Thursday, July 25, 2024

Sam Altman, Co-founder and CEO of the AI company OpenAI, recently made clear during an event at Tel Aviv University that he has no hands-on involvement with the day-to-day operations of Worldcoin, a biometric cryptocurrency project by Tools for Humanity (TFH). This clarification comes after TFH announced that it had raised $115 million in a Series C funding round led by Blockchain Capital.

Altman States His Distance from Worldcoin Prevents Him from Offering Detailed Insights

With an illustrious history in tech, including stints as president of Y Combinator and a brief role as CEO of Reddit, Altman currently leads OpenAI, the creators of the AI-based chatbot, Chatgpt. Altman co-founded TFH with Max Novendstern and Alex Bania in 2019, the brains behind the iris biometric cryptocurrency venture, Worldcoin.

Worldcoin’s vision involves creating a comprehensive identity and financial infrastructure that adheres to universal basic income (UBI) principles. Based on Ethereum, Worldcoin recently introduced its two services—World ID and World App. World ID promises AI-resistant, iris-based identification while World App is aimed at improving decentralized identification. Altman, however, insists that he is too far removed from the Worldcoin project to offer comments on its future plans.

Blockchain Capital led the recent Series C funding round that raised $115 million for TFH, with participants including Andreessen Horowitz’s A16z crypto arm, Bain Capital Crypto, and Distributed Global. At a recent AI technology trends event at Tel Aviv University, Altman fielded a question about his future involvement with the Worldcoin project. “I’m an investor. I was instrumental in setting up the company but I’m not involved in the daily operations,” responded Altman. “I find it thrilling to think about ways to demonstrate humanity in a privacy-preserving manner and consider things like global UBI and ways to democratize access in a fair way.”

Despite Altman’s lack of day-to-day involvement, Worldcoin has attracted its fair share of controversy. Edward Snowden, the whistleblower and former NSA contractor, critiqued the project’s eyeball registration aspect in October 2021. In April 2022, MIT Technology Review criticized Worldcoin for allegedly misleading and exploiting citizens of developing countries to grow its user base. Techcrunch also reported last month that hackers allegedly compromised some Worldcoin scanning orbs administrators’ credentials.

We would love to hear your thoughts on Sam Altman’s statement about his distance from the Worldcoin project. Please share your views on this matter in the comments section below.

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