Worldcoin Is Older Than Ethereum —Just Not the Eyeball-Scanning One

Worldcoin is an angry, angry blockchain.

Two years before Ethereum had even been released, Worldcoin had already weathered a double-spend attack and released Worldcoin v3 — Flirtatious Ant, to rectify the situation. The DAO hack on Vitalik’s blockchain was still three years out and this payments-oriented blockchain was already negotiating a blockchain-wide crisis. And yet today no one is talking about Worldcoin.

Well, everyone is talking about Worldcoin. They’re just not talking about that Worldcoin. They are talking about the Worldcoin that just raised $25M at a $1 billion valuation, co-founded by the former president of Y Combinator, Sam Altman.   

The internet is abuzz about the new Worldcoin because of the big names and numbers, but also because it has weird optics. People are going around scanning people’s eyeballs with these devices that look sort of like the spaceship in Flight of the Navigator and then giving the scannees cryptocurrency. 

It’s unusual.

Big Tech

Lots of people have been disconcerted by this eyeball scanning. That’s not what the O.G Worldcoin builders are mad about though. They are mad about Worldcoin stealing their coin’s name. 

“This is big tech trying to squash the little guy. They really should have chosen a different name,” someone behind the original Worldcoin’s email wrote to The Defiant in response to a query about the company’s take, signing the email only as “Worldcoin Community.”

In the post on Bitcointalk about Flirtatious Ant, Worldcoin explained, “Our major goal is to become the cryptocurrency of choice for merchants and consumers during their everyday transactions, whether it be a cup of coffee or bigger ticket items.” 

Day-to-day payments, as we know, haven’t really taken off in crypto, not for Worldcoin or even for Bitcoin.

We only found out that there had already been a Worldcoin when we got curious about whether or not the eyeball scanning tokens had begun trading. After typing “Worldcoin” into the search box at Coingecko, we found a Worldcoin (WDC), but it was clear it was a different blockchain. WDC is trading at about $0.06 in evening trading New York Time, for what it’s worth.

The email to The Defiant is not the only place where the Worldcoin team has expressed its ire, either. On the about page of the original Worldcoin’s website, it says:

“Welcome newcomers. We want to clarify something with you. We are not the “ORB RETINA SCANNING WORLDCOIN”. They are imposters stealing our name … We do not want you investing in the wrong coin. We are looking for steady growth and not a simple pump and dump. Please make sure you have done your research prior to investing. It is wrong what this new Worldcoin is doing.”

It seems that the conversation about Altman’s new project has had some unintended consequences for the older project. It’s largely traded below $0.06 since May, but briefly shot up to $0.20 on October 24, no doubt driven in part by investors looking to ape into the controversial token early. 

The aggrieved Worldcoin only trades on two markets, according to CoinMarketCap. 

“We are the original Worldcoin. Worldcoin is here for fast, low fee, worldwide payments. And the Worldcoin community will all continue volunteering to help keep the one and only true Worldcoin moving forward,” the email promised.