Are you a fan of cryptocurrency? Do you enjoy the air-puffing, pupil-dilating experience of visiting the optometrist? Have you ever read your phone's privacy policy and thought “wow, I wish Apple would take even more of my personal information, but like specifically about my eyeballs"? Well, folks, it seems Sam Altman, the former President of startup accelerator Y Combinator, apparently has the solution for not only your weirdly specific desires, but also perhaps for the struggles of doling out a universal basic income, developing a cryptocurrency that anyone can acquire – in exchange for a scan of their eyeballs.

Yep, according to Bloomberg, Altman and the other two founders of Worldcoin claim they've devised a means of giving everyone on Earth soft, amorphous cryptocurrency, a plan including developing an “orb-shaped device that would scan a person’s iris to construct a unique personal identifier," per the outlet's reporting. According to a job listing for the company's Head of Growth position, Worldcoin claims it is dedicated to working towards creating “a new global digital currency that will launch by giving a share to every single person on earth," using a “dedicated hardware device ensuring both humanness and uniqueness of everybody signing up, while maintaining their privacy and the overall transparency of a permissionless blockchain.” Despite sounding somehow optimistic, deeply dystopian, and extremely confusing, the project has recently acquired roughly $25 million from its various investors, including Reid Hoffman, the founder of the only social platform where you can post all the #hustleporn your heart desires without being instantly dubbed a douchecanoe, LinkedIn. 

Although Worldcoin has yet to be formally announced– the Bloomberg article apparently the result of the business publication somehow learning about the project early and the company's execs probably saying “eh, f--- it" – it seems the team behind the crypto already has a clear vision for how they want their digital currency to function. 

“So many people around the world don’t have access to financial systems yet,” said Alexander Blania, a former theoretical physics student and one of the new crypto's non-Altman founders. “Crypto has the opportunity to get us there.”

Altman also echoed these sentiments when speaking with the outlet, delving into the inspiration behind his idea. “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 of the venture, which he claims he first thought of in late 2019. “Is there a way we can use technology to do that at global scale?”

While it is unclear if 36-year-old Altman can actually answer this question, as he says he acts more as an advisor to Worldcoin rather than partaking in everyday operations, it seems the tech side of the company is well on its way to achieving its goal – at least in the eye scanner department, a feature Blania says is necessary to prevent people from scamming the company by registering multiple times. According to the 27-year-old co-founder, the company has created a handful of the spherical, basketball-sized prototype devices, which they have begun testing throughout various metropolitan areas, exchanging participant's eye scans (and, of course, their feedback) for other pre-existing cryptocurrencies, like Bitcoin, as Worldcoin is not yet operational. 

When asked about the elephant in the room – privacy concerns – Blania gave the basic Silicon Valley spiel, noting that while he's aware of the alarm bells a small startup handling biometric data sets off, he maintains the company will be transparent about how their data is used. He also added that the scans will create a unique code, with the eyeball images being deleted shortly thereafter. 

So folks here's to the next great get-rich-quick scheme – eyeball altering contacts!

Top Image: Shutterstock

For more internet nonsense, follow Carly on Instagram @HuntressThompson_ on TikTok as @HuntressThompson_, and on Twitter @TennesAnyone.

Is Ad Technology Ruining the Internet?

Love Cracked but hate the ads? Get the One Cracked Fact daily newsletter--just enough Cracked sent to your inbox every day with zero videos. Sign up today!

Forgot Password?