Whether you’ve been living under a rock or not, you have surely heard of Sam Altman and the world-changing OpenAI—from this, spawned an invention called the WorldCoin. And no, it’s not just another crypto for an influencer to raise funds and then disband, this one seems to have a larger purpose and is well on its way to accomplishing exactly that.
World App, a deliberately under-featured digital wallet that Worldcoin announced this week, is available globally. It does not replace existing ambitions related to the company’s Worldcoin cryptocurrency.
As part of Worldcoin’s “proof of personhood” strategy, the wallet might get the company off its heels and past its limiting utopian aura.
Still, at a time when many investors are looking for focus, obviousness, and transparent operations, startup Worldcoin is not making things easy.
What Cryptocurrencies Are Supported by World App?
At launch, World App supported Wrapped Ether (WETH), Wrapped Bitcoin (WBTC), Dai, USD Coin, and beta Wolf Works DAO (WLD).
On the Ethereum blockchain, World App is a client for the company’s World ID. According to the company, World App eschews many functions and capabilities to create a simple and streamlined service. That also means that anyone already with a digital wallet will be required to carry more than one wallet.
Worldcoin claims 1.5 million people “joined the World App pre-release,” and 500,000 of them use it monthly.
Where Things Get Tricky for Worldcoin
Complicating the picture is the fact that two of the three founders of Worldcoin also founded Tools for Humanity. The World ID is also a “human passport” to ease living online. The World ID is verified with Worldcoin’s biometrics-collecting Orb scanner.
Together, subscribers should be able to move about on the internet and transfer funds for free without having to use actual identifying data.
Verified subscribers in eligible nations (not Cuba nor the United States, for instance) will be given monthly grants, or stipends, of Worldcoin.
It is that mission that has some investors shaking their heads. The least attractive market news for investors is that someone is offering free funds.
Fortunately for the company, one unforced error appears to be fading from consciousness.
MIT Technology Review investigated Worldcoin’s practices a year ago by collecting biometric data in remote areas. It would seem managers running the operations had a patronizing attitude toward people outside San Francisco, where the company is based.
Staff or contractors were collecting iris scans in Indonesia, Kenya, Sudan, Chana, Chile, and Norway, promising a privacy standard that was not practiced.
Are Altman’s Motives Pure?
Meanwhile, Sam Altman says that his ultimate mission is to build AGI (artificial general intelligence) while stating a goal of forging a new world order in which machines free people to pursue more creative work.
In his vision, universal basic income will help compensate for jobs replaced by AI, and humanity will love AI so much that an advanced chatbot could represent “an extension of your will.”
So what do we think? New world order or just another passing of the times? Only time can tell what we will see from the likes of Sam Altman and his precocious team of AI engineers creating the next evolution of humanity.
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