After Tools for Humanity, the team behind the biometric cryptocurrency project Worldcoin announced it had raised $115 million in a Series C led by Blockchain Capital, Sam Altman, co-founder and chief executive of the artificial intelligence (AI) firm Openai, clarified at an event held at Tel Aviv University that he is not involved in the project’s day-to-day operations.
Sam Altman Says He’s Not Close Enough to the Worldcoin Project to ‘Meaningfully Comment on the Plans’
Sam Altman holds an esteemed presence in the technology sphere and has performed various roles such as Y Combinator’s president, Reddit’s brief CEO tenure, and presently leading Openai, maker of AI-driven chatbot Chatgpt. In 2019, Altman teamed up with Max Novendstern and Alex Bania to establish Tools for Humanity (TFH), the creators behind Worldcoin’s iris biometric cryptocurrency venture.
Worldcoin envisions multiple objectives like constructing a vast identity and financial framework that supports universal basic income (UBI) principles. Supposedly based on Ethereum, the token project recently introduced its dual services—World ID and World App. While World ID claims to provide AI-resistant, iris-dependent identification procedures, the World App focuses on enhancing decentralized identification.
TFH recently acquired $115 million through a Series C financing round headlined by Blockchain Capital. Other participants included Andreessen Horowitz’s A16z crypto branch, Bain Capital Crypto, and Distributed Global. In a video published on Monday, Altman engaged with Dr. Nadav Cohen and others at a Tel Aviv University event discussing AI technology trends. Towards its conclusion, an attendee inquired about Altman’s “future plans” concerning the Worldcoin project.
“I’m an investor,” Altman replied to the woman. “I kind of like helped put the company together but I’m not involved day to day at all. I think it’s very exciting, I think experimenting with new ways to differentiate between … like to prove humanity in a privacy-preserving way and to think about things like global [universal basic income] and ways to fairly democratize access, is a super great area to explore.”
But I’m not close enough to the company to like meaningfully comment on the plans.
Despite its altruistic goals, Worldcoin has faced criticism. Whistleblower and former NSA contractor Edward Snowden rebuked the idea of registering eyeballs in October 2021. MIT Technology Review called out the project in April 2022 for allegedly deceiving and exploiting third-world country citizens to expand its user base. Furthermore, Techcrunch reported hackers allegedly compromised some of the Worldcoin scanning orbs administrators’ credentials last month.
What do you think about Sam Altman’s commentary about not being close enough to the Worldcoin project to comment on it? Share your thoughts and opinions about this subject in the comments section below.