February 19, 2024 at 11:16 GMTModified date: February 19, 2024 at 11:16 GMT
February 19, 2024 at 11:16 GMT

Worldcoin’s value soars over 190% as user base tops one million

The surge coincides with the project’s daily user base hitting the milestone of one million.

Worldcoin’s value soars over 190% as user base tops one million

Worldcoin ($WLD), the cryptocurrency project co-founded by OpenAI CEO Sam Altman, has seen its native token’s value skyrocket by over 190% in the past week.

The surge coincides with the project’s announcement that its daily user base has exceeded one million, shared via the project’s official X account on 18 February. This marked a significant leap from the 100,000 daily active users reported in November 2023.

Worldcoin, launched in July 2023 by Altman and Alex Blania, aims to revolutionise digital identity verification through a “privacy-preserving” approach.

By scanning users’ irises, the project compensates participants with its native $WLD token. With this, they aspire to lay the groundwork for a global Universal Basic Income (UBI) system.

However, despite its ambitious goals, Worldcoin has not been without controversy, particularly regarding the privacy implications of its iris-scanning technology, known as “Orbs”.

The Sora effect 

The recent price rally of the $WLD token could also be attributed to the buzz surrounding OpenAI’s new video creation model, Sora. 

Introduced on 15 February, this advanced text-to-video model has captivated people with its ability to generate videos featuring intricate scenes and emotions, all within a 60-second timeframe.

The excitement around Sora has spilled over into Worldcoin’s market activity, as investors and enthusiasts draw connections between Altman’s ventures.

The market’s response to these developments has been overwhelmingly positive. Following the announcement of Sora and amid growing user engagement with the World App, the $WLD token experienced a remarkable price increase, climbing to $7.39 from a much lower valuation just a week prior. 

This surge has propelled Worldcoin’s market capitalisation to about $967 million, a clear indicator of the market’s bullish outlook on the project’s future.

Notably, blockchain analytics firm, Spot On Chain, highlighted that Alameda Research holds a significant portion of the circulating $WLD tokens. Acquired at a much lower price, the recent surge point to a substantial unrealised gain for the firm. 

Navigating the privacy minefield

Despite its market success, Worldcoin’s innovative approach to identity verification and UBI has sparked a heated debate over privacy. The use of “Orbs” for iris scanning has raised eyebrows across the globe, leading to regulatory scrutiny in several jurisdictions.

Recently, Hong Kong’s Privacy Commissioner initiated an investigation into Worldcoin’s operations, citing severe privacy risks. Last year, the project had to wind down its operations in three key markets: Brazil, France and India. 

Regulatory watchdogs have expressed their doubts and scepticism regarding the gathering of private data through the iris scan ever since the project was announced. 

Soon after the launch, the UK’s data regulator, the Information Commissions Office (ICO), made enquiries into the project, threatening investigations.

This was followed by the French privacy watchdog CNIL reportedly calling the legality of Worldcoin’s biometric data collection “questionable”. 

In the other side of the world, in Kenya, the government suspended all Worldcoin operations in the country as it investigated concerns over its data usage. It also formed a parliamentary committee to investigate the project and its assets.

As Worldcoin navigates these regulatory hurdles, the project’s ability to balance its technological innovation with privacy concerns will be crucial. The recent surge in the $WLD token’s value reflects a broader rally in the cryptocurrency sector, yet it also underscores the volatile nature of the market, where innovation, speculation, and regulatory oversight intersect.