worldcoin orbs in a field in Germany

What is Worldcoin? How Does it Work? A Chainsaw Explainer

7 min read

This article is for general information purposes only and isn’t intended to be financial product advice. You should always obtain your own independent advice before making any financial decisions. The Chainsaw and its contributors aren’t liable for any decisions based on this content.



Worldcoin is the cryptocurrency that everyone will soon be talking about. But what is Worldcoin? And why is it different to other cryptocurrencies? What is World ID? And what is a Worldcoin wallet? What is the World App? And who is the famous name behind this new cryptocurrency system? How do people buy Worldcoin? Let’s find out!

What is Worldcoin?

Worldcoin (separate from the already-existing crypto named World Coin — note the space) has the same philosophy as Bitcoin in terms of being decentralised (owned and controlled by no one, theoretically). However, this crypto is aiming to be easier to use and to be the global cryptocurrency of choice. The coin is designed to be sent to anyone in the world, person-to-person, from crypto wallet to crypto wallet, for free. It is borderless. No banks involved, no payment services involved. A person who works in Australia can send Worldcoin to their family in Nigeria immediately, directly, for free. At least, that’s the promise.

Is Worldcoin a cryptocurrency?

Worldcoin is a cryptocurrency that is aiming for worldwide adoption. The unique feature here is a new system called Proof-of-Personhood. This is courting some controversy, but the goal of the new protocol is to become the first truly global cryptocurrency that allows people who aren’t in the banking system to be part of the global economy.

How does Worldcoin work?

Worldcoin is still being developed (it’s in its beta-phase so it is still undergoing testing before being released to the general public). But the idea behind it is to create a crypto that everyone can use, no matter what their economic situation is. One of the ways they plan to do this is by creating something called a World ID. The World ID is like a digital identification that can prove who a person is, without revealing their personal information.

To get started, users need to download the World App. The World App acts like a crypto wallet to hold WorldCoin, and other cryptos. Then, users need to find a local Worldcoin Operator who can help verify their unique identity. You can locate one via the World App. This means that the user will need to get their eyeball scanned by an orb.

The worldcoin World app orb, which is proving to be controversial.
The World App orb, which is proving to be controversial. Image: Worldcoin.

Worldcoin Eye Scan

The orb is creating a lot of controversy. The ID system behind the World ID is created via a very dystopian-looking device called the ‘orb’. This orb scans people’s eyes to generate an “IrisHash,” which is used to verify their uniqueness. More or less, it scans the eye and makes it into a numerical code, which is the the user’s ID. This information is stored locally on the orb. If it doesn’t match anyone on Worldcoin’s database, the person can continue registration, and they can then access the Worldcoin wallet.

How does Worldcoin verify ID?

According to their website, Worldcoin has scanned eyes in multiple countries, including developing nations, with the aim of reaching a billion sign-ups. However, there are concerns about the handling of biometric data and the payment structure for those involved in collecting it.

Worldcoin has stated their commitment to protecting user data: “Privacy is a fundamental human right. Every part of the Worldcoin system has been carefully designed to defend it, without compromise. We don’t want to know who you are, just that you are unique. The Orb uses biometrics to check you haven’t signed up before. You choose whether any biometric data leaves the Orb. The Orb checks that you are real and that you have not signed up before. It does this by capturing and processing images of you and your unique iris pattern. Since no two people have the same iris pattern and these patterns are very hard to fake, the Orb can accurately tell you apart from everyone else without having to collect any other information about you — not even your name.”

They also say that images of users and their iris patterns are permanently deleted as soon as users have signed up, unless they opt in to Data Custody to reduce the number of times they may need to go back to an Orb. “Either way,” they say, “the images are not connected to your Worldcoin tokens, transactions, or World ID.”

The World App orb, which is proving to be controversial. Image: Worldcoin.
Image credit: Worldcoin

Is the orb safe?

As with any technology, there is always a risk of hacking or other security breaches. Can the information be hacked? We don’t know. It is important to do your own research before using any service to understand how your data will be collected, stored, and used.

