Traders Are ‘Apeing’ Into a Sam Altman Crypto Lookalike, Driving Prices Higher

Prices for a completely different Worldcoin have climbed 68.4% over the last 24 hours, according to CoinGecko data.

AccessTimeIconOct 22, 2021 at 4:09 a.m. UTC
Updated May 11, 2023 at 6:12 p.m. UTC

Cryptocurrency traders are inadvertently pumping the price of a little-known altcoin they believe belongs to a project conceived by Sam Altman, former president of tech startup accelerator Y Combinator.

Altman, co-founder and CEO of artificial intelligence firm OpenAI, unveiled his “Worldcoin” (WC) project earlier on Thursday, promising fair distribution among as “many people as possible.”

“If a cryptocurrency were adopted at scale, it would vastly increase access to the internet economy and make applications possible that are now unimaginable,” the project’s webpage reads.

However, there is another WorldCoin (WDC), conceived as far back as 2013. It is a cryptocurrency “designed to be the world’s first digital currency of the future,” according to its website. The goal of this altcoin is to become the “cryptocurrency of choice” for merchants and consumers for everyday transactions.

Over the last 24 hours, WDC’s price has gone from $0.05 to around $0.09, and is currently up 68.4%, according to data by CoinGecko. So traders are apparently aping, or buying without having done much research, into the wrong coin.

The Altman-backed WC coin centers on a novel device WC developers call “the Orb.” The device captures an image of a person’s eye, which is converted into a short numeric code, making it possible to identify whether a person has signed up already.

If not, they receive their free share of Worldcoin.

The problem is, the WC coin has yet to begin trading on the open market, and the coin traders are confusing Altman’s project with the other, unrelated WorldCoin.


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Sebastian Sinclair

Sebastian Sinclair is a CoinDesk news reporter based in Australia.

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