Worldcoin (WLD) is not really a totally new cryptocurrency — it was founded in 2019 by OpenAI CEO Sam Altman, Max Novendstern, and Alex Blania who initially raised $25m in seed funding from backers led by Andreessen Horowitz. It has gone on to raise a total of $125m and other backers include Khosla Ventures, and the LinkedIn founder Reid Hoffman. Worldcoin didn’t officially launch until July, 2023.
Where it really differentiates itself from other cryptocurrencies is with its use of biometric verification. These methods are utilized to assign a unique "World ID" to each user, distinguishing them as humans from artificial intelligence. An application called WorldApp is employed to store a user's World ID and facilitate the exchange of Worldcoin tokens (WLD).
Worldcoin (WLD) is an ERC20 token and as such, you can safely transfer it to your Ethereum (ETH) or Optimism (OP) account like any standard ERC20 token. As of October 2023, nearly 2.4 million people have a World ID.
Worldcoin was conceived with a radical vision: to distribute cryptocurrency to as many people as possible, aiming to ensure a more equitable wealth distribution. The idea wasn't merely to create another digital currency but to foster a global economic system where everyone could partake in the benefits of decentralized technology.
By removing the barriers to entry that exist in the traditional financial systems and ensuring that wealth isn't concentrated among a few, Worldcoin hopes to create a decentralized economy where everyone has a stake. Sounds amazing, right?
Perhaps such idealism is somewhat of a Silicon Valley cliché at this point? Besides, 10 wallets control 98% of the Worldcoin wealth so it feels like real-world inequality being repeated.
Here is the original white paper.
As mentioned in the introduction, Worldcoin was co-founded by Sam Altman, formerly the president of Y Combinator and co-chairman of OpenAI, along with Alex Blania and Max Novendstern. With Altman's experience in spearheading technological innovation and nurturing startups, Worldcoin received attention from both the tech and crypto communities early on.
One of the standout features of Worldcoin is its unique sign-up method. In their quest to create an equitable distribution system, the Worldcoin team developed an orb-shaped device that scans an individual's iris to verify their unique identity. This ensures that one person can only register once, preventing anyone from hoarding the coin or exploiting the system. We are not sure how this impacts identical twins ;)
The iris scanning technology is designed with privacy at its core — although this is highly controversial and ****facing increasing scrutiny around the world. Worldcoin ensures that the iris data is transformed into a unique identifier, with the raw data deleted immediately after. This process ensures that while users can be uniquely identified, their personal data remains uncompromised.
Note: you can request data deletion from within the app at any time.
In exchange for a scan of your iris —which feels like something out of the Tom Cruise movie Minority Report— users will be able to claim a Genesis Grant of 25 WLDs with further grants being offered from within the app every 7-14 days. So far, users have received around 50 WLDs for free (free, if you don’t value your iris being scanned.)
The idea is simple: by giving away Worldcoin to millions of people, it creates a base of users that could benefit from the coin's potential appreciation, fostering a more inclusive economic model.
When it launched, WLD had an all-time high price of $3.57. Today (October 20, 2023) it is worth $1.47 — in other words it is worth 60% less. However, it is important to note that the price is showing an overall trend towards recovery and growth.
Worldcoin currently has a total market capitalization of $210 billion with only 1.43% of it’s total max supply in circulation (143,000,000 coins from 10,000,000,000.)
Worldcoin is more than just another entry in the vast world of cryptocurrencies. With its ambitious vision, backed by unique technological solutions, it aims to reshape the way we think about wealth distribution in the decentralized age. Whether it achieves its grand vision remains to be seen, but there's no denying that Worldcoin has introduced novel ideas to the crypto landscape.
With that said, there are ongoing privacy concerns around how Worldcoin handles biometric data and how despite its philanthropic vision, just 10 wallets control 98% of the supply.
Note: Savl offers DEX support for Wordlcoin (WLD).
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