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Worldcoin nears $100M funding round amid security concerns

Worldcoin nears $100M funding round amid security concerns
 

Worldcoin, a cryptocurrency and digital ID project utilizing biometrics, is reportedly nearing a $100 million funding round.

The project was founded in 2019, with Sam Altman, CEO of ChatGPT parent firm Open AI among its founders.

The project aims to give everyone on the planet some of its Worldcoin crypto token, after verifying their identity by collecting their biometric data via an iris scan using a dedicated biometric device called “The Orb.”

Per its own data, the company recently passed over 1 million sign-ups globally.

According to a report from the Financial Times, the capital is set to be sourced from a mixture of “existing and new” investors.

Existing investors in the project include California-based venture capital fund Khosla Ventures and Andreessen Horowitz’s crypto fund a16z crypto, one the largest crypto-focused funds, as well as crypto exchange FTX’s disgraced founder Sam Bankman-Fried and Linkedin co-founder Reid Hoffman.

The news comes in contrast to the overall bear market within the cryptocurrency space, where firms have generally struggled to attract funding following the collapse of FTX in November 2022.

A recent Crunchbase report highlighted a startling fall in the amount of VC capital flowing towards crypto firms, dropping a startling 82 percent year-on-year from $9.1 billion in the first quarter of 2022 to $1.7 billion during the same period in 2023.

However, Worldline has also seen reports surface regarding potential security issues.

A report from Techcrunch recently alleged that hackers were able to install password-collecting malware onto the devices of WorldCoin operators, who manage the company’s biometric devices and are compensated for every person who they bring into the ecosystem.

The malware, which includes the Worldline malware variant, can collect data such as passwords saved in the browsers of its victims.

Worldcoin’s Orbs, as of yet do not require two-factor authentication, meaning these passwords could potentially be used to infiltrate the operator’s application dashboard, which they use to manage their devices.

TechCrunch’s sources claimed that they had seen the credentials of at least seven Orb operators surface on the dark web in the last six months.

Jannick Preiwisch, a spokesperson for Worldcoin, claimed to TechCrunch that no personal data was revealed as a result of the attack, and that  Orb operators are incapable of accessing the personal data stored on their devices.

However, the researchers did claim that the attacks were unlikely to have been targeted directly and were more likely a result of the Orb operators inadvertently downloading malicious software onto their computers.

Worldcoin’s underlying technology is also seeing some changes. Worldcoin’s digital wallet is set to migrate to the Optimism crypto network, which is a type of “layer 2” scaling solution built on the Ethereum main net. The OP Mainnet will also support the World ID decentralized digital identity, which the partners say will in turn support democratic governance.

Worldcoin had previously used Polygon, another type of Ethereum layer 2 network since it first launched.

The company also recently launched its WorldCoin wallet app to consumers, which allows users to transfer Worldcoin to each other, on May 8.

The wallet reportedly now has over 500,000 active users.

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