A controversial cryptocurrency started by the founder of ChatGPT has surged in price in the days following its launch, with market commentators referring to it as both “outlandish” and “revolutionary”.

Worldcoin, launched last week by OpenAI boss Sam Altman, offers people a free share of the crypto token WLD in exchange for their biometric data. More than 2 million people have signed up through an iris-scanning orb, which is currently operating in 35 cities across 20 countries.

The biometric data collected by Worldcoin is used to verify an individual’s “unique personhood” to ensure noone signs up more than once.

It also offers a way to differentiate humans from AI bots, which Worldcoin claims is a core offering of its technology.

Regulatory and legal challenges mean people are unable to sign up in certain markets, however Mr Altman claimed shortly after its launch that one person every eight seconds was signing up for the crypto project.

A spokesperson for Worldcoin told The Independent that 1,500 orbs were being distributed around the world to meet demand, including to London, New York and Paris.

Crypto market commentators have said that a 50 per cent price surge in the day following its launch showed the level of interest and demand in the WLD token despite concerns surrounding its rollout.

“OpenAI co-founder Sam Altman’s Worldcoin project might just be one of the most ambitious cryptocurrency projects in recent years,” Louis Schoeman, a managing director at Forex Suggest, told The Independent.

“The main aim of this global digital identification is to connect your World ID to websites and apps rather than traditional logins, proving you’re a real person without having to share personal data like names and emails. This sort of digital ID will be necessary in the development of AI, in order to tell the difference between humans and AI bots online.

“A global digital ID enabling private identity verifications is undeniably revolutionary, however, it’s certain to stir up controversy, with many already calling the exchange of biometric data for crypto tokens an outlandish bribe.”

The Worldcoin cryptocurrency spiked from $1.90 to $3.15 on the day of its launch, before dropping back below $2. It has since surged again and was trading above $2.30 on Tuesday, bucking broader market trends.