Worldcoin Wants to Pay You For Your Eyeball — Here’s Why You Shouldn’t

Amanda Claypool
9 min readAug 21, 2023
Photo by Cam on Unsplash

Worldcoin might be the most important financial innovation since Bitcoin. Yet, very few people are talking about it.

What is it exactly? Worldcoin is a crypto project that combines biometrics with decentralized finance. You open an account by scanning your eye, which provides the basis for verifying your identity. Once you’re in, you can earn Worldcoin’s native token, WLD.

In theory, Worldcoin solves two major problems in the age of AI. It has found a way to differentiate a human from a machine while providing that human with a pathway to earn an income once automation takes their jobs.

In practice, however, nothing of this scope or scale has been attempted before. Biometric scanning tied to a digital financial record could have unintended consequences that the world might not be prepared to handle just yet.

This essay will dive into what Worldcoin is, how it works, and why you should be skeptical of it. If you weren’t previously aware of Worldcoin, you will want to start paying attention to it after reading this.

Worldcoin is a cryptocurrency project and digital financial system that validates human identity through an iris scan.

Worldcoin was founded in 2019 by Sam Altman, Alex Blania, and Max Novendstern. According to its website, Worldcoin:

“aims to establish universal access to the global economy regardless of country or background. It is designed to become the world’s largest human identity and financial network, giving ownership to everyone.”

Its goal: create a more human-centric economy in the age of AI.

Worldcoin believes it can do this by leveraging blockchain technology. It is built on Optimism, a Layer 2 scaling solution built on top of Ethereum. It uses what it refers to as Proof of Personhood to allow users to engage in transactions with one another.

Worldcoin argues that Proof of Personhood is an essential building block to establish a digital identity. This is becoming increasingly necessary thanks to rapid advancements in artificial intelligence where traditional ways of verifying…

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Amanda Claypool

I’m a writer & strategy consultant musing about the future of the world as it’s unfolding. Stay ahead of the curve: https://amandaclaypool.ck.page/reading-list