A new startup boasting backing by major digital exchange Coinbase hopes to distribute cryptocurrency to people around the world in a very unconventional way – by scanning their eyeballs.
Worldcoin (not to be confused with existing crypto project worldcoin.global) has developed a spherical device that can uniquely identify a person by scanning their iris. The device can then send cryptocurrency to their accompanying digital wallet in what’s touted as a universal income-like scheme. Founded by Sam Altman, former head of popular Silicon Valley business incubator Y Combinator, the Worldcoin project is being run by 27-year-old Alexander Blania and has some interesting plans in the pipeline.
According to one report by Bloomberg News, the startup intends to create a database by scanning “everybody’s eyeballs”. This is currently being tested on volunteers in various cities across the US in exchange for small amounts of Bitcoin or other cryptocurrencies. However, considering the growing wave of conspiracies regarding government surveillance and tracking, this requirement is likely to raise concerns amongst some citizens.
Altman, however, prefers to highlight the project’s goals of wealth distribution, telling Bloomberg: “I’ve been interested in things like universal basic income and what’s going to happen to global wealth distribution and how we can do that better, is there a way we can use technology to do that at a global scale.”
With $25 million in capital injections from high-profile investors like Coinbase, Andreessen Horowitz, and LinkedIn’s Reid Hoffman, the startup is already on to a good start. Getting millions of people to agree to an eyeball scan, however, may prove more difficult than they imagine.