Sam Altman’s Worldcoin Foundation, a cryptocurrency project, is launching its services worldwide, despite facing regulatory challenges in the US. The startup, based in Berlin and San Francisco, has revealed that its technology, including the Worldcoin token, a traceable cryptocurrency on the blockchain that requires identity verification, will be accessible in 35 cities across 20 countries.
A significant aspect of the project is a physical “orb” that scans users’ eyes. The founders assert that this is essential in a future where distinguishing between humans and robots becomes increasingly difficult due to advancements in artificial intelligence. Once users prove they are human, they can receive Worldcoin tokens.
However, the project’s progress may be hindered by US regulators who are tightening control over digital assets, concerned about cryptocurrencies being exploited for speculation and fraud. Consequently, Worldcoin tokens will not be initially available in the US.
Despite these regulatory challenges, the project has attracted substantial investment, with around $250 million raised from investors, including venture capital firms like Andreessen Horowitz and Khosla Ventures, as well as notable individuals like Reid Hoffman and Sam Bankman-Fried.
Worldcoin has revealed plans to retain about 20% of all issued tokens to fund various initiatives such as “Orb production and initial protocol development, ecosystem development, and maintenance.”
Altman acknowledges that eye-scanning technology may raise concerns, but he believes that with adequate explanation, the company can gain users’ trust. They aim to be transparent about the technology’s workings and the roadmap for decentralizing the company to earn people’s trust in the crypto space, which has seen its share of bad actors.