OpenAI CEO Nears $100 Million Funding for Worldcoin: Iris-Scanning Cryptocurrency Poised to Transform the Industry
OpenAI CEO, Sam Altman, is on the brink of securing approximately $100 million in funding for his groundbreaking project, Worldcoin. This ambitious endeavor aims to establish a secure global cryptocurrency, leveraging iris-scanning technology. In a sector that has experienced a challenging year, this potential funding marks a rare bright spot.
According to three sources familiar with the matter, Worldcoin is engaged in advanced discussions to raise fresh capital in preparation for its imminent launch. The funding round includes both existing and new investors, as confirmed by one of the sources. Notable investors in the company thus far include Khosla Ventures, Andreessen Horowitz's crypto fund, FTX founder Sam Bankman-Fried, and internet entrepreneur Reid Hoffman.
While OpenAI, the creator of ChatGPT, has garnered substantial attention, Worldcoin has maintained a relatively low profile. However, the company harbors grand ambitions. Its primary objective is to utilize iris-scanning technology to establish a global identification system, granting individuals unrestricted access to their own digital currency, Worldcoin.
Last year, Worldcoin successfully completed a token sale that raised $100 million, valuing the company's token supply at $3 billion, according to the Information, a prominent tech-focused publication. Nevertheless, the past year has been challenging for crypto tokens and projects. The collapse of FTX, Bankman-Fried's cryptocurrency exchange, in November exacerbated the decline in token prices and triggered a wave of failures within the crypto industry.
FTX had received support from reputable entities such as venture capital fund Sequoia Capital, Tiger Global Management led by Chase Coleman, and Thoma Bravo. The collapse of FTX and the subsequent scandal involving Bankman-Fried prompted many established investment funds to scale back their involvement in the crypto sector.
Considering the prevailing "crypto winter" and bear market conditions, securing such a significant investment is an impressive feat. One of the sources directly involved in the fundraising remarked on the exceptional nature of this achievement within the industry.
Worldcoin executives assert that their approach addresses two critical challenges posed by the advancing capabilities of artificial intelligence: distinguishing between humans and bots and providing a form of universal basic income to counterbalance potential job losses resulting from AI. Their groundbreaking solution revolves around an orb that employs iris biometrics to establish an individual's unique identity, creating a digital World ID that can be used pseudonymously across a wide range of everyday applications without disclosing the user's personal information.
Once users have successfully established their identity using this innovative technology, they will receive Worldcoin tokens free of charge, according to the company's statements.
Despite Worldcoin's promising concept, it has faced criticism on various fronts, particularly concerning privacy risks associated with biometric scanning. In response, the company has dedicated a section of its website to address these concerns, emphasizing that it will not store iris scans and assuring users that the device will not pose any harm to their eyes.
After an extensive beta phase, Worldcoin is now gearing up to deploy its blockchain protocol and commence transaction recording within the next six weeks, signaling the imminent realization of its vision.
Worldcoin representatives declined to comment on the ongoing fundraising efforts, keeping the details of the funding round confidential for the time being.
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