Worldcoin (WDC), an eye-scanning technology company, is making headlines with its unique mix of hardware, biometrics, crypto, and AI dynamics. The project has taken the industry by storm, raising $115 million in its series C funding to build a decentralized identity despite the bear market.
Worldcoin, a crypto project co-founded by OpenAI CEO Sam Altman, has gained some traction in China, not the United States, as users rush to source know-your-customer (KYC) verifications on the black market. The project was initially controversial, with much skepticism, particularly among the crypto community, where the hallmark is privacy.
Black Market for Worldcoin Credentials Pops Up in China
The startup looking to create a global blockchain-based identification system using iris scans is getting duped by Chinese users.
Source: CoinDesk pic.twitter.com/yTbzhMHBYv
— Wen3 (@Wen3_AI) May 24, 2023
Nevertheless, project heads say they onboard over 40,000 users weekly and boast an expansive global presence with Argentina and Chile topping the charts in South America. Among the most interesting things about it is that it is a project by OpenAI CEO Sam Altman, the man behind ChatGPT, which gives it a layer of credibility.
Worldcoin (WDC) raised an outstanding $115 million in a fundraiser led by Blockchain Capital. Other participating crypto household names include a16z, Andreessen Horowitz, Bain Capital Crypto, and Distributed Global.
In a May 26 Twitter thread, Blockchain Capital CFO Spencer Bogart explained why his company spearheaded the $115 million funding round, claiming that he was initially skeptical of the project but has since changed his opinion about it.
I thought Worldcoin was some dystopian Orwellian nightmare, then our team invested hundreds of hours evaluating what the project’s contributors have actually built and I completely changed my mind – why we led the latest financing
— Spencer Bogart (@CremeDeLaCrypto) May 25, 2023
According to Bogart, Worldcoin is committed to resolving the daunting Sybil problem– online verification of identities. The hallmark of its offering is “the ability to distinguish between humans and bots has important use cases in the crypto space.” To solve this problem, Worldcoin uses a custom hardware device called “orb” to scan a user’s iris as part of its function to verify that s/he is indeed a unique and living individual.
According to Bogart, biometric concerns associated with technology do not apply to Worldcoin as it is keen on privacy preservation. Instead of storing biometric data, Worldcoin generates a unique code to identify it.
Per default, the original biometric is immediately destroyed, and the iris code is the only thing that leaves the orb.
While the advent of artificial intelligence has threatened identity verification, Worldcoin offers a paradigm shift, bringing forth a unique opportunity to establish and scale a new privacy-preserving primitive for the internet (World ID). This enables any application to easily distinguish between machines (bots) and humans.
In a time where people sacrifice their biometrics for convenience, say in airports to skip lines or in buildings to gain entry, Worldcoin is bound to boom, especially with its flagship use case, to get crypto coins through token airdrops.
On the question of why it is not available to the users in the United States, project higher-ups say:
Individuals in the US may access and utilize the World App, a wallet built for the Worldcoin protocol. They can also sign up for the World ID. At this time, the Worldcoin token is not intended to be available in the United States, and we are not in a position to speculate regarding US regulators.
This does not come as a surprise considering the recent clampdown on crypto by the US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), with the likes of Coinbase CEO calling them out for discouraging crypto firms from setting up in the US.
At the time of writing, Worldcoin’s WDC token is auctioning for $0.04617, a daily rise of almost 10% with a 125% increase in 24-hour trading volume, indicating massive activity among investors for the WDC token even before it is listed on exchanges.