Sam Altman, CEO of OpenAI and the visionary behind ChatGPT, has unveiled his latest venture: Worldcoin, a cryptocurrency with ambitious plans to become the world’s most popular digital currency. Backed by a substantial $100 million in venture capital funding, Altman aims to distribute Worldcoin to every person on the planet, making it a globally recognized cryptocurrency.
While Worldcoin’s introduction sparks curiosity about its potential impact on the cryptocurrency landscape, particularly Bitcoin, it is important to consider the challenges it may face. Bitcoin, despite its over a decade of existence, has not fully realized its initial goals of replacing fiat currency or becoming a ubiquitous form of online payment. Therefore, the rise of a new competitor like Worldcoin could prompt investors to reassess Bitcoin’s valuation.
Worldcoin operates as an ERC-20 token on the Ethereum blockchain, which means it follows the familiar structure of other established cryptocurrencies. However, what sets Worldcoin apart is its vision to function as both a digital currency and a global identification system. Altman’s plan to distribute Worldcoin tokens to every human on Earth is where concerns arise. To obtain Worldcoin, individuals are required to scan their irises using a proprietary tool called the Orb. While Altman insists this process is intended to verify authenticity rather than invade privacy, critics have voiced apprehensions about the implications of such a system.
In terms of technology, Worldcoin possesses two advantages over Bitcoin. Firstly, it utilizes the latest proof-of-stake technology from Ethereum and leverages Layer 2 scaling solutions, which enable “gas-free” transactions, meaning users can move Worldcoin without any transaction fees. Secondly, Worldcoin exhibits faster adoption potential compared to Bitcoin, with over 1.7 million individuals already registered, while Bitcoin took nearly 14 years to reach 1 million unique wallet addresses.
Altman’s association with ChatGPT, known for its rapid user growth, adds further allure to Worldcoin. The potential for cross-promotion between ChatGPT and Worldcoin presents intriguing possibilities. However, despite these advantages, Worldcoin’s grandiose plans for global expansion, aiming to reach 1 billion users in two years, seem impractical given the current Earth population of 8 billion. Consequently, Bitcoin, as the leading cryptocurrency, does not face immediate concerns from Worldcoin’s aspirations.
Nevertheless, if Worldcoin gains early traction, a serious discussion regarding Bitcoin’s future valuation may arise. Particularly in poor and developing markets, where Worldcoin’s cost-free nature could make it a viable alternative, Bitcoin’s market position could be challenged. As Worldcoin, with Altman’s backing, continues to evolve, it warrants attention, but Bitcoin remains a resilient and preferred choice for many investors, including the author.
In conclusion, Sam Altman’s Worldcoin poses as a potential competitor to Bitcoin, but significant hurdles lie ahead. While its superior technology and early adoption numbers are noteworthy, the ultimate goal of distributing Worldcoin to every person on Earth appears impractical. Bitcoin’s dominant position and established presence in the cryptocurrency market provide it with stability, though the emergence of a promising competitor like Worldcoin should not be dismissed outright.