Open AI CEO Set To Raise $100m To Scan Your Iris For Crypto

Pamela William
OpenAI CEO Sam Altman is in talks to raise $100m for Worldcoin, an innovative cryptocurrency startup that uses iris-scanning technology for user identity verification. The venture aims to establish a globally accessible digital currency, revolutionizing the crypto sphere and addressing challenges posed by AI sophistication.
According to recent reports, Elon Musk is planning to start his own AI research company to rival OpenAI, the organization he co-founded in 2015.
OpenAI. Photo: Andrew Neel | Unsplash

Sam Altman, the Chief Executive Officer of OpenAI, is in the advanced stages of negotiations to secure a substantial $100 million in new funding for Worldcoin, according to a report from Financial Times earlier this week. With a unique approach to cryptocurrency, the startup seeks to establish a globally distributed digital currency that leverages iris-scanning technology for user identity verification.

Altman, already a prominent figure in the artificial intelligence field for his instrumental role in the development of the pioneering model ChatGPT, is taking a bold step into the digital currency arena. Worldcoin, his latest venture, aspires to create an all-inclusive global cryptocurrency accessible to any individual who can verify their unique personhood.

Revolutionizing Identity Verification With Iris-Scanning Technology

Innovative Iris-Scanning Device, 'The Orb', Used By Worldcoin For Unique Identity Verification  Photo: Twitter
Innovative Iris-Scanning Device, ‘The Orb’, Used By Worldcoin For Unique Identity Verification  Photo: Twitter

A key distinguishing feature of Worldcoin lies in its use of an innovative imaging device, the “Orb.” The Orb captures images of an individual’s iris pattern, using it as a unique identifier. This approach offers a groundbreaking solution to the prevalent issue of identity verification in cryptocurrency.

Established in 2019 by Sam Altman and Alex Blania, Worldcoin is a revolutionary initiative to use iris-recognition technology to construct a global identification system. This system is intended to provide free access to Worldcoin.

Last year, following a token sale that raised $100 million, the company’s valuation soared to approximately $3 billion, as reported by The Information in March 2022. Moreover, in 2021, Worldcoin successfully raised an additional $25 million during a funding round. This round witnessed robust participation from industry giants, including Andreessen Horowitz (A16z), Digital Currency Group, Coinbase Ventures, and Multicoin, as reported by CrunchBase.

This latest fundraising effort by Worldcoin follows a tumultuous period last year, where numerous crypto projects, including FTX, faced a financial crunch that led to bankruptcies. While the crypto market has shown some green shoots of recovery since the onset of 2023, the financing climate in the industry remains restrained as investors continue to exercise caution.

A source closely acquainted with the current fundraising initiative of Worldcoin, who chose to remain unnamed, shared their astonishment at the project’s thriving success, given the current difficulties being faced by the cryptocurrency market. The individual emphasized, “It’s a bear market, a crypto winter. The fact that a project in this sector could secure such a substantial investment is truly noteworthy.”

Addressing Ethical Issues And Future Prospects

A Screenshot Of A Social Media Thread Discussing Privacy Concerns Related To The Use Of Iris-Scanning Technology By Worldcoin  Photo: Screenshot/Twitter
A Screenshot Of A Social Media Thread Discussing Privacy Concerns Related To The Use Of Iris-Scanning Technology By Worldcoin  Photo: Screenshot/Twitter

Despite raising certain ethical issues, Worldcoin insists that its iris-based technology successfully addresses two significant challenges posed by the escalating sophistication of artificial intelligence.

The company elucidates that Worldcoin can effectively differentiate between human users and bots. In addition, Worldcoin could potentially serve as a unique stream of income, offering some degree of relief in light of job losses that may be attributed to the rise of AI.

It’s worth noting that Altman’s OpenAI is the powerhouse behind the renowned natural language processing tool, ChatGPT.

The Worldcoin Vision: Pseudonymous Identity And Token Rewards

Worldcoin Users Carry Out Identity Verification Photo Sam Altman/Twitter
Worldcoin Users Carry Out Identity Verification Photo Sam Altman/Twitter

Worldcoin provides insight into the rationale behind its technology, stating it “leverages iris biometrics to affirm an individual’s unique identity, then generates a digital World ID. This ID can be used pseudonymously across a broad range of everyday applications without disclosing the user’s identity.”

The company further states that upon successful verification of their identities, users are rewarded with free Worldcoin tokens.

Worldcoin operates on the cost-effective and ultra-fast Ethereum Layer 2 blockchain, known as Optimism. Just last week, the firm declared its commitment to the construction of the Ethereum scaling protocol.


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