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Sam Altman’s New Crypto Startup Raises $115M

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Sam Altman, CEO of OpenAI, co-founded a cryptocurrency company that acquired additional funds to advance its goal of giving everyone in the world a digital ID.

We previously reported that Altman was looking to raise $100 million for the organization behind the Worldcoin cryptocurrency initiative, Tools for Humanity, of which he is a co-founder.

On Thursday, it was reported that he had secured $115 million from investors. The company wants to uniquely identify each living individual by partially scanning their eyes. A tiny orb-shaped scanning gadget that uses blockchain to create distinctive digital identities by reading a user’s irises.

Along with the crypto team of Andreessen Horowitz, Bain Capital Crypto and Distributed Global, Blockchain Capital led the Series C fundraising.

World Currency

The San Francisco-based company creates support tools for Worldcoin, an Ethereum-based cryptocurrency that is still in beta. Its World ID software works to scan people’s eyes with a small orb to generate individual digital identities for them based on blockchain technology.

The startup has raised numerous issues related to privacy, data, and AI. Creating a digital identity by scanning people’s eyes has raised privacy and data concerns, although such an identity platform can be essential as AI makes it harder to identify who or what one is. interacts online.

Worldcoin has been linked to its commitment to the process of providing a universal basic income if AI begins to eliminate large numbers of jobs due to its decentralized structure and aspirations to generate truly unique digital identities, which also caused disputes.

Tools for Humanity CEO and co-founder Alex Blania said it’s crucial that people can protect their privacy while demonstrating their humanity as we enter the age of AI. By doing so, we can ensure that everyone can enjoy the financial gains that AI is expected to bring.

“As we enter the age of AI, it is imperative that individuals can maintain their privacy while proving their humanity. In doing so, we can help ensure that everyone can realize the financial benefits ‘IA is about to deliver.

How the funds will be used

Alex Blania declined to discuss the company’s value in an interview. According to him, the additional investment would be used to expand the startup’s 150-person workforce through new hires and product development. Some information about the purchase has already been published by the Financial Times.

According to Blania, the investment cycle shows how serious the project is. He added:

“People really made jokes about us, like we read too many science fiction books, when we started talking about it three years ago, but that has changed now.”

An exception to the rule

Tools for Humanity is a striking exception where funding for the majority of cryptocurrency businesses has dried up.

According to statistics from Crunchbase, venture capital funding for VC-backed Web3 companies fell 82% in the first quarter of the year, from $9.1 billion in the first quarter of 2022 to barely $1.7 billion.

Since the fourth quarter of 2020, when only $1.1 billion was raised, when many people had never heard of Web3, the amount of funding has fallen to its lowest level.

Blania pointed out that the Worldcoin initiative, which includes a Worldcoin token, is guaranteed to be decentralized by blockchain technology. Moreover, he claimed that Worldcoin, which has almost 2 million registered users, could be useful in distributing a universal basic income because it combines an identification system and an economic layer.

Theoretically, a society where AI significantly reduces the number of available jobs can benefit from a universal basic income.

The Worldcoin initiative has so far encountered some obstacles. Due to logistical difficulties, it was forced to cease operations in at least seven countries last year, raising questions about data protection.

At the intersection of cryptocurrency and artificial intelligence

In a future where artificial intelligence raises new concerns about what is human and what is not on the internet, the company’s identification technology will be crucial, according to Blania. It serves as an illustration of how the fields of AI and crypto intersect.

The initial driving force, he said, was how to build infrastructure in a world where AI is gaining ground and becoming more powerful.

A global identity system using iris scans will be developed as part of Worldcoin’s ambitious goals, giving users access to free global currency.

With this innovative strategy, the company hopes to tackle two problems posed by the growing sophistication of artificial intelligence: distinguishing people from robots and offering a kind of universal basic income to compensate for the anticipated job losses caused by the AI.

The company’s core technology is an orb that establishes a person’s unique identification via iris biometrics, establishing a digital global identifier that can be used anonymously in many applications without disclosing the identity. of the user. Users can get free Worldcoin tokens after proving their identity.


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