Worldcoin, a startup that promised cryptocurrency in exchange for scanning eyeballs, has left its user base aggrieved.
What Happened: According to a report published by Buzzfeed on Wednesday, Worldcoin is in the middle of several problems including managing Orb operators, angry users, and actually getting its Worldcoin cryptocurrency off the ground.
Worldcoin was started by Alexander Blania, Max Novendstern, and Sam Altman in 2019 with the ambitious goal of global wealth redistribution using technology and cryptocurrency. Essentially, an iris scanning orb would distribute 25 Worldcoin WLD/USD tokens to those who opt in. With Worldcoin still yet to launch, these WLD tokens effectively have no real value today, Buzzfeed noted.
“They robbed me of my money,” said Kudzanayi, a 32-year-old truck driver based in Africa who had his eyeball scanned by the orb.
“It's now more than 3 months, what did you do with our eyes?” wrote an anonymous user to an orb operator. “This was all a lie this worldcoin is the same as other scams. Prove me wrong if l am talking lies,” said another.
“Quite surely, in some places, communication, marketing, all of those things, could have been clearer and better and we will improve that,” Worldcoin CEO Alex Blania told Buzzfeed.
Blania also refuted the notion that Worldcoin’s purpose was to harvest eyeballs for a token that could turn out to be worthless, calling the claims “just very wrong.”
The company reportedly plans to erase all iris images after distilling them into a unique string of letters and numbers, called an iris-hash, to be stored in Worldcoin’s database.
The startup is backed by several high-profile investors, including Coinbase Global Inc’s COIN venture arm and Andreessen Horowitz. It has raised around $25 million to date from investors across the globe.
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