Decentralized identity solution Humanity Protocol is officially a unicorn after a recent $30 million raise lifted its valuation to $1 billion.

The $30 million Seed Round was led by Kingsway Capital, with participation from Animoca Brands,, Hashed, Shima Capital and 20 other investors, Humanity Protocol wrote in a May 15 Medium post.w

Humanity Protocol plans to use the funds to expand its product development unit as the firm prepares for its public testnet launch in the second half of 2024.

The project scans user’s palms and claims to secure their digital identities on a blockchain by integrating zero-knowledge technology and “proof-of-humanity” — a consensus mechanism used to confirm the user is human and not an AI bot.

Source: Humanity Protocol

Humanity Protocol hopes its palm scanning will be viewed as a less invasive alternative to its iris scanning rival Worldcoin by OpenAI CEO Sam Altman.

Despite its controversial approach, which has seen Worldcoin banned in multiple countries over privacy concerns, it has already amassed 10 million users.

Humanity Protocol’s waitlist, meanwhile, has seen over half a million people sign up since it emerged from stealth one month ago.

Related: How a decentralized AI movement is shaping a fairer future

Terence Kwok launched the Humanity Protocol through the Human Institute in February 2023.

Kwok is receiving assistance from Animoca Brands co-founder Yat Siu and Polygon Labs, which helped Humanity Protocol build a testnet in February this year.

As powerful as decentralized ID solution can be, Siu says it is crucial to ensure they’re not “too invasive, complicated, or cumbersome,” particularly when users sign up in the onboarding process.

Competition in the blockchain-based identity market continues to ramp up amid a surge in data breaches in an increasingly AI-driven world.

IT Governance data shows 8.2 billion documents were breached from 2,814 incidents reported in 2023.

Kwok’s firm claims user information will be stored in a “decentralized manner” which won’t be owned by anyone but the user.

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