The Outcome of Examining Sam Altman’s Orb A Disappointing Crypto

The Outcome of Examining Sam Altman’s Orb A Disappointing Crypto

The Orb: A Glimpse into the World of Worldcoin

In a bustling coworking space in Shoreditch, East London, a small crowd has gathered. Men in their 20s and 30s, many with beards, have come to see the Orb – a chrome device mounted on a pole, waiting to scan them, one by one. The Orb is the flagship technology of Worldcoin, a new cryptocurrency project developed by Tools for Humanity, cofounded by Sam Altman, the creator of ChatGPT and founder of OpenAI. The project aims to create a global identification system using biometric data to differentiate between humans and AI. This groundbreaking technology has already garnered attention and built a user base of over 2 million people across 30 countries.

The concept behind Worldcoin is to capture unique biometrics, such as irises, and encode them into a numeric string. By doing so, individuals can demonstrate their humanity and uniqueness, enabling them to access various services and participate in democratic processes. This identification system also has the potential to combat nefarious bot activity on social media platforms, from spam and fraud to the spread of disinformation. According to Alex Blania, co-founder of Tools for Humanity, the Orb is the only implementation that can solve this problem on a global scale.

Worldcoin has cleverly incentivized users to join the project by offering them a cryptocurrency reward in exchange for their biometric data. This method addresses the cold start problem, where it can be challenging to encourage people to participate in a new project. However, the idea of exchanging iris scans for cryptocurrency has raised concerns and drawn criticism. Edward Snowden, the NSA whistleblower, tweeted his admonishment, cautioning against the cataloging of biometric data. Blania assures that the raw images captured by the Orb are deleted, retaining only the numeric representation of the data unless an individual specifies otherwise.

Despite the controversy, a visit to the Orb in London reveals that many individuals are willing to overlook their apprehensions. Some are drawn to the project due to their admiration of Altman, whom they see as a tech visionary, while others are enticed by the potential financial gains of cryptocurrency. However, as more information about Worldcoin comes to light, experts in the crypto community are raising concerns that the project may not benefit regular users as much as intended.

The origins of Worldcoin can be traced back to Altman’s initial vision for a global universal basic income (UBI) scheme in 2019. To distribute wealth equitably, an identity verification technology was needed to prevent fraud and ensure fairness. In June 2021, the project took a different direction, launching a new cryptocurrency and offering shares to individuals who could demonstrate their unique identity. The Worldcoin Foundation, a nonprofit organization, was established to oversee the project as a public utility. Tools for Humanity, the company behind the Orb and the sign-up app, aims to generate future income from services built around the project.

Worldcoin conducted preliminary field tests across 27 countries, including both developed and developing nations. Independent contractors, known as Orb Operators, were responsible for scanning individuals’ irises and registering their unique identities. These tests helped refine the technology and expand the user base of Worldcoin. However, an investigation published by MIT Technology Review in April 2022 raised concerns about deceptive marketing practices and the lack of informed consent during the scanning process. Blania attributes these issues to the early stages of the startup, acknowledging that significant changes have been implemented since then.

On July 24, 2022, the Worldcoin token was finally ready for distribution. Altman and Blania expressed their hopes that Worldcoin would increase economic opportunity, establish a reliable distinction between humans and AI, preserve privacy, enable global democratic processes, and pave the way for AI-funded UBI. The scanning process at the Orb in London was swift, with participants simply providing their QR code and undergoing a facial scan. Despite the absence of identity verification, participants were fully informed beforehand.

As individuals completed their appointments with the Orb, many expressed a range of motivations for participating in the Worldcoin project. Some were fans of Altman and his previous work, while others saw it as a potential opportunity for financial gain. The allure of receiving free Worldcoin tokens through the genesis grant was also a strong driver for participation. However, experts in tokenomics have raised concerns about the project’s initial token distribution, which heavily favors pre-launch private investors and may disadvantage regular individuals who purchase tokens later on.

The Worldcoin token’s total supply will initially be capped at 10 billion, with 75% distributed to users over 15 years and the remaining portion allocated to Tools for Humanity staff and investors. At launch, only a maximum of 143 million tokens will circulate, with 100 million loaned to market makers to provide liquidity on exchanges. Some experts question the realistic valuation of Worldcoin and highlight the lack of a clear utility function beyond speculation. However, Blania has defended the gradual unfolding of utility over time, emphasizing that the project’s core is a digital identity and financial network.

Worldcoin has attracted significant attention, both positive and critical, for its ambitious goal of creating a global identification system and distributing cryptocurrency to users. The Orb, with its scanning capabilities, represents a tangible manifestation of this project. While concerns about privacy and tokenomics remain, Worldcoin is pushing the boundaries of technological innovation and challenging traditional notions of identity and finance. As the project progresses, its impact on the world of cryptocurrency and digital identity verification will undoubtedly continue to be closely observed.