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What is Worldcoin? ChatGPT Chief Unveils Eyeball-Scanning Crypto as Digital Passport For All

Last Updated March 4, 2024 3:05 PM
Andrew Kamsky
Last Updated March 4, 2024 3:05 PM

Key Takeaways

  • Worldcoin is an open protocol, which strives to offer global economic access, foster economic opportunities, and explore AI-funded universal basic income potential.
  • World ID is an advanced digital identity feature prioritizing privacy, distinguishing humans from Artificial Intelligence.
  • Cryptocurrency is freely distributed in the form of Worldcoin Tokens granted to individuals proving personhood through World ID.
  • Worldcoin embraces decentralization by being transparent, verifiable, and an inclusive protocol with a permissionless operation and custom wallet.

Worldcoin is an open-source protocol founded by Alex Blania, Max Novendstern and Open AI’s CEO Sam Altman with their goal to create a new identity and financial network accessible to a global audience. The Worldcoin project came into existence under the ownership of a technology company known as Tools for Humanity (TFH) in 2019.

The project is poised to offer economic opportunities, safeguard privacy in an AI-driven world, facilitate democratic processes, and potentially lead to AI-funded Universal Basic Income (UBI).

The core components of Worldcoin are the World ID and the Worldcoin Token designed to provide individuals with a privacy-preserving digital identity and a digital currency, received merely for being human. 

What is World ID?

Worldcoin’s World ID refers to digital identity, which is an advanced digital identity solution designed to focus on privacy. It tackles various identity-related challenges and serves as a proof of a person’s unique identity in an AI-driven world. This digital identity plays a vital role in differentiating humans from advanced artificial intelligence in the online domain. 

Proof-of-Personhood (PoP) system is an innovative approach to establishing and encrypting said individual’s identity on the blockchain using a spherical eye-scanning device for biometric authentication. This system aims to ensure a unique digital identity for every user and tackle issues related to bots and fake accounts

What is the Worldcoin Token?

Worldcoin Token (WDC), is the digital currency distributed globally and freely to individuals. This unique initiative grants people utility and future governance rights within the Worldcoin ecosystem. Designed to empower and reward every participant, the Worldcoin Token aims to foster a vibrant and inclusive community.

What is the World App and Why Should I Use It?

To facilitate seamless global transactions, Worldcoin offers the World App, a fully self-custodial application. Through this app, users conduct payments, make purchases, and execute transfers across various digital assets, stablecoins, and traditional currencies.

How Does Worldcoin Work?

The process of engaging with Worldcoin involves three simple steps:

Step 1: Download The World App

The World App serves as a gateway to engaging with the decentralized protocol of Worldcoin and access to its ecosystem. By downloading this application, users may create their Worldcoin account and access a digital wallet interconnected with Worldcoin, Bitcoin, Ethereum, and other digital and traditional cryptocurrencies, including stablecoins.

Step 2: Sign Up For World ID

While the World App can be used without a World ID, signing up brings additional benefits. To receive a free share of Worldcoin tokens and other digital currencies, users must visit a Worldcoin Operator and undergo verification using a biometric verification device called an ORB.

The ORB, about the size of a large grapefruit, uses a system of infrared cameras, sensors, and AI-powered neural networks to capture an individual’s iris data. Once the scan is completed, the ORB converts the biometric image into an impenetrable string of numbers, referred to as the “IrisCode”. Iris recognition is an automated method to capture biometric identification using mathematical pattern-recognition techniques on video images of one or both of the irises of an individual’s eyes. 

The ORB uses biometrics to establish the person’s unique identity creating a digital World ID, ensuring pseudonymous use in various everyday applications while preserving user anonymity.

Step 3: Receive Free Worldcoin And Digital Currencies

Once a person’s unique identity is verified through the World ID, they gain access to a range of digital currencies and receive free airdrops of Bitcoin, Ethereum, and more. 

Following the mainnet launch, individuals in countries where the Worldcoin Token is available, as per the terms and conditions, can claim their share of free Worldcoin Tokens using their World ID.

Organizations That Supports Worldcoin

Worldcoin’s development and support are underpinned by two organizations being, the Worldcoin Foundation  and Tools for Humanity  (TFH).

