ChatGPT Chief Unveils New Crypto Project With Eye-Scanning Technology

Sam Altman, the boss of ChatGPT, has launched a crypto project that aims to distinguish between humans and AI. Worldcoin pop-ups appeared in multiple cities this week, attracting thousands of people willing to swap a scan of their eyeball for free cryptocurrency.

Key Takeaways

  • Worldcoin is being marketed as a new form of digital identification for the artificial intelligence age
  • Once a user’s iris has been verified as human, they will receive a World ID on the Worldcoin app and around $50 in the project’s cryptocurrency – WLD
  • The company behind the project, Tools For Humanity, was co-founded by Sam Altman and Alex Blania
  • Yet despite being rolled out in 33 countries, regulatory hurdles have prevented a US launch while the UK’s data watchdog is looking into the project

Will It Gain Traction?

Tools For Humanity believe the project has multiple real-life applications.

These range from serving as voter identification in elections to confirming whether individuals are eligible for benefits and stopping fraud. There are also talks of AI-supported universal income.

And while it’s true that the shiny silver orbs will catch people’s eye, many crypto investors will remain cautious. Not least because handing out free WLD tokens to anyone that registers could devalue the cryptocurrency by swelling supply.

Then there are the security and privacy considerations…

Is It Safe?

Currently, anybody can request to be an orb operator through the official website. Following rudimentary training, an orb will be dispatched to approved applicants, with around 1,500 in circulation at the time of writing.

This raises safety concerns. Firstly, are the orbs secure or are there flaws that could render personal information vulnerable to bad actors? Also, if individuals’ mobiles are hacked, could their World ID be at risk?

Worldcoin’s CEO, Alex Blania, has asserted that blockchain technology can help secure crypto transactions, but security worries will persist for many cynics.

The UK Information Commissioner’s Office, which protects data privacy rights, has also said it is investigating the project. Whether it takes a dim view of how the firm collates and stores personal information remains to be seen.

Industry Headwinds Present Further Challenges

Worldcoin will also need more than slick marketing and shiny orbs to overcome the current climate.

Following the collapse of FTX in 2022, many other crypto firms have gone under while regulators are tightening their grip on the industry.

Worldcoin also faces opposition from established cryptocurrencies Bitcoin and Ethereum, which dominate the market. At the time of writing, 1 WLD is worth around $1.95, some way off the around $29,189 for 1 BTC or $1,851 for 1 ETH.

So while it is too soon to pass judgement on the prospects of Worldcoin, we recommend caution. Many will prefer to speculate on established tokens from reputable crypto brokers:

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