Worldcoin Foundation $5M Grants Program Focuses on 'Equitable Systems'

The grants are supposed to give developers a “focus on building resilient technology and more equitable systems.”

AccessTimeIconDec 6, 2023 at 2:00 p.m. UTC

The Worldcoin Foundation, a non-profit that supports the development of the Worldcoin protocol, announced on Wednesday a $5 million community grants program called “Wave0.”

The grants are supposed to give developers a “focus on building resilient technology and more equitable systems” on Worldcoin, according to a draft press release seen by CoinDesk. The foundation will commit $5 million in funding across three grant tracks, and will be made in WLD token, the native token for the Worldcoin protocol, which runs on the Ethereum blockchain.

Remco Bloemen, the head of protocol at the Worldcoin Foundation, told CoinDesk in an interview that the grants are not just aimed at developers, but that “there's a larger community effort here to be made, which is also like raising awareness, educating people of the importance” of the work the technology tries to solve, in terms of “income inequality, governance and other existential risks.”

The grants will be given to projects that are looking into research and development efforts, such as the intersection of privacy and biometrics, Bloemen said. Other grant recipients could be those who come up with use cases that leverage Worldcoin and World ID.

This news comes as Sam Altman, the co-founder of Tools for Humanity, which is the primary developer firm behind Worldcoin, found himself in a messy kerfuffle with OpenAI, after initially being fired and then eventually rehired as CEO.

Despite OpenAI’s mission, Worldcoin remains committed to decentralization, Alex Blania, the co-founder and CEO of Tools for Humanity, the leading developer behind the protocol, told CoinDesk in an interview. Project officials previously had said that Altman's role at Worldcoin was unaffected by the governance upheaval at OpenAI.

“In five years, neither Sam or me will matter at all for what happens to Worldcoin. It's a process and that's kind of how we think about it,” Blania said. “It’s fundamentally very different from OpenAI.”

Edited by Bradley Keoun.


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Margaux Nijkerk

Margaux Nijkerk reports on the Ethereum protocol and L2s. A graduate of Johns Hopkins and Emory universities, she has a masters in International Affairs & Economics. She holds a small amount of ETH and other altcoins.