The news comes in the background of the rising popularity of artificial intelligence (AI) technologies, majorly led by the launch of OpenAI’s ChatGPT last year. The new token will be used within the project’s ecosystem and would require users to first prove their identity through an eye-scanning physical ‘orb’.
This feature seeks to tackle the increasing challenge faced in telling apart humans and robots due to the surge in AI technology. The company’s tokens would be issued to users once they prove they are not robots.
The Worldcoin project was launched in March this year and is aimed at solving income inequality and online identity authentication. This came along with a waitlist for its software development kit (SDK).
The project consists of two parts: a privacy-preserving digital identity (World ID) and, where laws allow, a digital currency (WLD) received simply for being human.
Its co-founders, Alex Blania and Sam Altman, are of the belief that: “If successful, we believe Worldcoin could drastically increase economic opportunity, scale a reliable solution for distinguishing humans from AI online while preserving privacy, enable global democratic processes, and eventually show a potential path to AI-funded UBI.”
As per the World ID team, the project seeks to function as a global digital passport that users are able to store within their phones. It also claims that it will achieve the verification of humans without the need to provide identifying information to various websites like phone numbers.
Back in July, when it released its World ID project, it witnessed a record sign-up of over two million. However, the project also faces a good share of backlash. Some prominent members of the crypto space have opposed its idea like former Twitter CEO and Bitcoin supporter Jack Dorsey when he tweeted that “at no time should a corporation or state own any part of the global financial system”.
Meanwhile, on the regulatory front, Worldcoin has come to face issues in the U.S. While its new token will be available in 35 cities across 20 countries, it will not see the light of the day in the U.S. due to the same.
Talking about the regulatory pushback that it receives in the country, Altman told the Financial Times: “When we started thinking about this, we didn’t think it would end up as ‘world minus the US coin’ and here we are. I’d say there’s 95 per cent of the world’s population not in the US. The US does not make or break a project like this.”
The US has been a tough ground for new projects, particularly since the collapse of bellwethers including FTX and Celsius last year. Despite all of this, Worldcoin managed to attract investors who poured roughly $250m into the project.
Prominent participants in this included venture capital groups Andreessen Horowitz and Khosla Ventures, internet entrepreneur Reid Hoffman and, prior to the collapse of his FTX empire, Sam Bankman-Fried.
At the time of writing, the price of WLD is trading at $2.71, up 64% in the past day.