Worldcoin, led by Blockchain Capital, raises $115M for Sam Altman’s crypto project
The team behind Worldcoin, called Tools for Humanity, has successfully raised $115 million in a Series C funding round. Blockchain Capital led the funding round, with participation from a16z, Bain Capital Crypto, and Distributed Global. Worldcoin is a decentralized open source protocol that was co-founded by OpenAI CEO Sam Altman.
The funding round is a rare occurrence during an extended bear market in the crypto space that has slowed venture capital investments to a trickle. The announcement comes as a black market for Worldcoin credentials emerges in China.
Worldcoin is currently in beta and is being built around the decentralized World ID and the Worldcoin token. The company has already onboarded nearly 2 million people. The capital will help accelerate research and development, growth efforts on the Worldcoin project, and the World App, which is the first crypto wallet for the Worldcoin ecosystem.
According to Alex Blania, the CEO and co-founder of Tools for Humanity and Worldcoin contributor, it is essential for individuals to maintain personal privacy while proving their humanness as we enter the age of AI. In doing so, everyone can realize the financial benefits that AI is poised to deliver.
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Worldcoin has attracted controversy due to its use of a biometric imaging device called the Orb, which verifies that a person is unique and not a bot.
Blockchain Capital general partner Spencer Bogart noted on Twitter that Worldcoin is a widely misunderstood project that “appears to be a noxious combination of hardware, biometrics, crypto and AI.” However, after the Blockchain Capital team spent hundreds of hours evaluating what Worldcoin contributors had built, they found that World ID has a unique opportunity to establish and scale a new privacy-preserving primitive that can allow any application to distinguish between humans and bots.
Bogart stated that with the ability to easily distinguish between machines and humans, we can improve the UX of the internet, enable myriad new features and applications, and help restore trust in digital communities.
The article also provides further reading on Sam Altman’s Crypto Project, Worldcoin, and its first major consumer product.
Update: The article has been updated to include context about the Orb and Spencer Bogart’s tweets.