One word, Worldcoin. What is it really all about? Yes, there are various opinions that have been raised about Sam Altman’s idea of a global digital token but what is it really about? In Kenya, the general public is confused about Worldcoin with top government officials proving to be more confused about it.
To the general public, the common mwananchi, Worldcoin was nothing more than free Ksh. 7,700 ($54). It comes with a little catch, they think, giving away your data through an iris scan. With the current economic turmoil in Kenya, it was expected that Kenyans would turn up in large numbers to get their $54 which would give them a minor but important financial boost.
What is Worldcoin really about? Why is Sam Altman giving away free money?
To understand this, it’s important to understand how crypto currency works and what it looks to solve in the global financial space. The original idea of cryptocurrency was to provide people with a hedge against inflation.
Crypto’s main idea is to be decentralized, meaning that ultimately its supervision and decision making will rest with its community of users. The decentralization idea is what has created the famous animosity between cryptocurrency and governments or regulators. Something decentralized cannot be regulated, and makes it difficult to control the economy, and also control movement of illegal goods which can be paid for and not traced.
Governments’ opposition has been one main reason why cryptocurrency has not yet grown to be an acceptable form of payment widely, apart from when paying for purchases in the dark web. Another reason is that many people who are buying into cryptocurrency are not doing it to use it as a form of currency but are holding onto it with the hope that its value will increase over time.
With Worldcoin, Sam Altman is looking to solve these two problems hindering the development of cryptocurrency globally. Bitcoin was the first cryptocurrency that people really bought into and its value skyrocketed over a short period of time. Even though it brought many people to know about cryptocurrency, most saw it as an investment opportunity, we still do.
Sam Altman’s vision is for people to use digital tokens as an accepted tool for transaction globally. Getting to this target means governments having to also use this form of currency for transactions.
Sam Altman’s strategy
In order to get a digital token or a cryptocurrency to start gaining in value, you need to have as many people hold the token in their digital wallets. For the case of bitcoin, Satoshi Nakamoto created 100 million satoshis (the basic bitcoin unit or the digital token), so as more people bought into bitcoin the value of one Satoshi increased.
While we don’t yet know how many digital tokens Sam Altman has created with World coin, the more people get these coins in their digital wallets, the more its value will increase. This is why the ChatGPT founder is keen on getting more people to register with Worldcoin. Giving free tokens and all.
Other crypto wallets use a unique id for their users but Altman is going with a different strategy, scanning of the iris. The iris is the most unique identifier that is difficult to mimic and so once you hold your tokens in a digital wallet identifiable with your iris, no one will be able to access your coins. Except, maybe, Sam Altman.
The Data Risk
The biggest issue people have with this, and what has created controversy in Kenya, is what Sam Altman can do with that data. Being the creator of the most used AI platform, ChatGPT, is not doing Sam Altman any good. Many people are being led to believe that he could actually use this data to develop another big AI project.
The risk is that we don’t know what are Sam Altman’s limits with Artificial Intelligence. The rise of ChatGPT on its own created unrest among many who were convinced that it will replace their jobs. We, however, went over that hurdle as we got to understand that the mastering how to use ChatGPT could actually create more employment.
In the case of Worldcoin, there have been rumours that Sam could be collecting this data to create more intelligent AI models that could maybe provide cheap labour and render many jobless. We are not clear about the truthfulness of this but it’s an important risk to consider before registering on Worldcoin.
The Whole World Coin Strategy
Just like he did with ChatGPT, Sam Altman has an extensive plan for his Worldcoin project. The digital token is only but one part of his three-part plan to further digitize transactions in the globe.
The people and organizations supporting Worldcoin are developing the tools that work together to help it achieve its mission. These include:
- World ID – a privacy-preserving digital identity designed to help solve many important, identity-based challenges including proving an individual’s unique personhood
- Worldcoin Token – the first token to be globally and freely distributed to people, for both utility and future governance, just for being a unique individual
- World App – a fully self custodial app that enables payment, purchases and transfers globally using the Worldcoin token, digital assets, stablecoins and traditional currencies
Importantly, Worldcoin—through World ID’s unique digital identity—can play an important role in demonstrating humanness in an online world populated with increasingly advanced artificial intelligence.