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What is Worldcoin, and how does it work?

Worldcoin started with a question: What if there were a way to freely and evenly distribute units of a new digital token to every human on the planet?

Answering this question means simultaneously solving the much broader challenge of how to embed humanness into the world’s digital infrastructure. After all, how can you distribute something digital to every human if there’s no way to digitally demonstrate humanness?

Today, Worldcoin is made up of multiple project contributors and a growing community of millions of unique humans across five continents. Its mission has grown to enabling universal access to the global economy by building the world’s largest identity and financial network and opening it to everyone while adhering to regulatory guidelines.  

Here’s what that means. 

Understanding Worldcoin

Worldcoin is an open source protocol, or system, created to help give everyone access to the global economy. It’s designed to be decentralized, meaning that ultimately its supervision and decision making will rest with its global community of users. 

You can learn more about ongoing efforts to advance decentralization here

The people and organizations supporting Worldcoin are developing the tools that work together to help it achieve its mission. These include:

  • World ID - a digital humanness passport designed to let you prove you’re unique and human on the internet while keeping your identity private
  • The orb - a custom, state-of-the-art device that privately and securely verifies humanness and uniqueness using an iris code
  • WLD Token* - a digital token to be freely distributed to people, for both utility and future governance, just for being a unique individual
  • World App - a fully self custodial app built and operated by project contributor Tools for Humanity that enables payment, purchases and transfers globally using digital assets, stablecoins and traditional currencies

Importantly, Worldcoin, through World ID, can play an important role in demonstrating humanness in an online world populated with increasingly advanced artificial intelligence. World ID verification is free, private and open to every human over the age of 18.

*Eligibility for Worldcoin (WLD) tokens is restricted based on geography, age, and other factors. WLD are not available to, or intended for, people, companies or organizations who are residents of, or are located or incorporated in the United States or certain other restricted territories (or have beneficial ownership in the United States or such other restricted territories). However, World ID and TFH’s World App remain available in the United States. For details, go to: www.worldcoin.org/tos. Crypto products can be highly risky. Important User Information can be found at www.worldcoin.org/risks.

How does Worldcoin work?

Worldcoin works in two simple steps. 

Step 1: Download World App 

Downloading World App enables a person to set up their Worldcoin account, hold and verify their World ID and access a digital wallet connected to digital and traditional currencies. World App is operated by Tools for Humanity, a contributor to the Worldcoin project.

Step 2: Verify your World ID 

Verifying your World ID at an orb allows you to prove that you are human and unique in a growing number of integrated applications like Discord, Shopify, Telegram and Reddit. World ID verification locations are managed by Worldcoin Operators and can be found on the Worldcoin website or in World App

Worldcoin doesn’t seek to know who you are, only that you’re unique and human. This means that no information like name, email, phone number, etc. is required to download and use World App or to verify and use World ID. Additionally, all images used to verify an individual’s World ID are deleted by default. 

Organizations connected to Worldcoin

Worldcoin is currently supported by multiple project contributors. Among them are the Worldcoin Foundation and Tools for Humanity.

The Worldcoin Foundation is a non-profit organization setup to support and grow the Worldcoin community until it becomes self-sufficient. It does this through actions like overseeing community grants programs, open-sourcing important project technologies, establishing ways for users to participate in the governance of the protocol and more.

Tools for Humanity (TFH) is a global technology company established to accelerate the transition towards a more just economic system. It led the initial development of Worldcoin and is continuing to build tools and help support the protocol, in addition to operating World App. Over time, TFH will continue to develop important tools for Worldcoin and beyond.

Worldcoin is continuing to develop and expand daily, welcoming more contributors and integration partners to support its growth and utility. 

Learn more

Learn more about Worldcoin by visiting the Worldcoin website. You can also join the daily conversations on Twitter/X, Telegram, Discord and LinkedIn or sign up for the blog newsletter at the bottom of this page.

Additional important information concerning the project is available in the Worldcoin protocol whitepaper.


The above content speaks only as of the date indicated. Further, it is subject to risks, uncertainties and assumptions, and so may be incorrect and may change without notice. A full disclaimer can be found in our Terms of Use and Important User Information can be found on our Risks page.