Worldcoin Promised Free Crypto If They Scanned Their Eyeballs With “The Orb.” Now They Feel Robbed.

The Sam Altman–founded company Worldcoin says it aims to alleviate global poverty, but so far it has angered the very people it claims to be helping.

Worldcoin promised to jump-start the global crypto revolution with an audacious plan: to give out digital money to all 7.9 billion people on Earth. To spread its crypto gospel across the planet, Worldcoin recruited a corps of “Orb operators” whose job it was to scan people’s irises — in order, they said, to keep people from claiming their payment multiple times. The founders, including the high-profile tech investor Sam Altman, have said their goal is ultimately to lift billions out of poverty through a universal basic income. Top Silicon Valley venture firms Andreessen Horowitz (which also invests in BuzzFeed) and Khosla Ventures have poured millions into the outfit.

The currency has not yet been launched, but a BuzzFeed News investigation has found that Worldcoin is already wrestling with a host of problems, from managing angry Orb operators to concerns that the company is using its cryptocurrency as a way to amass millions of biometrics and perfect a new kind of authentication technology for the blockchain era.

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