Sam Altman wants to scan your eyeball in exchange for cryptocurrency

Altman, 36, said he concei­ved the idea in late 2019. The intention was to use crypto­c­u­­rrency to spread money aro­und equitably, inspired by the trendy economic theory kno­wn as universal basic in­c­ome
Sam Altman has a startup that intends to give a special type of cryptocurrency to ev­ery per­son on earth. But first, it wants to scan everybody’s eye­balls. The former head of the Silicon Valley business incubator Y Combinator is one of Worldcoin’s three founders. Among the many parts of its plan, Worldcoin has designed an orb-shaped device that wo­uld scan a person’s iris to build a unique personal identifier.

The company is backed by Andreessen Horowitz, the ve­n­ture capital arm of Coin­base Global, LinkedIn founder Reid Hoffman and Day One Vent­ures. It recently raised about $25 million from investors.

Altman, 36, said he concei­ved the idea in late 2019. The intention was to use crypto­c­u­­rrency to spread money aro­und equitably, inspired by the trendy economic theory kno­wn as universal basic in­c­ome. “I’ve been very interested in things like universal ba­sic income and what’s going to happen to global wealth re­d­i­stribution and how we can do that better,” he said. “Is there a way we can use techn­o­logy to do that at global scale?”

Worldcoin is still preparing for a formal unveiling, but for now, it is evaluating what it might take to one day get cryptocurrency to as many as possible. Under Altman, Y Combinator planned experiments on universal basic in­come that have faced some delays and complications. In a 2019 interview with economist Tyler Cowen, Altman discussed how a system that could distribute money to all could circumvent the need for government redistribution.

With Worldcoin, it promises “a new global digital curr­e­ncy that will launch by giving a share to every sing­le pe­­­r­son on earth”, says an online job description.




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