this week, world coinIt is a costume intended to fulfill the role of proof of personality In a world where it’s getting harder and harder to separate humans from bots, we’ve raised $115 million in Series C funding.
Led by a 10-year-old venture company blockchain capitalwhose stake includes Coinbase, Kraken and OpenSea, and the investment brings Worldcoin funding to at least $240 million. controversial Founded in 2019 by OpenAI CEO Sam Altman, the organization has a lot to prove.
Yesterday, we spoke with Spencer Bogart, General Partner of Blockchain Capital, about what gave us confidence in Worldcoin to create global identities, global currencies and apps that enable payments, purchases and money transfers. rice field. Its mission, like so many others, at least for now, is to convince tens of millions of people to allow Worldcoin to scan their irises using a futuristic technology-filled globe. Like many other companies, we wondered how we could achieve that goal, despite our reliance on .
Below is part of that conversation, edited for length.You can also listen to longer conversations here.
Co-investors in this new round include previous backers Andreessen Horowitz, Bain Capital Crypto and Distributed Global. Have previous backers Khosla Ventures and Tiger Global risen again?
They could be part of this funding. I don’t think they are a big part.
How much equity do investors own in the company? Considering the power Sam Altman wields and his extensive experience on the other side of the table as an investor, I think it would be difficult to negotiate with him.
That’s the correct characterization. Sam is a great founder and knows how to manage a cap table. He apologizes again and again. It’s not what you see now. Usually companies sell his 20% of the product. [equity] in each loan. Sure, things can go up and down a lot from there. In this case, I suspect that number will be significantly lower than the overall Series A, Series B, and Series C numbers.
How long have you been talking to Worldcoin and what motivated you to lead this transaction?
The original beginning was what Sam wondered. “What if we could create a virtual currency that could be distributed to everyone in the world, and everyone would receive it equally?” For me, from a venture perspective, it’s certainly interesting. [though] I don’t know if it’s something that our team would be very excited to take on based on what they’re usually interested in.
[Meanwhile] This basically requires that someone cannot accumulate an unfair share, which requires that people be able to identify unique humans. And this really comes down to the part we’re excited about: World ID.It is this ability that makes it easy to distinguish between machines and humans on the Internet. [because] Most of the internet is supported by advertising revenue, and bot traffic costs about as much to serve as human traffic. This is why various applications and services his providers use her CAPTCHAs to distinguish between bots and humans. But in a highly automated system, especially in an AI-powered world, that is no longer possible.There is no distinction between unique humans, so I don’t know if the same humans will come to consume resources excessively
From this we can see that: How can we provide a means to distinguish between humans and bots and ensure that each human is unique?
that leads to biometric authentication.
The core of what defines a human being is biometrics, and my first thought was why would I need to create this custom hardware to scan my eyeballs. Similarly, billions of people already walk around with iPhones. Why not use Face ID? The problem is that the structure of the human face doesn’t have enough randomness or entropy to distinguish between tens and hundreds of millions of unique humans. .
I didn’t know that was the case.
It never occurred to me. I didn’t even think about the fact that with over 100 million people, there are many people who look like Spencer Bogart. Their facial structure would be indistinguishable enough from mine. Fingerprints have the same problem. Fingerprints don’t have enough randomness.
This leaves us with two viable options. DNA with enough randomness to prove human uniqueness on the scale of billions of people. But you are giving too much information about DNA. Next is Iris. After all, there is a tremendous amount of entropy and randomness in the human iris. And in this case, the team has built up a great many protections. An iris scan is taken, but the iris is not saved by default. It will be deleted immediately on your device. It is only used to create what is called an iris code, which is a unique mapping or encoding of the iris. and it is compared with others. And now, with these iris codes, we don’t know their names, their locations, or anything else. The only thing we know about all of them is that they are unique human beings.
I suspect that an enterprise strategy to help businesses reduce their interactions with bots is the most lucrative opportunity for Worldcoin at the moment. We could distribute this cryptocurrency to everyone, but it is unclear how people will use it. But before that can happen, we have to rally quite a few people in front of this strange, inaccessible sphere where people are already nervous about biometrics and cryptocurrencies. Worldcoin announced that it has now scanned the eyes of two million people. How many people does it take for this to make sense? A billion?
These are the correct questions. That is, do you have a distinctly unique human network? And it will only be interesting for a certain size of application or enterprise. But I guess it depends on your use case. By the time you reach 10 million unique users, there are already various applications that want to use it, but unless you’re in a network of 500 million or 1 billion or 2 people, other applications won’t be able to use it. Not interested in using it. Billion people.
Another challenge, of course, is the distribution of orbs.Currently there are 200-300 [orbs] An additional 2,000 are currently in production and awaiting deployment. Then there is the issue of public perception. S.The point that we flagged as part of our investment is that no matter how confident we are that this is 100% doable, there will be a lot of negative perceptions of this, people’s perceptions of it. will become so negative that people will reject it. want to join?
So far, the data show otherwise. Worldcoin has already registered nearly 2 million users by operating an immediate strategy that requires significant capital, but this is still in the beta testing stage. This is done without pushing or pulling levers of marketing. This is without the protocol even existing on the mainnet. This is an initial test only.
One potential use of this is Elon Musk, who has been talking a lot about the bot problem on Twitter, touting the idea that making everyone pay $8 a month would help solve the bot problem. are doing. We believe that World ID is a less frictional way of solving the same problem and a higher fidelity solution. And there are many new applications and services that didn’t exist because of the historical inability to make this distinction. I don’t know what it is, but we’re interested in funding them.
Again, you can hear more about investing hereincluding why OpenAI itself might one day become a major Worldcoin customer, and why Bogart didn’t care when hackers recently installed it Malware that steals passwords On the devices of multiple Worldcoin Orb operators and why he is fascinated by flash trading on the blockchain.
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