In a Series C funding round led by Blockchain Capital and joined by a16z, Bain Capital Crypto, and Distributed Global, Tools for Humanity, the team behind Worldcoin, has successfully raised $115 million. Worldcoin, an open-source decentralized protocol co-founded by Sam Altman, CEO of OpenAI, has achieved this substantial funding amid a protracted crypto bear market that has significantly reduced venture capital investments in the industry. Coinciding with the funding announcement, a black market for Worldcoin credentials has emerged in China.
Currently in its beta phase, Worldcoin is being developed around the principles of the decentralized World ID and the Worldcoin token. The project has already garnered nearly 2 million users, according to the company. The secured capital will expedite research, development, and growth efforts for both the Worldcoin project and the World App, which stands as the inaugural crypto wallet designed for the Worldcoin ecosystem.
In a press release, Alex Blania, CEO and co-founder of Tools for Humanity and a contributor to Worldcoin, stressed the significance of safeguarding personal privacy while simultaneously verifying one’s humanity, particularly as society enters the AI era. Blania emphasized that such measures are vital to ensure that everyone can reap the financial benefits poised to be delivered by AI technologies.
Worldcoin has faced controversy due to its utilization of a biometric imaging device called the Orb, which serves to authenticate individuals as unique humans rather than bots.
Spencer Bogart, a general partner at Blockchain Capital, took to Twitter to address the prevalent misunderstandings surrounding Worldcoin. Initially regarding it as a confluence of hardware, biometrics, crypto, and AI that appeared noxious, Bogart’s perception changed after the extensive evaluation conducted by the Blockchain Capital team. Their assessment revealed that World ID presents a unique opportunity to establish and scale a novel privacy-preserving primitive capable of enabling any application to distinguish between humans and bots.
Bogart emphasized the transformative potential of such distinguishing capabilities, envisioning improvements in internet user experiences, the introduction of countless new features and applications, and the restoration of trust in digital communities by enabling interactions with real humans rather than bot armies.