Palm-scanning "proof of humanity" project Humanity Protocol has announced a successful fundraising round, with investors including Polygon co-founder Sandeep Nailwal and Animoca Brands co-founder Yat Siu.

In all, more than 20 venture capital firms also invested in the strategic investment round, including Hashed, CMCC, Cypher Capital, Foresight Ventures, and Mechanism Capital.

In a statement, Humanity Protocol founder Terence Kwok called the funding round "a significant milestone in our journey," with the funds raised to be used for enhancing the blockchain's scalability, accessibility and efficiency ahead of its testnet launch.

Humanity Protocol aims to provide an "accessible and non-invasive method for establishing Proof of Humanity" for Web3 applications, using a combination of "cutting-edge palm recognition technology." It claims to preserve user privacy through its use of zero-knowledge proofs, a cryptographic technique that's used to prove that a piece of information is known, without revealing the information itself.


Kwok added that Humanity Protocol's "human-centric blockchain" has the goal of "ensuring privacy and empowering individuals across the globe with a digital identity that they control."

Humanity Protocol, which emerged from stealth last week, is a zkEVM layer 2 blockchain built using the Polygon Chain Development Kit (CDK). It claims to offer individuals "complete ownership over their data and identity," with Animoca Brands co-founder Yat Siu commenting that its digital identity solution is "truly decentralized and respects the principles of true digital ownership."

It isn't the project aiming to deliver proof of humanity using biometrics. Blockchain-powered digital identification platform Worldcoin, founded by OpenAI CEO Sam Altman, aims to build a "Global ID" network. It offers cryptocurrency rewards in its WLD token to those who consent to have their irises scanned by its Orb devices.


Worldcoin has proved contentious, with governments including Argentina, Kenya, France and Germany launching investigations into the project and raising concerns over data collection and storage. The firm has "temporarily scaled back" its Orb verification program in India and "paused" its operations in Brazil and France, a company spokesperson told Decrypt, claiming that its verification program in those regions was a "limited time preview."

Last month, Hong Kong's Office of the Privacy Commissioner for Personal Data (PCPD) became the latest regulator to investigate the firm's operations.

Edited by Stacy Elliott. Updated on 28th February with comment from Worldcoin. 

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