Sam Bankman-Fried was among early investors in the dystopian Worldcoin biometric cryptocurrency

SBF invested in the biometric Worldcoin cryptocurrency in an early round of funding in 2021, alongside Andreessen Horowitz, Coinbase, and Anatoly Yakovenko, the co-founder and CEO of Solana.

World ID

Sam Bankman-Fried (SBF), currently detained in cozy house arrest conditions at his parents' house in California, was one of Worldcoin's earliest investors, according to data from, an Amsterdam-based startup data and intelligence company.

SBF was among people and funds who invested a total of $25 million in Worldcoin in an early VC round that took place in June 2021. Other prominent investors included Andreessen Horowitz, Coinbase, and Anatoly Yakovenko, the co-founder and CEO of Solana.

SBF has been known for his high-risk, aggressive investing approach. His personal portfolio is somewhat limited, though, encompassing merely seven projects. On the other hand, FTX's investments include over 70 startups – with no trace of Worldcoin.

Founded by OpenAI CEO Sam Altman and developed by San Francisco and Berlin-based Tools for Humanity tech company, Worldcoin made headlines on Monday, with the official launch of the project. Its core offering is World ID, described by the creators as a "digital passport," proving that the document's holder is a human rather than an AI bot.

Worldcoin first sparked controversy in 2021 when it was made known that, as CNBC put it, "Silicon Valley entrepreneur Sam Altman wants to scan your eyes in exchange for free cryptocurrency," which pretty well describes the foundational idea of the initiative. Apparently, the concept inspired SBF to pitch in a few bucks with a view to future returns. The currency underpinning the project is a WLD Layer 2 Ethereum-based token to be offered to users eager to get scanned for a promise of value. WLD is already listed on over twenty platforms.

Worldcoin uses silver orb-shaped devices about the size of a bowling ball to scan people's irises in exchange for "free" cryptocurrency. The encrypted image becomes a unique code creating a World ID for a user. Obvious privacy and surveillance concerns are being dispelled by the vague promise of a universal basic income, which Altman has long been a proponent of.

In 2021, when SBF made the investment, the company had already amassed over 100,000 users globally and aimed to hit one billion users by 2023. However, so far, it has managed to collect only 2 million users during the beta period, which still looks like a large number for a project that seems straight from a dystopian nightmare.

Dogecoin co-creator Billy Markus, who goes by the pseudonym of Shibetoshi Nakamoto, has recently called Worldcoin "creepy and weird."