Inspiring Fireside-Chat with Alex Blania, Founder of Worldcoin, @Josephs

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On Tuesday, 14th of May, one of FAUs most fascinating Alumni’s took his time to discuss his startup Worldcoin in a homely atmosphere in Nuremberg’s Innovation Lab JOSEPHS – Das Offene Innovationslabor: Alex Blania. Alex studied Industrial Engineering (he kindly mentioned his lectures of Prof. Kai-Ingo Voigt ) and Theoretical Physics at FAU Erlangen-Nürnberg before doing his Master’s at Caltech University.

Together with Sam Altman, the driving force behind OpenAI and ChatGPT, he founded Worldcoin in 2019. Worldcoin aims to create a globally-inclusive digital identity and financial network. In general, it consists of two major pillars: a privacy-preserving digital identity network called World ID built on proof of personhood and, where laws allow, a digital currency (WLD). The overarching goal is to proof personhood in an internet consisting of increasingly AI-generated content and distinguish humans from bots. Alex took us on a journey on how he and Sam Altman iterated through the idea and continuously developed the project in the past 4 ½ years. With over 5 million active users, Worldcoin is already a well-recognized player in the crypto world. The upcoming challenges involve scaling a company that is not purely service-driven but requires some hardware: the inhouse-developed world orb, which reliably identifies humans. The company is rooted in Erlangen and holds close ties with the Silicon Valley, between which Alex shuttles back and forth in his role as CEO.

Prof. Kai-Ingo Voigt and his team already look forward to welcoming Fabian Bodensteiner, one of the Co-Founders and CTO of Worldcoin, in a guest lecture in our course “BWL für Ingenieure” on June 12th at TechFak Erlangen. See you there