns.
  • Privacy advocates warn of the potential creation of a black market for people's iris scans.
  • Despite these concerns, Worldcoin insists that their technology is solely aimed at ensuring the uniqueness of each user.

  • Worldcoin's Vision: Worldcoin co-founder Alex Blania sees the project as a potential game-changer.
  • He believes that Worldcoin could significantly expand economic opportunities and provide a reliable solution for distinguishing humans from AI online while preserving privacy.
  • Blania also envisions the cryptocurrency as a potential path to an AI-funded universal basic income.

  • Availability: Worldcoin has not provided a list of countries where it operates, and it's currently unavailable in the U.S., Sam Altman's home country.
  • Altman himself was only able to sign up for Worldcoin during a trip to Europe.
  • Despite uncertainties and criticisms, Altman encourages further exploration and progress in this ambitious project.
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