OpenAI CEO Sam Altman raises US$115 million for Worldcoin crypto project

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OpenAI CEO Sam Altman

25th May 2023 – (New York) Sam Altman, the CEO of OpenAI, has raised $115 million in a Series C funding round for his cryptocurrency project, Worldcoin. The funding round was led by Blockchain Capital, with participation from a16z crypto, Bain Capital Crypto, and Distributed Global. The project aims to distribute a cryptocurrency token to individuals “just for being a unique individual.”

To confirm their identity, individuals will have their irises scanned by a device, after which they will receive the tokens for free. However, the project has faced criticism for perceived privacy risks. In response to Altman’s tweet introducing the project in 2021, former U.S. intelligence contractor Edward Snowden tweeted, “Don’t catalogue eyeballs.”

Worldcoin’s website states that the token will not be available to people in the United States and some other countries. The digital asset space is looking to regain popularity following a difficult 2022 that saw several crypto ventures collapse, including Sam Bankman-Fried’s FTX.

Altman and OpenAI have been in the spotlight since late last year, with growing interest in artificial intelligence. Altman testified before a U.S. Senate panel last week and called for regulation of the technology.

The rise of cryptocurrencies has led to increased interest in blockchain technology, which underpins most cryptocurrencies. However, the technology is not without its challenges, particularly around issues of privacy and security. Some have also raised concerns aboutthe environmental impact of cryptocurrency mining, which requires a significant amount of energy.

Worldcoin’s unique approach to cryptocurrency distribution has garnered attention, but also raised concerns about the potential for abuse and exploitation of personal data. Altman has stated that the project is aimed at creating a more equitable distribution of wealth, but critics argue that it could lead to further inequality and abuse of personal information.