Crypto Startup That Wants to Scan Everyone’s Eyeballs Is Having Some Trouble

Sam Altman’s Worldcoin wants to give cryptocurrency to everyone in the world, but the startup has pushed back its launch date and stopped operating in some countries.

Worldcoin has suspended its work in multiple countries after local contractors departed or regulations made doing business impossible. After technical challenges, it also instituted a new requirement that anyone signing up must have a smartphone — limiting its reach in developing nations, which have been key to the company’s vision. Worldcoin has also repeatedly delayed its target launch date, which is now set for later this year.

Worldcoin co-founder and Chief Executive Officer Alex Blania said in an interview last week that these setbacks are the natural result of “very aggressive testing” for a young startup. The company has grown from 10 employees to 100 in the last year, Blania said, and it’s still experimenting as it hones its operations. “You’re still talking to a Series A company, not an Uber,” he said. “Things are not perfect.”

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