Silicon Valley entrepreneur Sam Altman wants to scan your eyes in exchange for free cryptocurrency
It sounds like something out of a sci-fi movie – metal balls that scan people’s eyes to pay them digital currency.
This is exactly what tech investor Sam Altman’s startup, a company called Worldcoin, is all about. The company stated that it is ready to distribute free cryptocurrency to people in exchange for checking their accounts using an iris scan
Worldcoin says it has already allocated $25 million in funding from Silicon Valley investors such as Andreessen Horowitz, Coinbase and billionaire LinkedIn co-founder Reed Hoffman. Thus, the firm is valued at $1 billion.
Altman, CEO of AI OpenAI Group and former president of startup accelerator Y Combinator, founded the company together with theoretical physics student Alex Blania and Max Novendstern, a former investment partner of Bridgewater Associates.
At first, this sentence seems strange. To get money, you just need to scan your eyes? It’s hard to believe that this is true.
The founders of Worldcoin claim that their idea is to increase the coverage of cryptocurrencies, increase accessibility to the masses. Only 3% of the world’s population are holders of cryptocurrencies, according to the virtual currency exchange Crypto.com . According to the CEO, their idea will expand the boundaries of the economy.
How it works
Worldcoin has already sent devices in the form of a balloon to users in 12 countries. The user registers by scanning his iris, after which the image is encrypted and becomes a unique code, and the user’s original data is deleted to protect privacy. After completing all the steps, users get free access to a share of the Worldcoin cryptocurrency.
According to Blania, the system is quite reliable. Only the iris code leaves the sphere, the biometric database is not collected.
At the moment, the company already has about 100,000 users worldwide and about 700 more users join every week. According to the company’s forecasts, the user coverage by 2023 will be 1 billion people.
It is not yet fully clear how to use Worldcoin?
To begin with, the user has a digital wallet that allows them to store their cryptocurrencies and make payments. In the future, Blania hopes to attract developers who can create applications on top of their system. So that as many people as possible understand cryptography. It is very important to have network effects, of which the value is quite large.
One of the problems that the company has faced is to ensure the honesty of users and “proof of identity”. It is for this purpose that the balloon was created, which is the safest privacy solution. To prove that every person in the world is unique.
’Infrastructure’ for basic income
This is a concept that has parallels with universal basic income (UBI), which was promoted by Altman and several other great specialists in the field of technology.
The concept is to regularly strip citizens of cash for free, thereby the government will gain loyalty to artificial intelligence and automated workers.
Blania hinted that his company could take on the role of an “infrastructure” for UBI in the future, but this is not yet feasible. The company is preparing to create a user network in which entrepreneurs can participate and create similar applications. UBI is one of them, but the creation of large financial global companies is another big task.
Worldcoin is not the only promising project that Alman is watching. In 2018, a millionaire tech entrepreneur paid $10,000 to a startup called Nektome to save his brain, scan it and display it in a computer simulation.
Worldcoin has built its system on Ethereum, the blockchain network, which is the third largest cryptocurrency in the world. Blania hopes to capitalize on the fast-growing trend in cryptography, known as decentralized finance or DeFi, which aims to exclude intermediaries from traditional financial processes such as lending and investing.
Worldcoin was formed at the time of renewed interest in cryptocurrencies, as the prices of bitcoins and other digital coins have recently risen sharply. Bitcoin, the world’s largest virtual currency, hit a new all-time high on Wednesday, surpassing $66,000, while Ether, XRP and other tokens also rose.
The cryptocurrency does not have a very clean reputation. It is associated with fraud, various pumping and dumping schemes that deceive amateur investors into buying tokens, only for creators and insiders to earn millions. But the director of Worldcoin assures that his company is not fraudulent. He strives for transparency of his actions