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Worldcoin, envisioned by Sam Altman, co-founder of OpenAI, is an ambitious cryptocurrency project aiming to establish the world's most extensive identity and financial network that is publicly accessible and owned by everyone. The core of Worldcoin lies in the World ID, a global identity network that prioritizes privacy. It employs zero-knowledge proofs to enable users to establish their "Proof of Personhood" online while keeping their privacy intact. Users must download the World App to participate in the Worldcoin protocol and create a World ID. To achieve this, they visit a physical device called the Orb that verifies humanness and uniqueness. The Orb, mostly operated by a network of independent local businesses known as Orb Operators, uses multispectral sensors for this verification.
WLD tokens are allocated freely to all holders of Orb-verified World IDs, aiming to make WLD one of the most widely distributed digital currencies. WLD is designed as a utility token with governance properties, enabling users to have a say in the future of the protocol. The introduction of World ID also opens up to possibilities for a "one-person-one-vote" mechanism in governance, which combined with the conventional "one-token-one-vote" mechanism, can lead to new forms of governance.
Worldcoin operates through the innovative World ID, an ingenious global identity network that prioritizes privacy. With the World ID, a person can authenticate their unique and real human identity to any platform synchronized with the protocol. This revolutionary system offers several advantages, including equal opportunity airdrops, safeguarding against bot/sybil attacks on social media, and promoting a more equitable distribution of finite resources. In addition, World ID introduces new forms of governance, such as quadratic voting, and could potentially facilitate a path to AI-funded Universal Basic Income (UBI).
To interact with the Worldcoin protocol, users must first install the World App, which is the first wallet app compatible with World ID creation. Users then visit a special imaging device known as the Orb to have their World ID Orb-verified. The Orb, usually run by independent local businesses termed Orb Operators, employs multispectral sensors to validate the uniqueness and humanness of a user and subsequently issue an Orb-verified World ID. Notably, all images captured in this process are automatically deleted from the device unless the user gives explicit consent to Data Custody.
The Orb, Source: WLD official website
Worldcoin's potential applications are boundless and can substantially increase global equality of opportunity. It could steer a future where every individual, regardless of geographical location, can partake in the global digital economy via universally accessible decentralized financial and identity infrastructure. As the network expands, its utility is projected to proportionally grow.
In the present day, several digital interactions are inaccessible globally, necessitating a transformative shift in the ways humans transact value, self-identify, and interact online. The integration of universal access to finance and identity can cultivate a future where:
1. Finance: Individuals can own and transfer digital money across borders instantly, making financial transactions truly global. This would interlink the world financially and enable everyone to participate economically online. This transformation has immense potential, as seen in the rapid raising of over $400 million globally for the COVID relief fund for India. Moreover, digital money offers greater safety than cash, making it crucial for instant cross-border transactions in crisis situations, like the Ukrainian refugee crisis where USDC facilitated aid distribution.
2. Identity: The integration of this new digital identity would limit the noise caused by Twitter bots, spam messages, and robocalls. An inclusive, privacy-preserving proof of personhood could be made available as public infrastructure, minimizing the impact of AI advances in producing convincingly human content. If each message or transaction included a "verified human" attribute, this would significantly filter noise in the digital realm.
3. Governance: Current Web3 collective decision-making often relies on token-based governance, which inherently excludes certain individuals and privileges those with greater economic power. A reliable, sybil-resistant proof of personhood, like World ID, can pioneer democratic global governance mechanisms, extending far beyond Web3 into the entire internet.
Worldcoin uniquely integrates finance and identity. This alignment can revamp traditional customer sharing value systems like coupons, referral and loyalty programs, which are often susceptible to fraud. A seamless, fraud-resistant digital identity could align incentives, benefiting both consumers and companies, and potentially spark a new era of user-owned businesses. Crucially, a proof of personhood can equitably distribute scarce resources, which is particularly significant in developing economies where social welfare systems grapple with resource capture. As AI progresses, a decentralized proof of personhood protocol could extend similar benefits globally to crucially counteract the concentration of economic power by fairly distributing AI-generated value through UBI.
WLD, Worldcoin's native token, is a utility token that offers governance capabilities, providing users the power to direct the future trajectory of the protocol. The WLD token is issued on Ethereum and the popular layer-2 scaling solution, Optimism. Following its launch, the Worldcoin Foundation will call for proposals and collaborate with the community to discern the interplay between World ID and the WLD token within the Worldcoin governance model. The community will play a crucial role in defining the WLD token's utility, which could extend beyond governance. Potential use cases could include the token being used for specific actions on the World App or alternative wallet apps, remittances, gratuities for artists, trade of goods and services, or to express approval or support for initiatives or causes. WLD token might serve as a global value storage.
The supply cap for the initial 15 years post-launch is fixed at 10 billion WLD, as enforced by the WLD smart contract. After this period, the governance may decide to apply an inflation rate of up to 1.5% annually if it is deemed essential for the long-term protocol sustainability. The allocation of newly minted tokens will also be determined by the governance. The token distribution to TFH and the Initial Development Team has been raised to 25%. Alongside a challenging market scenario, these factors led to the increase in allocation. Nonetheless, the Worldcoin Foundation is committed to apportioning the majority of the 10 billion token supply to Worldcoin users. As of now, WLD (Worldcoin) is ranked #118 by CoinMarketCap with market capitalization of $250,123,111 USD. The current circulating supply of WLD coins is 110,601,455.
WLD Token Allocation, Source: WLD official website
Worldcoin offers a unique proposition by aiming to become the largest identity and financial network globally. The mission to distribute the majority of the WLD tokens to individuals merely for being human sets it apart from other crypto projects. The integration of World ID can enable fair airdrops or token/NFT sales, safeguard against bots or sybil attacks on social media, and enable a fairer distribution of limited governmental resources. Furthermore, World ID can enable global democratic processes and new forms of governance and potentially pave the way to AI-funded UBI.
Considering the new proposition and technological innovations of Worldcoin, it presents an intriguing investment opportunity. However, like any investment, particularly in the volatile world of cryptocurrencies, it is not without risks. Interested investors should conduct thorough due diligence and understand the project's intricacies, its potential rewards, and associated risks.