OpenAI’s Sam Altman launches Worldcoin, a crypto-powered solution for real human verification

Jul 24, 2023, 2:49 PM UTC
3 mins read
OpenAI's Sam Altman launches Worldcoin, a crypto-powered solution for real human verification

On July 24, a new cryptocurrency project, Worldcoin, emerged on the global stage, spearheaded by none other than OpenAI‘s visionary CEO, Sam Altman. At its core, Worldcoin offers a revolutionary concept known as the “World ID,” an exclusive account accessible only to verified human beings. This digital identity and crypto payments initiative aims to transcend traditional boundaries, forging a path toward global scale alignment, as articulated by Sam Altman himself.

The World ID system is ingeniously simple yet profoundly innovative. It involves the use of Worldcoin’s cutting-edge ‘orb,’ an astonishing silver sphere approximately the size of a bowling ball. This remarkable device employs advanced technology to scan a user’s eyeball, thereby verifying their humanity and creating their unique World ID. With such an identity in place, Worldcoin users gain access to a plethora of benefits, including the ability to receive cryptocurrency tokens through the ‘orbing’ process.

Worldcoin’s journey began in 2020 when Sam Altman, renowned for his contributions to the development of ChatGPT at OpenAI, laid the project’s foundation. Driving this ambitious undertaking forward is Alex Blania, the current CEPO of Tools for Humanity, the parent organization dedicated to nurturing Worldcoin until it attains full decentralization.

The road ahead for Worldcoin is not without its challenges, as acknowledged by Sam Altman himself. In a statement released on Monday, he asserted, “The journey will be challenging, and the outcome is uncertain.” Nonetheless, with an impressive two million users already on board from the beta period, the project is now scaling up its ‘orbing’ operations to span 35 cities across 20 countries, a testament to the enthusiasm and interest it has garnered worldwide.

To incentivize further adoption, Worldcoin is offering its cryptocurrency token, aptly named WLD, to users who sign up in specific countries. This strategic move aims to drive user engagement and create a robust ecosystem around the World ID concept.

The cryptocurrency aspect of World IDs is not just incidental; it plays a pivotal role in safeguarding user privacy and ensuring resilience against centralized control. Alex Blania elucidated this critical aspect by stating that the blockchain technology underpinning cryptocurrencies ensures that World IDs remain secure and beyond the control of any single entity.

An intriguing application of the World ID system lies in its potential to address the growing influence of generative AI chatbots like ChatGPT, which remarkably mimic human language. As AI continues to permeate various aspects of human life, it becomes crucial to differentiate between real individuals and AI-driven entities in online interactions. World IDs present a unique opportunity to distinguish between authentic human beings and AI bots, thus fostering trust and transparency in digital spaces.

Sam Altman’s vision extends far beyond the boundaries of cryptocurrency. He envisions a future where universal basic income (UBI) plays a pivotal role in combating income inequality, a world in which AI assumes more and more of the tasks currently performed by humans. By restricting World IDs to genuine human users, the project could significantly reduce fraud in the distribution of UBI, thus contributing to a more equitable society.

However, Sam Altman remains pragmatic, acknowledging that achieving a world with widespread UBI is a long-term goal and that the specific mechanisms to implement it remain uncertain. Nevertheless, Worldcoin’s pioneering efforts pave the way for experimentation and exploration, laying the groundwork for potential future implementations of such transformative social programs.

Notify of
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments

More in "Tech"

Would love your thoughts, please comment.x