OpenAI CEO Sam Altman has today (July 24) officially launched a new crypto coin called Worldcoin.
The project consists of offering a World ID that identifies users are human. The ID works by scanning a person’s iris using an “orb,” a type of biometric verification device, certifying the individual as a “real and unique person,”
The process of distinguishing humans from artificial intelligence (AI) online, while maintaining privacy, could pave the way to an AI-funded universal basic income (UBI), according to Worldcoin’s statement.
UBI is a government-led programme in which adult citizen’s receive a set monthly allowance that covers their basic needs. State-funded schemes of the kind already exist in many countries and were widely implemented during the pandemic.
Worldcoin was founded “with the ambition of creating a new identity and financial network owned by everyone,” founders Altman and Alex Blania said in a joint statement.
Worldcoin has launched as the crypto market is experiencing a downturn.
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Bitcoin dropped close to 50% in June 2023 from its highest point which reached $69,000 in November 2021, Forbes reported. In early 2023, Bitcoin saw lows dipping below $20,000, according to Forbes.
Blania and Altman spoke about the Worldcoin project goals ahead of its launch in Seoul, South Korea.
Altman spoke of blockchain as a tool to build better financial systems.
“If you can create better financial systems around the world, that is a powerful thing. I think that increases opportunity and general value in the world. It hasn’t yet reached what I would call the critical point of where it really is transforming the world,” said Altman.
While Altman stated that he sees huge potential for the technology, he also acknowledged the difficulties that lie ahead.
“Obviously there have been huge challenges in the space. I would say it has not yet delivered on the promise, but I remain very hopeful, and think what this could enable is quite important.”