The Worldcoin Foundation

The Worldcoin Foundation operates as a non-profit organization, which currently plays a vital role in nurturing and growing the Worldcoin community until it becomes self-sufficient. Their efforts help cultivate a community of developers by awarding grants, and establishing avenues for user participation in the protocol’s governance.

Tools For Humanity (TFH)

Tools for Humanity is a global technology company that spearheaded the initial development of the Worldcoin protocol. Additionally, TFH continues to build essential tools and provide support for the Worldcoin ecosystem, along with operating the World App. Their commitment extends beyond Worldcoin, focusing on developing other essential tools that will contribute to broader positive impacts.

Is Worldcoin A Cryptocurrency?

Yes, Worldcoin (WLD) is indeed a cryptocurrency. However, it distinguishes itself from traditional cryptocurrencies due to its unique distribution model. 

While most cryptocurrencies require mining or purchasing them, Worldcoin follows an innovative approach of freely distributing its tokens. Every individual, merely by proving their personhood through the World ID, is entitled to receive Worldcoin Tokens, making it a cryptocurrency owned by everyone. 

The utility of the WLD tokens lies in their role within the Worldcoin ecosystem, which is designed to create a global identity and financial network accessible to everyone, regardless of their location, background, or economic status.

Tokenomics Of The Worldcoin

The initial total supply of Worldcoin is 10 billion WLD. Upon launch, July 24, 2023, the total circulating supply of WLD is capped at 143M WLD, with 43M WLD allocated to users who verified with the ORB pre-launch and 100M WLD loaned to market makers outside the US (with a 3-month loan expiration).

The supply cap is fixed to 10 billion WLD, enforced by the WLD smart contract. After 15 years, the governance committee may decide to implement an inflation rate of up to 1.5% per year if it deems necessary for the long-term sustainability of the protocol. 

Governance will also decide how to allocate these newly minted tokens (if any). The inflation cap of 1.5% per year is enforced by the WLD smart contract. Per default, unless changed via governance, the inflation rate is set to 0%.

The 10B WLD tokens are allocated to different stakeholders as follows:

  • 75% of the WLD tokens are allocated to the Worldcoin community.
  • 9.8% of the WLD tokens are allocated to the Initial Development Team.
  • 13.5% of the WLD tokens are allocated to TFH Investors.
  • 1.7% of the WLD tokens are allocated to the TFH Reserve.

Worldcoins white paper for further details can be read here .

How Do You Earn from Worldcoin?

Earning from Worldcoin is a simple and inclusive process. By signing up for World ID and verifying their unique personhood, individuals become eligible to receive free shares of Worldcoin Tokens and other digital currencies. After the individual gets verified on World ID, that person will be rewarded with WLD tokens. Verified users receive an initial allocation of 25 WLD tokens as a form of digital identity.


Worldcoin, an open-source protocol founded in 2020, aims to create universal access to the global economy. With the innovative World ID and freely distributed Worldcoin Token, it prioritizes privacy and offers economic opportunities, potentially leading to AI-funded Universal Basic Income. 

By embracing decentralization, Worldcoin ensures transparency and aligns governance with its diverse community. The Orb, a digital identity solution, plays a role in distinguishing humans from AI. As the project progresses, Worldcoin envisions a future where its digital currency is widely used and embraced, fostering financial inclusivity and empowerment for individuals worldwide.


How can I get started with Worldcoin? 

To get started with Worldcoin, download the World App, create a Worldcoin account, and access a digital wallet interconnected with various digital and traditional currencies. 

Is Worldcoin a decentralized protocol? 

Yes, Worldcoin is designed to be decentralized and ensure transparency, verifiability, and alignment with the community’s interests. It follows a permissionless operation model, allowing anyone to issue and use and participate.

How can I verify myself to receive Worldcoin Tokens? 

To verify your unique personhood and receive free Worldcoin Tokens, you need to sign up for a World ID. Visit a Worldcoin Operator and undergo verification using a biometric verification device called an Orb. The Orb uses biometrics to establish your unique identity and create your digital World ID.

Can I use Worldcoin’s World App with other digital wallets? 

While World App is the first client to support Worldcoin, the project envisions allowing users to easily export their accounts to other wallets or use third-party wallets at the time of verification with an Orb. 

How much is 1 WorldCoin worth?

On 25 July 2023, 1 Worldcoin (WLD) was traded at $2.02 .

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