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Can Sam Altman’s Worldcoin Be The Future of Crypto Onboarding?


coingape.com 26 May 2023 13:58, UTC
Reading time: ~3 m

OpenAI CEO Sam Altman is on an ambitious mission to create something unique with Worldcoin. The crypto project aims to create a global ID, a global currency and an app for all sorts of cryptocurrency payments. It aims to provide universal access to the global economy.

Tools for Humanity, the team behind Worldcoin, promises to give out crypto tokens to whoever will get his iris scanned with the sphere called The Orb. This idea has attracted a lot of skepticism from the industry as asking for biometric details in a web3 world is a slippery slope. The Orb is supposed to play a central role in helping Worldcoin enable universal access to the global economy.

What is The Orb and How Does It Work?

As per the Worldcoin website, the Orb is a biometric imaging device that privately and securely verifies an individual’s unique personhood. In order to sign up for World ID and receive a free share of Worldcoin Tokens a user must visit a Worldcoin Operator and verify their unique personhood at an Orb. However, it is possible to use Worldcoin without going to an Orb.

The Orb’s first task is to determine if someone is an actual living person to create a global identity with a variety of camera sensors and machine learning models that analyze facial and iris features. Once that determination is made, the Orb takes a set of pictures of the person’s irises and uses several machine learning models and other computer vision techniques to create an iris code, which is a numerical representation of the most important features of an individual’s iris pattern.

Worldcoin claims that all of these operations happen in real-time on the Orb. No images ever leave the device unless a person explicitly requests to back up their data for future upgrades and agrees to help us improve the system for everyone.

Worldcoin raises $115 million in a Series C round

Despite all skepticism going around The Orb, investors seem to be diving head first into this opportunity as the company raised $115 million in a Series C round from Blockchain Capital. Other investors in the latest round of funding were a16z, Bain Capital Crypto and Distributed Global. In March last year, Worldcoin raised $100 million at a $3 billion valuation.

Funds raised in the latest round will go towards bot detection, research and development and expanding its Worldcoin project and application.

In a recent blog, Spencer Bogart, general partner at Blockchain Capital, wrote that he believes that Worldcoin could become the biggest onramp to crypto and the World App could become the most widely adopted crypto wallet.

When is the Worldcoin launch?

Worldcoin is currently in its beta testing and has onboarded about two million users across five continents. As of now, a US resident can obtain a World ID, but the World app tells users that there are no Orbs in the United States yet. “We’re working hard to bring Orbs to every country in the World,” the app says if you’re located in one of those Orb-less countries.

Though Worldcoin says its tokens aren’t intended to be available to people in the US, the Orb hardware will be on display in a few US cities in the coming months. Tool for Humanity announced an Orb “tour” in which “Worldcoin Orbs will be available for a limited time” from May through July in Berlin, Dubai, London, Mexico City, Miami, New York City, San Francisco, Seoul, and Tokyo.

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