Published on November 17, 2023, 8:33 pm

Sam Altman, the former CEO of OpenAI, has recently stepped down from his role and is also leaving its board, as announced by the company on Friday. While this news had an impact on Altman’s involvement with other entities such as Worldcoin, a crypto project he co-founded, uncertainties remain.

Following the announcement, Worldcoin’s token (WLD) experienced a decline of more than 13% in value, reaching $1.91. Despite inquiries into Altman’s future at Worldcoin and the project’s plans moving forward, TechCrunch did not receive any response from Worldcoin.

Worldcoin raised $115 million in May through a Series C funding round led by Blockchain Capital. In March, it was reported that Altman served on the board of Worldcoin but was not involved in day-to-day operations.

Worldcoin differentiates itself by using iris scan technology through its device known as Orb. This enables users to obtain an “iris code” or “World ID,” which grants them access to the project’s application and provides a form of digital identification. Tiago Sada, head of product for Tools for Humanity and a core contributor to Worldcoin, explained this verification process during an interview on TechCrunch’s Chain Reaction podcast in September.

While this approach allows individuals to prove their identity effectively, it also prevents duplication within the system. However, Worldcoin faced opposition from several countries in August when Kenya halted further scanning of its citizens’ irises (despite initial orders). Critics have accused the company of targeting developing economies. As part of its user acquisition strategy, the project grants most participants (excluding certain countries) 25 WLD tokens worth approximately $48 upon signing up – a practice some view as exploitative.

Sada defended this strategy by mentioning that focusing on emerging markets is common among projects in the cryptocurrency and technology sectors due to their relative ease of operation.

OpenAI mentioned in its statement on Friday that they no longer have confidence in Altman’s ability to continue leading the company. However, the announcement did not provide a detailed explanation as to why Altman was fired or his current standing with other related organizations, such as Worldcoin.

Worldcoin has achieved over four million downloads of its application and boasts “more than double” the number of active users globally, according to a blog post from early November. The platform currently has over 2.4 million unique users, with approximately 53,800 new accounts created in the past seven days (at the time of writing). Additionally, there have been over 59,000 daily wallet transactions recorded on Worldcoin’s website.

Despite facing criticism from various sources, Worldcoin remains committed to targeting emerging markets and expanding its reach amid ongoing challenges.


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