ChatGPT creator’s iris-scanning crypto project signs up hundreds of users in Hong Kong amid controversy

July 28, 2023

By Sharan Kaur Phillora

Worldcoin, the innovative cryptocurrency project initiated by Sam Altman, the mastermind behind ChatGPT, is stirring up the digital space. The venture, leveraging iris-scanning technology, is accumulating an impressive user base in Hong Kong despite global criticism.

Here’s what we know:

Worldcoin, introduced to the public in 2021, presents a unique take on cryptocurrency distribution. As the boundaries blur between humans and artificial intelligence online, Worldcoin believes iris recognition is a crucial tool for verifying the uniqueness and humanity of its users, as stated in a company blog post released in February.

The company aims to usher users into the expanding digital and global economy, facilitated by these tokens, enabled by their digitally verified identities across countries including Britain, Japan, and India.

Hong Kong residents had the opportunity to access Worldcoin tokens as of Monday at 4 pm, marking a significant milestone in Worldcoin’s global penetration across 35 cities spanning 20 countries.

To gain access to this crypto venture and to create a World ID, interested individuals were guided to one of three strategic city locations where a device named “Orb” was present to scan their faces and iris, providing an integral part of the identity verification process.

Once the process was complete, the users were rewarded with 25 Worldcoins in their digital wallets, equivalent to approximately US$60 based on Wednesday’s market price. 

Notably, Ausvic Capital, a venture capital firm operating from Cyberport, a government-backed business park in Hong Kong, reported successfully enrolled 200 individuals on Monday alone, according to Alan Li, the firm’s director. 

Additionally, he reported a further 100 sign-ups for Worldcoin via the Orb on Tuesday, despite the operation’s limited hourly slots.

About the author

Sharan Kaur Phillora’s thirst for knowledge has led her to study many different subjects, including NFTs and Blockchain technology – two emerging technologies that will change how we interact with each other in the future. When she isn’t exploring a new idea or concept, she enjoys reading literary masterpieces.

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