Sam Altman, the CEO of OpenAI, is reportedly on the verge of securing about $100 million in funding for his ambitious Worldcoin project. Worldcoin aims to revolutionize the cryptocurrency space by utilizing cutting-edge iris-scanning technology to create a secure global digital currency. This funding round comes as a rare bright spot in a sector that has faced significant challenges and a declining market in recent times.
Worldcoin, at present, is in advanced discussions with a group of investors, including both existing supporters and new participants, as it gears up for its highly expected launch in the coming weeks. Previous investors in the company include prominent names such as Khosla Ventures, Andreessen Horowitz’s crypto fund, FTX founder Sam Bankman-Fried, and renowned internet entrepreneur Reid Hoffman.
Founded in 2019 by Altman and Alex Blania, Worldcoin has been operating somewhat under the radar compared to OpenAI, the entity behind the popular ChatGPT. Nevertheless, the project carries grand ambitions. It aims to leverage eyeball-scanning technology to create a global identification system, which would provide people worldwide with free access to the Worldcoin cryptocurrency.
In an early token sale last year, Worldcoin raised an impressive $100 million, valuing the company’s total token supply at $3 billion, as reported by The Information. However, the cryptocurrency market faced significant challenges thereafter, including the collapse of FTX, a prominent cryptocurrency exchange founded by Sam Bankman-Fried. This event, along with other high-profile crypto company failures, contributed to a wave of scepticism and cautiousness among investors.
Given the prevailing bear market conditions, it is notable that Worldcoin has managed to attract such a substantial amount of investment. According to one source familiar with the fundraising,
“It’s a bear market, a crypto winter. It’s remarkable for a project in this space to get this amount of investment.”
Worldcoin’s executives assert that their approach addresses two critical issues stemming from the increasing sophistication of artificial intelligence: distinguishing between humans and bots and providing a form of universal basic income to mitigate potential job losses caused by AI. Central to their plans is the use of an orb that utilizes iris biometrics to establish an individual’s unique personhood, generating a digital World ID that can be used pseudonymously across a wide range of everyday applications, safeguarding the user’s identity.
Once users have verified their identity, they will be eligible to receive free Worldcoin tokens. However, the project has faced criticism, particularly regarding privacy concerns associated with biometric scanning. In response, Worldcoin has assured users that it will not store iris scans, and that the scanning device will not pose harm to users’ eyes.
Having operated in beta testing, Worldcoin is now preparing to roll out its blockchain protocol and commence recording transactions within the next six weeks. While the company declined to comment on the ongoing fundraising efforts, the anticipated influx of funds would provide Worldcoin with the necessary resources to further develop its revolutionary digital identification system and extend its global reach.
With prominent investors backing the project and an innovative leader like Sam Altman at the helm, Worldcoin has the potential to become a significant player in the cryptocurrency landscape, redefining the concept of digital identity verification and making strides towards a more accessible and inclusive financial future.
What is Worldcoin Crypto Project?
Worldcoin is an open-source protocol, supported by a global community of developers, individuals, economists and technologists committed to expanding participation in, and access to, the global economy. The Worldcoin Foundation is the steward and will support and grow the Worldcoin community until it becomes self-sufficient. Tools for Humanity helped launch Worldcoin and currently serves as the advisor to the Foundation and operators of the World App. Currently, in beta, Worldcoin expects to launch in the first half of 2023.
Worldcoin is building the world’s largest identity and financial network as a public utility, giving ownership to everyone. It aims to create universal access to the global economy regardless of country or background, accelerating the transition to an economic future that welcomes and benefits every person on the planet.