A $1-billion crypto project has been dishing out coin - if you let them scan your eyeballs

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Cryptocurrencies are redefining the future of money - (Google Photo)
Cryptocurrencies are redefining the future of money - (Google Photo)

A project that aims to get cryptocurrency into the hands of as many people as possible has signed up more than 130 000 users so far — they just need to get their eyeball scanned in exchange. 

Worldcoin, which is backed by the likes of Andreessen Horowitz and co-founded by the former head of Y Combinator Sam Altman, said in a post on its website on Thursday that about 60 000 of the sign-ups have come in just the last four weeks. The reason for the eyeball scan is that the startup is using iris recognition to make sure that people who receive the crypto handouts aren’t getting multiple allocations. 

"It is still early, but the results of these field tests make us optimistic that Worldcoin will soon connect the first billion users in one commonly owned crypto network," the post said.

Worldcoin has a fixed supply of 10 billion tokens, with 20% used to fund production of Orb iris-scanner devices and initial protocol development, with the rest slated for users and operators that are helping to launch Worldcoin through the protocol. The number of tokens per sign-up will decay over time, Worldcoin said. 

The iris scan is used because it contains enough information to distinguish people accurately from each other, Worldcoin noted. But it said user accounts are never associated with any of the biometric data. Also, Orbs are able to resist fraudulent activity such as spoofing and tampering, it said.

While the decay in the token tally with time is an incentive for early adoption, it makes the value of each handout difficult to specify. 

Worldcoin is valued at about $1 billion, according to CoinDesk. Bitcoin’s market capitalisation is about $1.2 trillion.

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