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Sam Altman, the CEO of OpenAI and the mastermind behind the development of ChatGPT, is embarking on a remarkable venture with the launch of his own cryptocurrency called Worldcoin. Backed by a substantial $100 million investment from renowned venture capitalists, Altman has introduced the World App, a cryptocurrency wallet accessible via smartphones. With ambitious aspirations, Worldcoin aims to achieve widespread ownership, envisioning a future where every individual on the planet possesses this unique digital asset.
How would the emergence of this new cryptocurrency impact Bitcoin (CRYPTO: BTC), which is currently the most widely used digital currency? Despite its more than ten years of existence, Bitcoin has not fully achieved some of its initial objectives, such as replacing traditional fiat currencies or becoming the dominant standard for online payments. Could the rise of a new competitor lead investors to reassess Bitcoin’s value?
Worldcoin is an ERC-20 token built on the Ethereum blockchain (CRYPTO: ETH). In practical terms, this means that Worldcoin will have a similar appearance and trading experience to the cryptocurrencies that investors are already acquainted with. ERC-20 tokens like Shiba Inu and Uniswap, which are among the largest cryptocurrencies by market capitalization, serve as examples. Therefore, Worldcoin does not introduce any groundbreaking innovations in this realm.
Worldcoin distinguishes itself by aiming to be not just a cryptocurrency, but also an international identity system. With its slogan “the global economy belongs to everyone,” Sam Altman envisions providing Worldcoin tokens to every individual residing on Earth.
And this is where things take an unusual turn. To receive your free Worldcoin crypto token and register for a Worldcoin ID, you are required to undergo an eye scan conducted by Sam Altman himself. Yes, Worldcoin has introduced the Orb, a distinctive iris-scanning device. Once your eyes have been scanned by the Orb, you can proceed further. According to Altman, this step is crucial to verify your authenticity as a human being and is not meant to infringe upon your privacy. He won’t even ask for your name.
But it’s understandable why some YouTubers would find Worldcoin intriguing. The introduction of this cryptocurrency carries a sci-fi dystopian vibe: The creator of the most powerful AI system globally has constructed a digital ID tracking system encompassing every individual on the planet, and now they mandate this digital ID for cryptocurrency investments. One Ethereum programmer has already described Worldcoin as “unrealistic and unsettling.”
Worldcoin vs. Bitcoin
Nevertheless, Worldcoin surpasses Bitcoin in at least two aspects. Firstly, it adopts advanced technology. While Bitcoin still relies on the 2009 proof-of-work blockchain technology, which involves mining and energy-intensive computer-driven mining rigs, Worldcoin utilizes the latest proof-of-stake technology from Ethereum, along with technologies from various Layer 2 scaling solutions for Ethereum. Worldcoin envisions a future with free transactions or “gas-free” transactions, meaning you won’t have to pay any type of transaction fees when transferring your Worldcoin. In simple terms, it aims to offer feeless transactions.
Furthermore, Worldcoin seems to be gaining traction at a much faster pace compared to Bitcoin. As of now, Worldcoin boasts over 1.7 million registered users globally. In contrast, it took Bitcoin around 14 years to reach 1 million distinct wallet addresses, each containing at least one bitcoin. This significant disparity suggests that Worldcoin is experiencing accelerated adoption and attracting a larger user base within a shorter timeframe.
It is worth noting that Sam Altman possesses the ability to infuse Worldcoin with the magic of ChatGPT. In a mere five days, ChatGPT garnered an astounding one million members, which could explain why investors are willing to invest $100 million in this innovative cryptocurrency venture. Altman has demonstrated his proficiency in rapidly scaling projects. The potential for cross-promotion is remarkable! Imagine receiving a friendly prompt to join Worldcoin whenever you utilize ChatGPT. Alternatively, envision Worldcoin becoming the exclusive currency for purchasing a premium ChatGPT subscription. The possibilities are intriguing and highlight the synergies between these innovative platforms.
How is Bitcoin valued?
However, I do have reservations about the ambitious scope of Worldcoin’s global expansion plans. Sam Altman’s goal of reaching 1 billion users within two years seems overly optimistic. Considering that there are approximately 8 billion people worldwide, the idea of putting Worldcoin in the hands of every single individual appears highly impractical, to say the least. Therefore, at this moment, I don’t believe Bitcoin should be overly concerned about the competition posed by Worldcoin.
If Worldcoin gains significant popularity, it would indeed warrant a discussion about the future value of Bitcoin. Many optimistic price predictions for Bitcoin are based on the belief that it will continue to disrupt the global financial system, with some forecasts even reaching as high as $1 million per coin. However, in my view, Worldcoin presents a compelling opportunity as an alternative cryptocurrency, particularly in underdeveloped and developing regions, primarily due to its free transaction feature. This could potentially position Worldcoin as a viable contender to displace Bitcoin in those areas.
I understand your cautious approach of adding Worldcoin to your watchlist as it presents an intriguing concept coming from the creator of ChatGPT. It’s always wise to keep an eye on emerging cryptocurrencies and evaluate their potential. However, your decision to hold onto your Bitcoin is also valid. Bitcoin’s established position as the pioneering cryptocurrency and its widespread adoption make it a reliable choice for many investors. Ultimately, it’s important to assess your investment strategy and make choices that align with your long-term goals and risk tolerance.
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