The company behind Worldcoin raises $100M to scan your iris

OpenAI CEO Sam Altman’s digital identity startup receives $115 million in funding from investors to build digital IDs on the Worldcoin blockchain. and combat the rise of artificial intelligence.

Tools for Humanity raised funding from a16z, Bain Capital and Distributed Global to scan people’s irises and store their IDs on the blockchain.

According to Alex Bania, CEO of Tools, the company will hire new employees along with the new capital. Bania said the new funding indicates the firm’s seriousness in moving forward on a project once derided by people for being too outlandish.

He said that new artificial intelligence technology is increasing the importance of separating the real from the synthetic.

Google recently announced upcoming watermarking and metadata tools to verify file authenticity amid a flood of synthetic content.

Tools for Humanity will store identities on its own decentralized Worldcoin blockchain. The project has already garnered 1.7 million registrations.

The company believes that blockchain can be useful in distributing basic income through a combination of cryptocurrency and digital identity.

Worldcoin Decentralized Identity to Combat AI
Digital Identity Registration | Source:

While Bain declined to update the firm’s valuation after its most recent funding round, last year it valued Tools for Humanity at $1 billion.

Last year, Bain predicted the company would scan 20 million to 30 million irises. Still a long way off target.

Iris project stalled due to privacy concerns

The project stalled after initially scanning the eyes of hundreds of thousands of people. It was hampered by logistical issues as contractors abandoned the project and regulators expressed privacy concerns.

Contractors are paid for each iris they register using a smartphone. The firm intends to open-source the design of its Orb scanner to demonstrate its commitment to privacy.

Ironically, early participants had to sign a waiver to allow the company to train its artificial intelligence models with high-quality images of their irises.

Additionally, the firm is using AI-trained scanning equipment to help separate the genuine from the artificial.

Worldcoin price is down 9.2% in the last 24 hours.

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