In a recent announcement, Tools for Humanity, the technology company responsible for the Worldcoin project, revealed it has successfully raised $115 million in series C funding. The funding round was led by Blockchain Capital with participation from other major investors such as a16z crypto, Bain Capital Crypto, and Distributed Global. The funds will be used for various projects, one of which includes an alternative to the controversial CAPTCHA test.
According to Blockchain Capital General Partner Spencer Bogart, the goal is to create a new internet primitive that can efficiently differentiate between humans and bots. With AI-powered automated systems becoming more sophisticated, traditional CAPTCHA tests no longer offer optimal protection against malicious bot activity in the blockchain and cryptocurrency domains.
Another company taking a stance against bots is Civic, which launched a suite of tools last summer aimed at preventing unfair advantages in NFT drops by limiting wallet usage per account.
Aside from bot detection, Tools for Humanity will allocate funds toward the Worldcoin project and the World App, as well as overall research and development. Based in San Francisco, the team includes former employees from renowned companies such as Electric Coin Company, Revolut, Uber, Block, Twitter, and Apple.
The announcement follows closely on the heels of a recent Financial Times report stating that Worldcoin co-founder and OpenAI CEO Sam Altman had entered advanced talks for a new financing round with an initial target of $100 million.
Worldcoin, presently in beta, is an Ethereum-based token with the objective of establishing a worldwide universal basic income system. The ambitious project intends to create the largest, most inclusive identity and financial network, built around World ID and the Worldcoin token.
However, the WorldID project received its share of criticism when it unveiled plans to use retina scans as a method of verifying human account holders and deterring bots. This “Proof of Personhood” process has sparked concerns over privacy.
Tools for Humanity maintains that the retina scans will be destroyed after processing. However, skeptics, such as the renowned whistleblower Edward Snowden, remain unconvinced, questioning the level of trust given to a tech company handling sensitive personal data.
In light of these concerns, Bogart believes that Worldcoin must provide more information openly to instill confidence in users. The company must overcome the significant hurdle of skepticism before it can gain broad acceptance and establish itself as a secure, trustworthy platform.