A16z, Coinbase-Backed Startup Looks to Distribute Crypto to Everyone on Earth by Scanning Their Eyeballs: Report

Worldcoin has designed an orb-shaped unit to produce a unique identifier from an iris scan.

Jun 29, 2021 at 3:06 p.m. UTC
Updated Sep 14, 2021 at 1:18 p.m. UTC

Worldcoin, a startup founded by former Y Combinator head Sam Altman, wants to distribute crypto to everyone on the planet by scanning their eyeballs.

  • The company has designed an orb-shaped unit that can produce a unique personal identifier from an iris scan, Bloomberg reported Tuesday.
  • Altman, former president of startup accelerator Y Combinator, devised the concept in 2019 around experimentation on universal basic income and how money could be distributed to people in a way that circumvents the role of government.
  • "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," Altman said to Bloomberg.
  • Aspirations of financial inclusion are nothing new in crypto, though the concept of scanning eyeballs may be seen as a controversial way of achieving it.
  • Worldcoin, whose backers include Andreessen Horowitz, Coinbase Ventures and LinkedIn founder Reid Hoffman, recently raised around $25 million from investors, Bloomberg said.
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