Worldcoin is a cryptocurrency project that aims to create a global identity and financial network that gives ownership and access to the global economy to everyone, regardless of their country or background. Worldcoin is backed by some prominent names in the tech industry, such as Sam Altman, the CEO of OpenAI, and Balaji Srinivasan, the former CTO of Coinbase. In this article, we will explore what Worldcoin is, how it works, and what are the latest news and developments about this project.
What Is Worldcoin?
Worldcoin is an open-source protocol that consists of three main components:
- World ID: a digital identity that proves you are a real and unique person while fully protecting your privacy. To get a World ID, you need to scan your eye using a special device called the Orb, which uses iris biometrics to verify your identity. The Orb does not store any personal data or images of your eye, and it encrypts your World ID with a private key that only you can access.
- Worldcoin: the first token to be globally and freely distributed to people, for both utility and future governance, just for being a unique individual. You can receive Worldcoin tokens by scanning your eye with the Orb, and you can use them to pay, purchase, and transfer value globally using the World App or other compatible wallets. Worldcoin has a fixed supply of 10 billion tokens, and it uses a proof-of-stake consensus mechanism to secure the network.
- World App: a fully self-custodial app that enables payment, purchases, and transfers globally using the Worldcoin token, digital assets, stablecoins, and traditional currencies. The World App also allows you to manage your World ID and your private key securely. The World App is designed to be user-friendly and accessible to anyone with a smartphone.
What's New With Worldcoin?
Worldcoin has recently launched its first major consumer product: the World App. The app is currently in beta testing and is available for download on Android and iOS devices. The app allows users to store and manage their Worldcoin tokens and other cryptocurrencies, as well as to scan their eye with the Orb to receive their World ID and claim their share of the global distribution.
The app also features a gas-free transaction system that eliminates the need for users to pay network fees when sending or receiving Worldcoin tokens. This is achieved by using zkSync, a layer-2 scaling solution that leverages zero-knowledge proofs to enable fast and cheap transactions on Ethereum.
Worldcoin has also announced that it has integrated with Banxa, a global fiat-to-crypto payment gateway that supports over 150 local payment methods in over 50 countries. This integration allows users to buy and sell Worldcoin tokens using fiat currencies such as USD, EUR, GBP, AUD, CAD, JPY, and more.
Worldcoin has also revealed some of its future plans, such as launching its own blockchain network in 2023, expanding its global distribution network by partnering with more Orb operators around the world, and developing new features and services for the World App.
Who is Behind Worldcoin?
Worldcoin is supported by a global community of developers, individuals, economists, and technologists who share a common vision of creating universal access to the global economy. The project is stewarded by the Worldcoin Foundation, a non-profit organization that oversees the development and governance of the protocol.
The Foundation is advised by Tools for Humanity (TFH), a company founded by Sam Altman and Balaji Srinivasan. TFH helped launch Worldcoin and currently serves as the operator of the World App. TFH also provides funding and strategic guidance to the project.
Some of the other notable advisors and backers of Worldcoin include:
- Vitalik Buterin: the co-founder of Ethereum
- Naval Ravikant: the co-founder of AngelList
- Fred Ehrsam: the co-founder of Coinbase
- Marc Andreessen: the co-founder of Andreessen Horowitz
- Reid Hoffman: the co-founder of LinkedIn
- Peter Thiel: the co-founder of PayPal
- Jack Dorsey: the CEO of Twitter
- Mark Zuckerberg: the CEO of Facebook
Worldcoin: A Great Idea Or A Bad One?
Worldcoin has some serious drawbacks that you should be aware of before you decide to join this project. Here are some of them:
- Technical issues: Worldcoin is based on Ethereum, a blockchain network that is known for its high fees, slow transactions, and scalability problems. Worldcoin tries to solve these issues by using a layer-2 solution called zkSync, which enables fast and cheap transactions on Ethereum. But this solution is not perfect either. It requires users to trust a third-party operator, which goes against the decentralized nature of blockchain. It also adds complexity and friction to the user experience, as users need to switch between different layers and wallets. And it may not be able to handle the massive demand that Worldcoin expects to generate.
- Distribution challenges: Worldcoin aims to distribute its tokens to billions of people around the world, especially in developing countries where access to the global economy is limited. But how realistic is this goal? How will Worldcoin reach all these people and convince them to scan their eyes? How will Worldcoin deal with the logistical, regulatory, and cultural barriers that may arise in different regions? How will Worldcoin ensure that its distribution is fair and transparent and that it does not create inequalities or conflicts among its users?
- Economic risks: Worldcoin promises to create a universal basic income for its users, by giving them a free share of its tokens. But how sustainable is this model? How will Worldcoin maintain its value and demand in the long term? How will Worldcoin avoid inflation or deflation of its tokens? How will Worldcoin interact with other cryptocurrencies and fiat currencies? How will Worldcoin affect the existing financial systems and institutions? And how will Worldcoin deal with the potential legal and regulatory challenges that may arise from its ambitious vision?
Worldcoin is an ambitious project that has some noble intentions, but also some serious flaws. It may sound like a great idea on paper, but it may not work so well in practice. Before you decide to join Worldcoin, you should do your own research and weigh the pros and cons carefully. Remember: there is no such thing as free money.