Sam Altman’s Worldcoin raises $115M in Series C round
Unraveling the $115 million Series C funding for Worldcoin and the debate surrounding its iris-scanning identity verification method.
Sam Altman has successfully raised $115 million in a Series C funding round for Worldcoin, Reuters reported May 25.
Blockchain Capital led the raise, with Andreessen Horowitz, Bain Capital Crypto, and Distributed Global joining the round as well.
The OpenAI CEO launched Worldcoin in 2021 with the ambitious goal of distributing cryptocurrency to every person on earth (except for U.S. residents) “just for being a unique individual.”
However, the project is controversial for its reliance on a proprietary device that scans individuals’ irises to verify their identity. Once identity verification is complete, tokens are distributed free of charge. The project’s team describes this as a novel way to verify uniqueness while ensuring privacy and insists the iris scans are destroyed.
Not everyone is convinced, however. Notably, Edward Snowden, former U.S. intelligence contractor and prominent privacy advocate, criticized the concept. “Don’t catalogue eyeballs,” he tweeted in response to Altman’s tweet introducing the project in 2021 while raising doubts concerning its sincerity.
The capital raise comes at a pivotal time for the crypto space, which is still recovering from a brutal downturn and series of implosions that characterized 2022.
Altman, also the chief executive of OpenAI, the firm behind ChatGPT, is a prominent figure in the AI field. On May 16, he made headlines by testifying before a U.S. Senate subcommittee that AI technologies had arrived at the point of demanding government oversight to ensure responsible development.