Once the eye scan is complete, the user will receive their World ID in the World App, and they can use it for everyday transactions.

Who is behind Worldcoin?

The Worldcoin App has gained attention for its connection with CEO Sam Altman, who is a prominent figure in the AI industry and a founding creator of ChatGPT. The other founder and CEO of Worldcoin is Alex Blania. Blania’s background is less publicised, but according to his LinkedIn, he is previously a student of theoretical physics and a researcher at Caltech before getting involved with World App.

Organisations connected to Worldcoin

Worldcoin has received $125.5m from investors including Andreessen Horowitz, Variant, Khosla Ventures, Coinbase, and Tiger Global. Shadily, failed crypto entrepreneur Sam Bankman-Fried was also an early angel investor. Reid Hoffman, the co-founder of LinkedIn, has also been named as an investor.

How to buy Worldcoin

Can you buy Worldcoin? Good question. The crypto is a new and relatively unknown, and it is still in the beta testing phase, so it is not available to the public for purchase yet. Additionally, WorldCoin has not provided details about how and where the currency will be available for purchase once it is fully launched. However, presumably it will be listed on cryptocurrency exchanges, just like Bitcoin or Ethereum or any other crypto. So we will update this page once the company make an announcement about how to buy Worldcoin.

You might be able to buy Worldcoin directly through the company’s app or website too, using traditional currencies or other crypto. For now… we wait.

best crypto wallet vanity address wallet
Worldcoin wallet: The worldcoin wallet will be used via the World App. The WorldCoin wallet will also hold be compatible with other crypto as well.

Is Worldcoin safe?

It’s difficult say any cryptocurrency is safe including Worldcoin. It’s hard these days to say any fiat currency is safe, or even that the banks are safe. There’s no guarantees. Cryptocurrencies are a relatively new and evolving technology. As we don’t know much about Worldcoin’s security, their network, the underlying technology, or some people involved with it, it’s hard to say anything definitively. It’s important to do your own research and due diligence before investing.

Who owns Worldcoin?

According to their website, “Worldcoin is an open-source protocol, supported by a global community of developers, individuals, economists and technologists committed to expanding participation in, and access to, the global economy. The Worldcoin Foundation is the steward, and will support and grow the Worldcoin community until it becomes self-sufficient.”

The idea is that, eventually, ownership will belong to everyone. The Worldcoin Foundation will be the initial steward of the protocol until it becomes self-sufficient. That’s what they say, but only time will tell if that is what happens.

How much is Worldcoin worth?

It’s difficult to estimate how much a new coin like Worldcoin will be worth once it is released to the wider public. Many factors can affect the price of any crypto: supply and demand, investor sentiment, technological developments, and regulation.

That said, there are few things that really set it apart. One is that Sam Altman is behind it. His success with OpenAI and other ventures means that he already has a faithful following. Also, if it doesn’t creep people out too much, unique features like the World ID will give it an edge over other cryptocurrencies. And that it has seemingly altruistic goals might garner support.

The advice here is to do your research and carefully consider the risks before investing in any cryptocurrency.

Is Worldcoin legit?

While Sam Altman has a good reputation as a successful entrepreneur and investor, it does not guarantee the success or legitimacy of the cryptocurrency.

How do I find a Worldcoin Operator?

Download the App to locate an operator in your country (if one is available). You can also apply to be a operator if you want to hustle.

The best ways to receive the latest information about Worldcoin is to sign up for a World ID, download the World App or subscribe to email updates. You can also follow Worldcoin on Twitter or Discord.

Look into the orb! You may see some cryptocurrency!


In conclusion, Worldcoin is a promising new digital currency. It aims to create a more inclusive and accessible financial system (so the founders say). Its unique feature of a World ID helps protect user privacy while ensuring identity is verified. Although it is just in the early development stages, it is worth keeping an eye on its progress. Theoretically, it could revolutionise the way humans conduct transactions and pay each other globally.

Want to buy Worldcoin? Perhaps hold off a little. With questions around using biometrics to prove who you are, it may be too much for the millions of people around the world who feel like big tech has abused their privacy rights for too long.