What in the Worldcoin?

Since time immemorial, our eyes have only had one use case: To see things. Now, they finally have a higher purpose… generating crypto tokens!

What happened: Worldcoin, the cryptocurrency project co-founded by OpenAI CEO and noted doomsday prepper Sam Altman, officially launched operations yesterday. 

How does it work? Worldcoin tokens can only be accessed and traded by people with a World ID, which is obtained by scanning your eyeballs into devices called Orbs to prove you’re a human—a process called, no joke, orbing. That’s not creepily dystopian at all!

  • Worldcoin has around 200 Orbs stationed across 35 cities in 20 countries, with plans to expand to 1,500 Orbs around the world by the end of the year.

Why it matters: If Altman is to be believed (and maybe he should given his pedigree), the rapid advancement of AI could make it difficult to differentiate between humans and bots. Worldcoin can function as—allegedly—a safe way to prove you’re flesh and blood. 

Yes, but: All that biometric data will draw hackers like moths to a flame. In fact, Worldcoin already faced a successful hacking incident, though no sensitive user data was accessed.

Bottom line: As wacky as it sounds, Worldcoin isn’t just any run-of-the-mill crypto pipe dream. It received US$250 million from big investors like Andreessen Horowitz and rallied on its first day of trading, surging 30% as of 4 PM yesterday.—QH