May 25, 2023 - A crypto startup co-founded by OpenAI Chief Executive Officer Sam Altman has raised new funding to further its mission of providing a digital ID for everyone on the planet. The company, Tools for Humanity, is behind the cryptocurrency project Worldcoin and announced that it had raised $115 million from investors.
The startup aims to create separate IDs for every living person in part by scanning their eyes. The scanning device is a small orb that reads a user's irises, creating unique digital identities based on blockchain. This massive influx of funding will bolster the company's efforts to develop and implement this ambitious project.
CFTC Commissioner Acknowledges Challenges in Policing Cryptocurrency Fraud
In other news, a top U.S. regulator stated on Tuesday that there is no way to police all cryptocurrency fraud due to the sheer volume, although her agency is working on several significant cases. Christy Goldsmith Romero, one of five commissioners at the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC), said cryptocurrency cases account for about 20% of the agency's portfolio, including recent civil cases against the exchanges Binance and FTX.
"There's just a lot of fraud in the space," Goldsmith Romero said at a white collar crime conference at the New York City Bar Association. "There's just no way we can police all the fraud, but we've got to do something".
CFTC Chairman Rostin Behnam has sought greater authority from lawmakers for the agency to oversee spot crypto markets. Goldsmith Romero also dismissed the idea that there was a "turf war" between the CFTC and the Securities and Exchange Commission over regulating crypto, although she acknowledged that many of the industry's products are new and the agencies were "still trying to figure it out".
She also cautioned crypto companies against viewing the CFTC as a potentially friendlier regulator than the deeper-pocketed SEC, stating, "I don't like the idea that somehow the CFTC is light touch. 'Light touch regulator' would never be written on my tombstone".
In March, the CFTC sued Binance and its founder and CEO, Changpeng Zhao, for allegedly operating a sham compliance program. Zhao has refuted the complaint, calling it an "incomplete recitation of facts". The CFTC has also accused the now-bankrupt FTX and its founder Sam Bankman-Fried of causing the loss of more than $8 billion in customer deposits. Bankman-Fried has pleaded not guilty to related criminal charges from the U.S. Department of Justice.
These stories underscore the dynamic and rapidly evolving landscape of the cryptocurrency industry, with major developments in both innovation and regulation happening concurrently.