Worldcoin (WLD) announced a $5 million grant program dubbed “Wave0” targeting innovators developing resilient technology and more equitable systems.
Backed by OpenAI CEO Sam Altman, the project will issue grants through the Worldcoin Foundation, a non-profit organization that supports WLD’s efforts.
According to a Dec. 6 blog post, the grants would be disbursed in WLD tokens with 2 million coins earmarked across three tracks under the so-called Worldcoin Tech Tree.
The first track, community grants, allocates up to 5,000 WLD for sponsorships, hackathons, and other similar initiatives. Project grants, the second track, aims to support large-scale projects with up to 25,000 WLD.
Open Track Grants will focus on the most significant and ambitious projects. The track has no budget and will receive amounts on a case-by-case basis.
The Worldcoin Foundation may issue grants in Circle’s USD Coin (USDC) or similar stablecoins to ensure greater inclusion. The protocol notably halted USDC payments to Orb operators back in October 2023.
Per the announcement, backed projects will advance the Worldcoin Tech Tree with improvements in World ID applications, protocol, user agents, hardware, and operations.
Worldcoin also published a paper on decentralization, outlining its strategy for a protocol supposedly owned and governed by the human race.
To become part of the global digital infrastructure, Worldcoin must be as robust, widespread, and neutral as the internet itself. Any lesser standard is insufficient to effectively address the grand challenges. This has been a priority from day one, and much has already been achieved.
Worldcoin Wave0 grant blog post
Worldcoin launched in July 2023 to much scrutiny based on privacy concerns espoused by crypto proponents. The protocol, which scans users’ iris and issues biometric identification, created sign-up centers in several developing nations, leading many to question Worldcoin’s intentions.
Regulators in France and Germany opened an investigation into the project, reportedly probing its data collection and security systems. Worldcoin plans to extend its ID verification platform to businesses and government despite pushback from skeptics.