What's the best way to build a biometric database? Well, you can steal fingerprints, faces, irises, and voice scans of millions of Americans, like US intelligence agencies, have done, or you can go the more ethical route and give people free cryptocurrency for their unique biometric data.
That's precisely what several Silicon Valley entrepreneurs are doing with their new start-up, Worldcoin, using orb-shaped devices to scan people's eyes in exchange for free cryptocurrency.
This is very weird.
It gets even weirder.
Worldcoin, founded by OpenAI CEO Sam Altman, Alex Blania, and Max Novendstern, have already convinced 100,000 people and growing that their irises, a ring-shaped membrane located behind the cornea of the eye, which no two are alike, are worth a Worldcoin coin.
"Cryptocurrency is a very powerful thing," Blania, Worldcoin's CEO, told CNBC. And it could be the golden ticket to amass a global database of irises with the promise to give people a free Worldcoin coin built on Ethereum.
In a separate interview, Blania told TechCrunch that the coin is part of a more significant effort to build a more equitable global economy driven by cryptocurrencies, AI, and the internet.
"[Worldcoin] started with a discussion that universal basic income will eventually be something that is very important to the world, and in general, getting access to the internet economy will be much more important than is obvious at this point," she said.
While the intentions of Worldcoin sound great, to solve some of the worst wealth inequality the world has ever seen, primarily because of central banks and their unorthodox monetary injections, the question that remains is what Worldcoin will do with a database of irises?
It's important to note that there are eight body parts other than fingerprints that make an individual unique. One of them is the iris.
With enough people driven into poverty because of COVID over the last 19 months, handing out free crypto might be the easiest way to build a biometric database. Then what? Sell it off to a government or spy agency?