Altruistically-planned crypto-biometrics firm stumbles


Ambitious plans are in the tech’s DNA, and few visions have been more stunning than scanning every human’s iris with the eyes. And then give everyone a basic income linked to biometrics.

Almost all of the latest proposed disturbances have had momentum issues. (Apple’s Steve Jobs said he wanted to change the world, for example, but ultimately only changed the pace of planned obsolescence.)

Altruistic cryptocurrency/biometrics unicorn Worldcoin didn’t give up on its idea or ideals, but the startup had to, as Bloomberg Put the“redesigns its launch plans.”

It could do worse than create a transparent biometric operation, which opponents of the company say is lacking.

At present, infrastructure holes complicate the dream of Worldcoin.

Its founders have so far collected iris scans of perhaps 500,000 people in around 20 countries, according to Bloomberg. The scans are processed using one of the company’s $3,000 silver basketball-sized devices.

The mind-boggling biometric project is just a supporting player in the Worldcoin dream. Scans would verify a person’s identity, allowing them to receive a Universal Basic Annual Income.

A new cryptocurrency Worldcoin would be the basis of this income. Everyone on Earth would receive a share of the crypto kitty. They could use their actions to raise their standard of living, theoretically freeing them to pursue their own capital-generating ideas.

Technical issues have forced the company to require a cellphone to participate, but not everyone on the planet has a safe toilet, let alone a smartphone.

Worldcoin was taken out of stealth mode last summer. Since last June, the startup’s workforce has increased tenfold, to 100 employees. The company is also hiring for dozens of positions, including software engineers for its biometric orb and an iris recognition specialist.

Its latest launch schedule could stretch through the end of this year, according to Bloomberg.

It was founded in 2019 by three entrepreneurs: Sam Altman, former leader of the iconic incubator Y Combinator; Alexander Blania, who studied theoretical physics at Caltech; and investment firm veteran Max Novendstern.

They’ve raised $25 million in seed and venture funding, according to Crunchbase. Investors include venture capital firm Andreessen Horowitz and LinkedIn co-founder Reid Hoffman.

Article topics

biometric enrollment | biometrics | cryptocurrency | data collection | identity verification | iris recognition | start | World Currency


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