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Worldcoin Raises $115 Million in Series C Funding to Create Global ID and Currency

Worldcoin, a startup founded in 2019 by OpenAI CEO Sam Altman, has raised $115 million in Series C funding, bringing its total funding to at least $240 million. The investment was led by Blockchain Capital, a ten-year-old venture firm that has previously invested in Coinbase, Kraken and OpenSea. Worldcoin aims to create a global ID, a global currency, and an app that enables payment, purchases and transfers. In this article, we take a closer look at the technology behind Worldcoin and the challenges the company faces.

The Need for a Global ID in the Age of Bots

Worldcoin’s mission is to provide proof of personhood in a world where it’s harder by the day to distinguish a human from a bot. Most of the internet is supported by ad revenue, and it costs just as much to serve bot traffic as it does to service human traffic. This is why various applications and service providers have used CAPTCHAs to distinguish between bots and humans. However, CAPTCHAs are no longer viable in a world of advanced automated systems and artificial intelligence.

Worldcoin aims to address this problem by creating a global ID that can easily distinguish between machines and humans on the internet. The company believes that the root of what defines humans is biometrics, and for this reason, it has built custom hardware that can scan irises. As it turns out, there is an insane amount of entropy and randomness in the human iris, making it an ideal candidate for a unique identifier.

How Worldcoin’s Iris Scanning Technology Works

When a user gets an iris scan from Worldcoin, it does not store the iris by default. The scan is only used to create what’s called an iris code, which is a unique mapping or encoding of the user’s iris. The iris code is compared against all others, and with these iris codes, Worldcoin can distinguish between unique humans. The only thing Worldcoin knows about these users is that they are unique human beings. The company has already onboarded nearly 2 million people through its beta testing program.

The Challenges Facing Worldcoin

One of the biggest challenges facing Worldcoin is orb distribution. There are currently only 200 to 300 orbs in the wild today, with another 2,000 waiting to be deployed. Additionally, there is a risk of negative public perception. Despite the success of its beta testing program, there is a possibility that public perception of its technology will be so negative that people will not want to participate.

Worldcoin’s Business Strategy

Worldcoin’s enterprise strategy is to help companies cut down on their interaction with bots. The company is also considering delivering its cryptocurrency to everyone, but it’s not yet clear how people would use it. However, Worldcoin needs to get a meaningful number of people in front of its iris scanning technology before any of this can happen. By the time it has 10 million unique users, there will already be a range of applications that would like to use it.

Worldcoin has already raised $240 million in funding, and its co-investors in this new round include earlier backers Andreessen Horowitz, Bain Capital Crypto and Distributed Global. However, the exact amount of equity owned by investors is unknown. Worldcoin faces many challenges, including negative public perception and the need to scale up its orb distribution. However, the potential benefits of its technology could be immense, and its investors remain confident in its success.

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