OPENAI secures $100 million for eyeball-scanning crypto project

File photo: Samuel Altman, CEO of OpenAI, appears for testimony before the Senate Judiciary Subcommittee on Privacy, Technology, and the Law May 16, 2023 in Washington, DC. (Photo by WIN MCNAMEE / GETTY IMAGES NORTH AMERICA / Getty Images via AFP)

Doha, Qatar: OpenAI CEO Sam Altman has successfully secured $100 million in funding for his ambitious iris-scanning cryptocurrency project, Worldcoin, according to sources familiar with the matter.

This investment comes at a challenging time for digital currencies, as the market faces a downward trend.

Established in 2019 by Altman and Alex Blania, Worldcoin aims to introduce a global identification system by utilizing cutting-edge eyeball-scanning technology, thereby enabling individuals worldwide to access cryptocurrencies. In a recent development, Worldcoin unveiled the World App, a digital wallet designed to enhance digital identity and global financial accessibility.

Designed for the Worldcoin ecosystem, the World App can be used to authenticate with World ID, get Worldcoin tokens and send digital money anywhere.

“World App is a different kind of wallet,” Worldcoin said in a blog post.

“It doesn’t support every token or functionality crypto has to offer, and it doesn’t expose every possible configuration. Instead, it is designed by TFH [Tools for Humanity] to focus on a handful of key functionalities for Worldcoin and Ethereum to keep things simple and familiar so anyone can use them.”

While the cryptocurrency industry has faced significant turbulence and speculation, industry experts emphasize the importance of distinguishing genuine companies and technologies from hype-driven investments.

Brendan Berry, Head of Payments Products at enterprise crypto provider Ripple, acknowledged the challenges faced by the industry and highlighted the need for healthy skepticism.

Berry, speaking to digital economy-focused news site  PYMNTS, said that “what happened through 2022 was a lot of layoffs, companies going under and consumer losses.”

“We are coming out of that period with a healthy skepticism separating what was a large amount of hype and speculative investment driving bull market activity, from real companies and technologies solving real customer pain points. That healthy skepticism makes this an ideal time to be a “builder,” he added.

Research conducted by PYMNTS indicates that many businesses recognize the potential of blockchain payment technology in streamlining cross-border transactions. However, over 50% of these businesses express concerns regarding regulatory risks associated with the adoption of such technologies.

In this context, Berry said his company was focused on “enabling value to move at the speed of information.”

“There’s been significant adoption and interest from businesses [around using crypto to facilitate instantaneous cross-border transactions] that is only continuing to accelerate,” he told PYMNTS.


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