Worldcoin Foundation has announced that starting in November 2023, it will pay its Orb operators in WLD tokens instead of USDC stablecoins. These operators are responsible for operating the specialized imaging devices known as Orbs, which play a central role in Worldcoin’s cryptocurrency project.
Up until this point, Orb operators had been receiving temporary compensation in USDC as part of a pilot program. However, Worldcoin has initiated the transition to WLD, its native cryptocurrency, over the past few weeks. In October, Worldcoin began a pilot program in which selected operators started receiving WLD token rewards. By November, all Orb operators are expected to be paid entirely in the foundation’s native token rather than USDC. It’s important to note that the availability of the tokens is restricted to certain regions and is not accessible to individuals or companies in the United States or other restricted territories. However, World ID and related services remain available in the U.S.
Worldcoin’s Transition and Circulating Supply of WLD
The Worldcoin Foundation’s shift in compensation for Orb operators is in line with the project’s broader token distribution strategy. Worldcoin intentionally launched WLD with a relatively low initial circulating supply, aiming to expand the network by distributing tokens over time to new users through grants.
The circulating supply of WLD primarily consists of 100 million tokens loaned to market makers, 34 million distributed as user grants, and a smaller amount earned by Orb operators. Worldcoin extended the loan agreements with market makers until mid-December but reduced the loan amount to 75 million WLD. Consequently, up to 25 million WLD could return to Worldcoin by October 24th, unless market makers choose to purchase some or all of that amount. This potential reduction in the circulating supply aligns with Worldcoin’s move to further decentralize the token through grants, as opposed to making large allocations to specific entities.
Worldcoin’s Commitment to Growing Its Native Crypto
The price of Worldcoin’s WLD has been fluctuating between $1.4 and $1.8 since mid-September, a significant drop from its all-time high of over $5 in July. The transition to rewarding operators in the foundation’s native token is expected to impact the price in both the short and long term. By shifting the rewards system from USDC to WLD tokens, Worldcoin demonstrates a deeper commitment to and confidence in its native cryptocurrency. This transition incentivizes Orb operators to contribute to the growth of the overall Worldcoin ecosystem.
However, this change also exposes Orb operators to the potential volatility of the WLD token price. The foundation will need to ensure that rewards maintain adequate value and purchasing power for operators. As cryptocurrency projects continue to mature, transitions like this, from stablecoin to native token compensation, are likely to become more commonplace. Worldcoin’s decision to undertake this evolution is notable, and many will be closely watching how they successfully navigate this milestone.
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