Worldcoin down as Elon Musk sues OpenAI CEO Sam Altman

Worldcoin’s (WLD) token dropped following news of a lawsuit against related company OpenAI. The lawsuit was filed by Elon Musk and accused OpenAI and CEO Sam Altman of breach of contract.

Musk alleged that the company breached contractual agreements made when he helped found it in 2015. Altman, who is also a board member and co-creator of Worldcoin, served as co-chair with Musk at the time.

The lawsuit aims to ensure that OpenAI does not develop technology that benefits specific individuals or companies, but rather sticks to its founding vision of benefiting all of humanity. This development has affected Worldcoin’s token value, which dropped approximately 5% over the past 24 hours.

Worldcoin’s WLD token has often experienced volatility in response to news related to Altman or OpenAI, despite not being directly related.  Earlier in February, it surged by more than 40% at one point, marking an over 300% increase in the past month. This surge has propelled the token to its highest price ever, reaching $8.86 and achieving a total market cap of $1 billion based on circulating supply.

The recent price increase is attributed to the debut of Sora, an AI model capable of transforming text into video, on February 16. While Sora is not directly related to Worldcoin’s mission of verifying human identity through eyeball-scanning orbs, it is backed by Tools of Humanity. The latter is a company co-founded by Sam Altman, who is also the CEO of OpenAI, the creator of Sora and the renowned AI chatbot ChatGPT. Some traders are treating WLD as a proxy for OpenAI, which is not publicly traded.

Worldcoin also saw significant growth in total signups, surpassing 3.5 million, up from 2.5 million at the beginning of the year. The project allocates tokens to individuals who have their irises scanned by the project’s orbs to prove their “personhood.” Worldcoin created over 600,000 new accounts in the past seven days alone.

The expansion of Worldcoin’s iris-scanning technology comes amid a broader effort to increase its global presence. As of now, the verification locations are available in 11 countries, including the United States. However, the project has faced challenges in some regions. For instance, authorities in Kenya suspended Worldcoin operations due to privacy concerns.

Worldcoin started its identity verification process in 2021, and by the official launch in July 2023, over two million people had signed up. The company claims that more than five million people have created accounts using their identity, which is about 0.06% of the world’s population.

Sam Altman, the co-founder and CEO of OpenAI, is the creator of Worldcoin. He faced a brief dismissal from his position at OpenAI in November, which led to resignations in protest by his colleagues. Altman was reinstated 12 days later.