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Worldcoin Raises $100M for Crypto UBI Amidst Backlash
Worldcoin has some very altruistic goals, but its critics question their true motives. Here's why you should care, plus catch up on Jack Butcher's latest collection.
TylerD's Market Summary
Today’s top news includes:
Worldcoin raising another $100M
Jack Butcher’s new collection goes to Christie’s
Yuga to reveal HV-MTL this week
A new Beeple and VeeFriends collab will haunt your dreams
Nike OF1’s debut with some issues
👁 Worldcoin Eyes $100M in New Funding
Have you heard about Worldcoin yet?
If not, you likely will soon.
Worldcoin is the crypto project co-founded by OpenAI CEO Sam Altman (creator of Chat-GPT).
And it has a lofty goal.
From their website: “Worldcoin is building the world’s largest identity and financial network as a public utility, giving ownership to everyone.”
While it's been in development for more than 3 years, it is back in the news for reportedly nearing a new $100 million financing round - a raise surrounded by controversy.
Here's the TLDR of the Worldcoin raise and current situation:
New funding round at $3B valuation, from new and previous investors (big names like a16z, Coinbase Ventures)
1.6M sign-ups (in beta) and 500k+ monthly active users of its World App
The project plans for an official launch within 6 weeks on its own blockchain
Migrating from Polygon to ETH layer-2 scaling solution Optimism
But the news of the raise has also risen concerns of the project's critics about its collection and use of biometric data.
Wait - What is Worldcoin?
Let's back up.
The main goal of Worldcoin is to create a global digital currency (and supporting infrastructure) that is distributed fairly and equitably to everyone around the globe.
Worldcoin has a three-part mission, to create:
a global ID
a global currency
an app that enables payment, purchases and transfers (along with other currencies)
A primary use case for this token would be for Universal Basic Income (UBI), ensuring a minimum level of wealth for citizens across the world.
The problem (or a key problem) - how do you verify real humans versus bots?
Enter Worldcoin's most controversial aspect, its proof-of-personhood protocol.
The proof-of-personhood protocol uses a biometric scan of the recipient's irises, verified against a government-issued ID.
According to TechCrunch, this is how it will work:
Users must first download the World App
Then they have their iris scanned using a silver, melon-sized orb that houses a custom optical system
Once the scan is complete, the individual is added to a database of verified humans, and Worldcoin creates a unique cryptographic “hash” tied to that real person (including a private key and a shareable public key)
Apparently the iris scan is not saved, but the hash is, which enables future transactions.
But this is where the controversy is brewing.
Vocal opponents are saying that Worldcoin is saving all of the biometric data and is simply farming for data across some of the world's poorest demographics.
Prior media has questioned Worldcoin's handling of the iris data, and what their true intended use of these biometrics may be in the future.
Any company with a mission as large as launching a global UBI will have its critics, but these critics seem to have some very valid points.
It will be very interesting to follow this situation over the next 6 weeks as Worldcoin looks to progress its rollout and beta.
For those interested in learning more and diving deeper, check out their website.
✅ Jack Butcher Debuts "Checks Elements"
We got some exciting news out of the Jack Butcher ecosystem late Sunday night.
Jack is set to release "Checks Elements," an innovative 152-piece collection that combines physical monoprints with on-chain NFT counterparts.
Checks Elements is inspired by the classical elements: Earth, Fire, Water, and Air
The collection is divided into six tiered releases: Alpha, Order, Isolate, Composite, Compound, and Complete
Each artwork in the collection is a generative piece on Ethereum, hand-drawn and then reproduced via a Mailander 202 lithographic printing press
The first auctions for Alpha Elements: Earth, Air, and Water begin at Christie's on 5/16, with the remaining pieces going up after 5/23
Any Checks or Opepens holders who bid in the auctions will receive free bidder's editions
And oh yeah, 30% of the proceeds are going to St. Jude's Children's Research Hospital.
Jack continues to change the game, bridging the digital and physical art worlds with Checks Elements.
He remains a top artist to watch in this space.
🚚 What else is happening in NFTs?
Here is the list of other notable headlines from the day in NFTs:
Trading volume bounced back to 12k ETH on Monday, with NFTs seeing a mix of red and green
Blur named BAYC and MAYC as the two newest Blend collections on Monday, leading to a quick, mild spike in both collections and then brief retrace
Yuga teased that its HV-MTL collection will reveal this week
Jack Butcher's Opepens saw a new ATH sale of 11.2 ETH for an R001 type III, along with several other sales in the 5-8 ETH range; the floor jumped 35% to 0.23 ETH as well
Lending protocol NFTfi launched its Earn Season 1, where borrowers and lenders can begin officially accruing rewards points (ahead of an expected airdrop)
Beeple and VeeFriends teamed up for a slightly terrifying Gift for the Gift Goat and Beeple collectors eligible for the drop, titled "Gift Goat"
🌎 Around Crypto and Web3
A few other Crypto and Web3 headlines that caught my eye:
The crypto market fell on the day; BTC -1.5% at $27,020; ETH -1% at $1,810
Nike's Our Force 1's debuted yesterday, though the team acknowledged some technical issues with the launch
HeyMint is co-branding its NFT launchpad product with Zeneca and Curious Addys in its effort to improve onboarding in Web3
🚀 NFT Total Volume
MAYC (3,894 ETH, 9.96 ETH Floor)
BAYC (2,029 ETH, 45.95 ETH)
Pudgy Penguins (943 ETH, 4.45 ETH)
Captainz (679 ETH; 8.75 ETH)
Wrapped Cryptopunks (484 ETH, 49.4 ETH)
📈 NFT Floor Price Increase
Genuine Undead (84%, 0.17 ETH Floor)
goblintown (46%, 0.28 ETH)
Opepen (35%, 0.23 ETH)
Checks - Originals (34%, 0.38 ETH)
0n1 Force (17%, 1.1 ETH)
🗓 Upcoming NFT Mints and Reveals
It's a slower day of new mints, with the highlight from DraftKings Reignmakers.
Golf fans, you will have your pick of 2 different packs dropping this afternoon, at 2 different price points.
Make sure to tune in to Jason Rouslin's new Spaces tomorrow to catch his weekly preview and thoughts on the new packs!
Shredderz (1:00 p.m. ET); free
CRE·ATU·RES by Patric Ortmann (1:30 p.m. ET); 1 ETH
Reignmakers PGA TOUR: Approach Stinger Pack (3:00 p.m. ET); $1,499
Reignmakers PGA TOUR: Approach Stinger Pack (3:30 p.m. ET); $249.99
EDITIONS #2 Dancers on Rooftops by Ben Hopper (6:30 p.m. ET); $25
Enjoy this write-up? Follow along with me on Twitter @tyler_did_it or reach out via email firstname.lastname@example.org.
For all volume and floor price data, see Lucky Trader's Project Rankings page.
For all upcoming mints, see Lucky Trader's Project Schedule page.