Worldcoin — A cryptocurrency that wants to scan 1 billion individual irises by 2023 to increase digital currency usage
With the aim to fast-track mass digital asset adoption, these founders are looking to achieve this by scanning a person’s eyes.
Each person who signs up for Worldcoin, which emerged from stealth this week, will receive its cryptocurrency. It has scanned over 100,000 people from all around the world so far using a new technology known as the Orb. In the first quarter of 2022, the coin will go live.
The spherical, silver hardware, roughly the size of a basketball, records an image of a person’s eyes to verify whether or not they are real and have previously signed up.
Sam Altman, Alex Blania and Max Novendstern founded the new digital asset, which has raised $US25 million to date and is valued at $US1 billion.
Andreesen Horowitz, Coinbase Ventures, and CoinFund are among the institutional investors, while LinkedIn co-founder Reid Hoffman and FTX founder Sam Bankman-Fried are among the angel investors.
“We try to get crypto to mass adoption really, really quickly, and we have a very clear answer how to get there,” Blania told Insider. “And it seems to work really well”.
The scanning Orbs
According to Blania, the team chose to scan the iris since it includes significantly more information than, say, a fingerprint. Depending on the jurisdiction, a minimum age of 16 or 18 is required. Currently, over 30 Orbs can be found in 12 countries on four continents.
Once the iris has been scanned, a unique code can be entered to collect free digital tokens, which will be delivered through an Orb-created wallet software.
The team intends to increase manufacturing to over 4,000 Orbs per month, or 50,000 Orbs per year. The Orbs, which were designed by former Apple employee Thomas Meyerhoffer, are licensed to contractors all over the world after they pass stringent interviews and verifications.
According to Blania, each Orb is “working at capacity”. Orbs have yet to be deployed in the United States, owing to regulatory concerns around digital assets.
He also stated that, contrary to popular belief, the corporation will not receive anything in exchange for an iris scan. After scanning both eyes, the Orb converts the iris image into a numeric code, which is then erased in order to safeguard the person’s privacy.
“It’s not an exchange”, he said. “You verify that you have not shown up before and that’s a very different thing. We don’t want to know your name. We don’t want to see your passport”.
The new crypto
Traders who wish to purchase the cryptocurrency when it starts on the Ethereum network will not need to have their iris scanned, according to Blania. They will simply be denied their right to a free share of the money.
The amount that each person will receive is still up in the air. However, depending on when they sign up, the sum will range from $US20 to $US100, according to Blania. “The earlier they come, the more they will receive”.
Worldcoin intends to issue a fixed number of 10 billion tokens, with 80% going to users, 10% going to investors, and 10% going to Orb and network manufacturers, operators, and developers.
“The numbers we see, and the excitement we see off the users we would with and we verify [are] extremely exciting”, Blania said.