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Worldcoin, the Crypto Project Led by OpenAI’s CEO, Seeks $100m in New Funding

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Despite not leaving beta, Worldcoin, the iris-scanning crypto project led by OpenAI CEO Sam Altman, continues to attract investors, according to the Financial Times. 

Based on information from three individuals familiar with the matter, the publication reported that Worldcoin is currently engaged in advanced discussions for a new financing round, amounting to approximately $100 million. Both existing and new investors support the round, as confirmed by one source.

Worldcoin Gains Investments from Andreessen Horowitz and Khosla Ventures, Prepares for Official Launch

Venture capital firms Andreessen Horowitz (a16z) and Khosla Ventures were among the investors in Worldcoin’s previous funding round, which valued the project at $3 billion. In October 2021, Worldcoin closed a $25 million Series A funding round led by a16z, with participation from Digital Currency Group, Coinbase Ventures, and Multicoin. According to reports, Worldcoin is currently in beta and preparing for an official launch within the next six weeks.

Sam Altman, a prominent entrepreneur and former president of Y Combinator, co-founded Worldcoin to create a global digital currency that is distributed to every individual worldwide fairly and equitably.

According to the World Coins website, the project aims to build the world’s largest identity and financial network as a public utility, granting ownership to everyone. The token distribution of Worldcoin relies on a proof-of-personhood protocol that involves capturing a biometric scan of the recipient’s irises. This scan is then cross-checked against a government-issued ID to verify the person’s identity. 

By implementing this process, Worldcoin ensures each token is allocated to a unique individual. Once a person’s identity is confirmed, they can receive a specific number of Worldcoin tokens through the program.

Worldcoin Foundation Partners with Optimism and Faces Criticism from Edward Snowden

Worldcoin, the iris-scanning crypto project, has partnered with Optimism, Ethereum’s layer-2 scaling solution. As part of this collaboration, Worldcoin’s World App wallet and World ID, a decentralized identity protocol, will migrate from Polygon to Optimism. The move aims to enhance privacy and scalability for users of the Worldcoin ecosystem.

During its beta phase, Worldcoin has seen impressive traction, with over 1.6 million sign-ups and over 500,000 monthly active users on the World App. By deploying on the OP Mainnet, Worldcoin seeks to expand access and foster a community of developers and users who share aligned values.

However, former NSA contractor Edward Snowden has complained about Worldcoin’s approach. Snowden raises ethical objections to using the human body for a cryptocurrency project and questions the creation of a global database storing iris scan hashes containing individuals’ biometric information. Snowden’s criticism highlights the ongoing debate around privacy and the potential risks of biometric data collection.

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