Founder of ChatGPT Launches Cryptocurrency, Market Soars Over 100% on First Day
The founder of ChatGPT has launched a controversial cryptocurrency project called Worldcoin, which has attracted over 2 million registrations so far. The project announced the launch of its WLD token today, which will be distributed to the registered users worldwide.
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WLD was listed on Binance at 12:00 Central European Time, with an opening price of $0.15 and a peak of $5.29. As of this writing, the price has increased to $3.38, more than doubling on the first day of trading.
Tools for Humanity, the company behind Worldcoin, raised $115 million in a Series C funding round in May, led by notable cryptocurrency venture capital firms including Blockchain Capital, a16z, Bain Capital Crypto, and Distributed Global.
The project aims to help people prove their identities through iris scanning, especially those who lack valid identification, particularly in the Global South. The verified individuals will be eligible to receive WLD tokens.
However, the project has been one of the most controversial in the cryptocurrency industry due to its identity verification method, which raises privacy and security concerns. The iris scanning technology used by Worldcoin may be subject to scrutiny from regulatory authorities. The Worldcoin team has been cautious, stating that their tokens will not be listed in the United States.
In addition, the project faces the challenge of launching its token at a time when regulatory scrutiny of the cryptocurrency industry in the US is increasing. However, the Worldcoin team has stated that they will ensure compliance with the rules of each country.
The Worldcoin token distribution plan was proposed in an investor presentation in December 2022. According to the plan, the total supply of WLD tokens is 10 billion, with 80% reserved for users, operators, and the ecosystem, and 20% reserved for the Worldcoin team and its supporters. Initially, verified individuals will receive 25 WLD tokens, as well as regular subsidies.
Sam Altman's project has recently moved to the Optimism (OP) mainnet, an Ethereum Layer 2 scalability solution. Additionally, the project has released its World ID development kit.
The project is available in 35 cities across 20 countries worldwide, with ambitions for further expansion. Users can register and verify their accounts through Orb and log into the blockchain-based platform at these locations, including Hong Kong, London, Los Angeles, Mexico City, Miami, Seoul, and more.
Worldcoin has signed an agreement with contract manufacturer Jabil to accelerate the production of iris scanners. Sada stated that the existing number of iris scanners will increase from around 200 to approximately 1,500 by the end of the year.
The Worldcoin team has proposed various use cases, including using it in non-collateralized loan programs, for basic income models, and in blockchain-based virtual worlds (i.e., metaverse). The project and its supporters have presented these use cases and hope to solve the problem of identity verification through iris scanning.
Worldcoin co-founder Sam Altman is also the CEO of OpenAI, the company that developed the highly successful ChatGPT. In multiple blog posts and announcements, the Worldcoin team has positioned the project as an urgent response to the rapid rise of tools like ChatGPT.
In today's announcement, Tools for Humanity CEO Alex Blania stated, "In the age of artificial intelligence, the need to prove one's identity is no longer a serious debate, but a critical question of whether we have privacy-first, decentralized, and maximally inclusive identity solutions."