By Elizabeth Howcroft and Martin Coulter
LONDON (Reuters) – OpenAI CEO Sam Altman has doubled down on his vision for cryptocurrency project Worldcoin, following reports the company was seeking $50 million in funding.
Worldcoin says it aims to create a global identity and financial network. More than 2.6 million people have signed up to have their irises scanned by Worldcoin’s “orb” devices in exchange for a digital ID and free cryptocurrency.
Altman appeared as part of a virtual Q&A hosted by fintech-focused investment bank FT Partners on Thursday, a week after crypto news outlet The Block reported that Tools For Humanity, the company behind Worldcoin, was seeking to raise $50 million from investors.
The company is raising funds by selling the project’s crypto tokens at a discounted rate, according to The Block.
“In a world with a lot of AI, knowing who is human matters more and more,” Altman said on Thursday.
“The belief was and is that as AI becomes an increasingly important part of our lives…the ability to identify unique humans was going to be more and more important.”
A spokesperson for Worldcoin did not immediately respond to a request for comment on The Block’s report.
The firm previously raised $115 million in a Series C funding round led by Blockchain Capital, alongside a16z crypto, and Bain Capital Crypto.
Various regulators, including in the United Kingdom and Germany, have said they were looking into Worldcoin following its launch in July.
(Reporting by Elizabeth Howcroft and Martin Coulter; Editing by Kirsten Donovan)
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