On December 6, the Worldcoin Foundation revealed its latest initiative, “Wave0,” a community funding program aimed at supporting innovators working on resilient technology and fostering equitable systems. The initiative, backed by Sam Altman, CEO of OpenAI, allocates $5 million for grants distributed through the Worldcoin Foundation, a non-profit organisation supporting Worldcoin’s endeavours.
Grant Tracks and Allocation Details
The Worldcoin Foundation plans to allocate $5 million in funding across three grant tracks. Payments will be made in WLD tokens, operating on the Ethereum blockchain. The three grant tracks include the Community Grants track, which sponsors hackathons and similar initiatives with up to 5,000 WLD. The Project Grants track supports larger-scale projects with grants of up to 25,000 WLD. The Open Track Grants focus on the most significant and ambitious projects, with no specific budget, and amounts will be determined on a case-by-case basis.
Focus Areas and Recipients
The grants aim to support research and development efforts, particularly those exploring the intersection of privacy and biometrics. Potential recipients include projects leveraging Worldcoin and World ID, the protocol’s identification system. The projects are expected to contribute to the advancement of the Worldcoin Tech Tree, focusing on improvements in World ID applications, protocol, user agents, hardware, and operations.
Inclusion and Scalability Considerations
To ensure greater inclusion, the Worldcoin Foundation may issue grants in stablecoins like Circle’s USD Coin (USDC). The foundation encourages independent teams to manufacture orbs, the devices used for iris scanning in the Worldcoin project, promoting decentralized production. The grants program also addresses scalability challenges encountered during Worldcoin’s token launch on the OP Mainnet, emphasizing the need for scaling solutions beyond existing Layer 2 solutions.
Leadership Turmoil at Worldcoin Co-Founder Sam Altman and Project Background
The announcement follows recent leadership changes at Worldcoin, where co-founder Sam Altman faced a temporary ousting from his role at OpenAI, the creator of ChatGPT, before being reinstated. The dispute reportedly centered on OpenAI’s non-profit status. Altman, along with president Greg Brockman, returned, and new board members, including representation from Microsoft, were added.
Worldcoin, launched in July 2023, garnered attention and scrutiny due to privacy concerns surrounding its identity-focused protocol involving iris scanning for user identification. Regulators in France and Germany initiated investigations into the project’s data collection and security systems. Despite the controversies, Worldcoin plans to extend its ID verification platform to businesses and governments.
Worldcoin Foundation Launches $5 Million Grants Program “Wave0” for Global Ecosystem Projects
The Worldcoin Foundation, a non-profit behind the Worldcoin protocol, launched “Wave0,” a community grants program investing two million Worldcoins (WLD) (approximately $5 million) into ecosystem projects outside the U.S. The grants aim to empower and support builders globally, funding the development of creative and beneficial projects.
Grant Tracks and Allocation Process
The program features three grant tracks: Community Grants (up to 5,000 WLD), supporting community organizers, event sponsorships, and hackathon projects; Project Grants (up to 25,000 WLD), for larger-scale projects; and Open Track Grants, available for the most significant and ambitious initiatives with no specific budget. The foundation may fund certain grants in stablecoins like USDC to address global regulatory and commercial considerations.
Areas of Interest and Application Process
The grants target research and development efforts, particularly focusing on the intersection of privacy and biometrics. Areas of interest include World ID applications, protocols, hardware, and operations. The grants are not available to entities within the United States. The Worldcoin Foundation will accept applications until December 22, with recipients announced in January.