Sam Altman’s Worldcoin Launches Digital Wallet and Identity Technology

Worldcoin wallet

In an ambitious undertaking to provide universal access to cryptocurrency, Sam Altman, the CEO of OpenAI, has rolled out services Worldcoin, a revolutionary crypo project aimed at providing a complete global financial platform. According to Reuters, Altman and co-founder Alex Blania, CEO of Tools for Humanity, cite the development of the project as an essential means to combat increasing income inequality and serve as a form of universal basic income (UBI).

Sam Altman’s cryptocurrency project, the Worldcoin Foundation, launched its services globally on Monday, July 24, even as the company co-founded by the OpenAI chief faces regulatory pushback in the U.S. According to the Financial Times, the tokens will not initially be available in the U.S. because of concerns about speculation and fraud. The Berlin and San Francisco-based startup announced on Monday that its technology, including its Worldcoin token — a cryptocurrency traceable on the blockchain that requires users to first prove their identity — will be available in 35 cities across 20 countries.

The thought-leading endeavor aims to use eye-scanning technology, dubbed “The Orb,” to launch a feasible worldwide identification system for all eight billion people planet-wide. By creating a trustable and reliable system of authentication available to the global population, Worldcoin gives individuals access to a decentralized financial system in order to secure their financial freedom from central control, and to help build a more equitable global financial system. Commenting on the project’s potential, Blania stated “I honestly didn’t take it seriously for quite a while.”

Aside from its ambitious goals, Worldcoin received extensive support and recognition when it debuted its digital wallet earlier this month. An estimated 2 million users had gained access to Worldcoin’s beta version, and on Monday the startup officially launched its identity technology and associated token internationally, from Barcelona, Berlin, and Tokyo. This international rollout comes with extensive financial backing due to its Series C funding round of $115 million, bringing the project’s total funding to $250 million.

A key development for the project is Worldcoin’s World ID, which helps to distinguish humans from AI online, while also enabling global democratic processes and providing economic opportunity, according to the startup. To join Worldcoin users must participate in an in-person iris scan, creating a unique “IrisHash” that will allow for their identity to be verified. Worldcoin will also soon be listed on Binance, the largest cryptocurrency exchange, with trading expected to start on Monday.

Worldcoin’s extraordinary advances in the industry have certainly caught the attention of many, receiving a jab from Twitter co-founder Jack Dorsey who called the project “cute.” Additionally, PYMNTS reported on the enthusiasm in the space, noting “There’s been significant adoption and interest from businesses [around using crypto to facilitate instantaneous cross-border transactions] that is only continuing to accelerate.”

Altman’s impassioned by the project’s potential, citing Artificial General Intelligence (AGI) as the foundation for the project and believing AGI could lead to wondrous leaps of productivity and financial security worldwide. He’s optimistic that UBI could eventually be attainable, and his Worldcoin project has already developed a solution to combat Sybil attacks and the spread of AI-generated misinformation.

PYMNTS has highlighted the potential impact of central bank digital currencies (CBDCs) on the financial system. The global trend is to explore the use of decentralized ledger technology (DLT) for the financial system. CBDCs are seen as the next step in the evolution of money, and 93% of central banks are involved in CBDC projects. PYMNTS reported on the recent Project Rosalind, which demonstrated that private sector innovation can occur on top of a CBDC system run by the public sector. CBDCs have the potential to change the nature of the financial sector in the coming years.