Worldcoin biometric crypto initiative raises $115M
Tools for Humanity, the company behind the Worldcoin cryptocurrency project that relies on biometric identification, announced it has raised $115 million from investors led by Blockchain Capital.
Andreessen Horowitz’s crypto fund a16z Crypto, Bain Capital Crypto, and Distributed Global also participated in the Series C funding round, according to Bloomberg.
Previous investors in the project include California-based venture capital fund Khosla Ventures, Linkedin co-founder Reid Hoffman and the disgraced founder of FTX crypto exchange Sam Bankman-Fried.
Tools for Humanity has also brought on Twitter’s former VP of global communications Rebecca Hahn. According to Axios, Hahn joined the team after being one of the last communications professionals standing after Elon Musk’s takeover of the social platform.
Worldcoin was co-founded by OpenAI CEO Sam Altman alongside Alex Blania and Max Novendstern with an aim to distribute each person Worldcoin crypto tokens, a concept inspired by the Universal Basic Income concept.
To achieve this, the startup is planning to create an anonymized digital identity called World ID for every person in the world by biometrically scanning their irises with the help of its physical imaging device, the Orb. The ID is not meant to identify a person but verify the individual’s “unique personhood”, which entitles them to a free share of Worldcoin tokens when it officially launches.
According to its own data, the World ID product has collected 1.7 million biometric credentials.
ChatGTP maker Altman finally joined the ranks of registered users this week, four years after founding the venture, by scanning his own iris with the Orb. Altman enrolled for WorldID during a trip to Europe as the technology is not availabe in his native US, according to the Independent.
This month, the company launched its WorldCoin wallet app to consumers, which allows users to transfer Worldcoin to each other.
The project has also attracted attention recently for security concerns. This week, a report alleged that fraudsters are buying iris scans from the black market in order to gain access to Worldcoin tokens.