Free Crypto For An Eye Scan?

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China's central bank has warned companies against assisting cryptocurrency-related businesses
China's central bank has warned companies against assisting cryptocurrency-related businesses

Tech investor Sam Altman, the founder of Worldcoin, is offering free cryptocurrency for people willing to have their eyes scanned with an orb-shaped device. 

According to Worldcoin, 130,000 people have already participated and the amount each person will receive will vary from $10 and $200, depending on how many people get involved in the early stages. Worldcoin’s goal is to have 1 billion users by 2023.

The company has attracted $25 million from tech investors and is currently valued at $1 billion. Altman, the CEO of artificial intelligence group OpenAl, co-founded the company with physics student Sam Blania, and Max Novendstern, a former investment associate at Bridgewater Associates. 

Testers who wish to receive free cryptocurrency will have their iris scanned and the image will be encrypted into a unique code. The group says the privacy of each tester will be protected.

“We designed the whole system to be fundamentally privacy-preserving,” Blania said. “The iris code itself is the only thing leaving the orb. There’s no big database of biometric data,” Blania said.

Beginning in November, the Berlin-based company plans on producing 4,000 orbs a month and 50,000 a year. The company currently has 30 orbs and 70 employees. 

One of Worldcoin’s biggest goals is to expand the use of cryptocurrency so it can be used as an “infrastructure” to Universal Basic Income. UBI is based on the idea that if cash is handed out monthly to every U.S. citizen, the impact of automation and artificial intelligence will be mitigated.

"[Worldcoin] started with a discussion that universal basic income will eventually be something that is very important to the world, and in general, getting access to the internet economy will be much more important than is obvious at this point,” Blania says.

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