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Welcome back to Chain reaction.
Do you have a coin? No? Well, Worldcoin did.
Tools for Humanity, the team building Worldcoin, has raised $115 million in a Series C round led by Blockchain Capital.
The crypto-focused project was co-founded by Sam Altman, CEO of OpenAI, with a three-part mission: to create a global ID, a global currency, and an app that enables payments, purchases, and transfers using its token — among others. cryptocurrencies and traditional assets.
Worldcoin has faced some concerns from those concerned about privacy risks, as in exchange for its token it must scan the eyeballs of a billion people with a five-pound chromatic sphere dubbed “The Orb”.
“For good reason, people get concerned and sensitive when it comes to biometrics — especially when you add in a dose of crypto,” Spencer Bogart, general partner at Blockchain Capital, wrote in a post Wednesday.
“However, what happens under the hood is that the sphere takes a picture of an iris and the device then generates a unique encoding of the randomness of the iris (an ‘iris code’),” Bogart added. “By default, the original biometrics are immediately destroyed and the iris code is the only thing that leaves the sphere.”
While the public may be hesitant, investors are still diving into the project as it is one of the few crypto companies still receiving hefty sums of capital amid an ongoing bear market.
Other investors in the Series C round include a16z, Bain Capital Crypto and Distributed Global. In March 2022, Worldcoin raised $100 million at a valuation of $3 billion.
In 2021, Worldcoin CEO Alex Blania told MinRegion that the currency is part of a larger effort to foster a more united and equitable global economy driven by the internet economy, something cryptocurrencies in particular failed to nail in the early years.
The final raise goes to bot detection, research and development, and expansion of the Worldcoin project and application. Worldcoin is currently in beta testing and has approximately two million users on board on five continents.
Bogart and Blockchain Capital believe Worldcoin could become the biggest stepping stone to crypto and the World App could become the most widely used crypto wallet. All this is yet to be determined.
This week in web3
Arrington Capital-backed group acquires assets from Celsius
Following a bankruptcy process, the assets of failed cryptocurrency lender Celsius Network are about to be acquired by a consortium called Fahrenheit. Behind this name is a group of bidders led by investment company Arrington Capital. The other members of the consortium are crypto mining company US Bitcoin Corp., Proof Group, Steven Kokinos and Ravi Kaza.
Check out Wolf’s first cohort of Bitcoin-powered startups (TC+)
In Wolf’s Clothing (Wolf), a startup accelerator launched by asset manager Stone Ridge, aims to bolster Bitcoin-focused applications and use cases. The first cohort, Wolfpack 1, consisted of eight teams and 23 founders from 10 countries, and they presented their ideas Wednesday during a demo day, covered exclusively by MinRegion+.
Montenegro court overturns bail of Terraform founder Do Kwon
A high court in Montenegro overruled an earlier decision by a lower court that would have released Terraform Labs founder Do Kwon on bail. The ruling comes nearly two weeks after Montenegro’s court agreed to release detained Kwon and his former colleague Chang-joon Han on bail.
Mastercard sees “a lot of promise” in blockchain technology if security and simplicity are paramount (TC+)
While the web3 world has seen significant inflows of capital, innovation and talent, more work is needed to ensure that both traditional players and new players can confidently enter the ecosystem. “People look at crypto and see it as an investment, but there is an entire sector that is much more useful to the financial industry as a whole,” Raj Dhamodharan, Mastercard’s EVP and head of crypto and blockchain, said during a blockchain-focused panel at the company’s North America Innovation Day event. “The technology itself is promising.”
Solana launches ChatGPT plugin to help users interact with its network (TC+)
As the artificial intelligence market continues to heat up, a number of crypto players – big and small – are diving in. The Solana Foundation, the nonprofit behind the layer-1 blockchain Solana, has officially integrated AI into its network with a ChatGPT plugin developed by Solana Labs, the team told MinRegion+ exclusively. (Solana Labs is the team building products and tools for the blockchain.)
The latest pod
For last week’s episode, Jaquelyn interviewed Sergey Nazarovco-founder of Chainlink, a protocol that provides an oracle network for smart contracts.
Chainlink is also known as a web3 service platform that connects people, businesses and data to the world of web3. And for good reason: it has enabled more than $7 trillion in transaction volume across DeFi, gaming, NFTs and other major industries.
Prior to co-founding Chainlink, Nazarov co-founded four other companies, most recently SmartContract, which focused on smart contracts.
We discussed a number of issues related to smart contracts, oracle networks, cross-chain interoperability and Nazarov’s long-term vision for Chainlink.
We also dove into:
- Unexpected use cases for smart contracts
- Cryptographic guarantees
- How traditional companies can symbolize assets
- AI and blockchain technology
- CCIP updates
Subscribe Chain reaction on apple podcasts, Spotify or your favorite pod platform to stay up to date with the latest episodes, and leave us a review if you like what you hear!
Follow the money
- Dispersion Capital Launches $40 Million Fund Focused on Decentralized Infrastructure
- Decentralized science startup LabDAO raises $3.6 million
- Openfort raises $3 million to create “frictionless” crypto accounts for gamers
- Institutional-focused digital asset platform PYOR raises $4M
- App automation platform Fastlane raises $2.3 million
This list was compiled using information from Messari and MinRegion’s own reporting.
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