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Worldcoin Unveils ‘World ID’ For Verifying Humans

A person scanning his retina through an Orb with another Orb kept in the background.
A person scanning his retina through an Orb with another Orb kept in the background.

Worldcoin, a cryptocurrency project co-founded by OpenAI CEO Sam Altman, has successfully unveiled its flagship product, the “World ID.” This innovative “digital passport” is designed to authenticate individuals as genuine humans, effectively setting them apart from AI bots in the online space.

Tools for Humanity, the project’s parent company with headquarters in both San Francisco and Berlin, has amassed 2 million users during the beta phase. Now, as Worldcoin gears up for its official launch, it is taking its “orbing” operations to 35 cities across 20 countries. As part of the expansion, new users from specific countries will be rewarded with Worldcoin’s native cryptocurrency token, WLD.

World ID, developed by Worldcoin, implements a cutting-edge verification process primarily based on in-person iris scans using their revolutionary device called the “orb.” The “orb,” resembling the size of a bowling ball, captures an individual’s iris data, providing confirmation of their identity as a genuine human and generating a distinct World ID. To ensure privacy and independence from single-entity control or shutdown, the project plans to store these World IDs securely on blockchains.

Following the official launch of Worldcoin, its native cryptocurrency token, WLD, has garnered considerable attention. During early trading on Monday, WLD experienced a remarkable surge, reaching a peak price of $5.29 on Binance, the largest exchange globally. Starting at $0.15, the token’s value surged to $2.49, with an impressive trading volume of $25.1 million.

In the era of advanced generative AI chatbots like ChatGPT, Alex Blania, co-founder of Worldcoin, emphasizes the significance of World IDs. These unique identifiers play a crucial role in distinguishing between real individuals and AI bots. The primary goal of World IDs is to improve online interactions and combat fraud by ensuring authenticity and trust in digital communications.

Sam Altman, too, sees Worldcoin as a potential solution to tackle the economic shifts driven by generative AI. According to his vision, as AI gradually replaces human tasks, the implementation of universal basic income (UBI) becomes crucial to mitigate income inequality. Worldcoin is viewed as a tool that could play a role in facilitating this approach to address the challenges posed by automation and ensure financial stability for all.

As per Sam Altman’s perspective, World IDs, exclusively designated for genuine individuals, have the potential to play a significant role in the effective implementation of UBI. By utilizing World IDs, the system can safeguard against fraud, ensuring that support reaches those who truly require it. While Altman acknowledges that achieving a UBI-driven world may be a distant objective, he sees Worldcoin as the fundamental building block that could lay the groundwork for realizing this aspiration.

Worldcoin’s World ID embodies an intriguing vision for the future, leveraging the power of blockchain technology for human verification and embracing the possibilities of generative AI. As the project’s “orbing” operations extend globally, the World ID has the potential to become a pivotal element in online interactions, effectively discerning real individuals from AI bots. Moreover, this technology could play a significant role in shaping economic policies aimed at addressing income inequality in the years ahead.

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