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December 4, 2020updated 08 Dec 2020 9:43am

Apple co-founder Steve Wozniak launches blockchain company Efforce

By Robert Scammell

Apple co-founder Steve Wozniak has officially launched his latest venture – a blockchain company called Efforce that tokenises energy efficiency measures.

Businesses can register their energy upgrade projects on the Efforce web-based platform to secure funding from investors.

Using these funds for energy efficiency measures, such as improving insulation or switching to energy-saving lighting, will free up cash to spend on other business interests, Efforce says.

Efforce’s platform uses blockchain technology, the decentralised system of digital records that underpins cryptocurrencies.

The savings made from energy efficiency improvement are written on the blockchain. These savings are then redistributed to those holding tokens via smart contracts, which means no intermediaries are needed.

Efforce was co-founded in 2018 by Jacopo Visetti, with Wozniak joining the company in July 2019.

The Malta-based company listed its tokens, called WOZX, for the first time yesterday on the HBTC exchange. The total value of the tokens hit $950m within 13 minutes of launch. As of Friday, the token’s value passed $1bn.

Efforce approves energy savings projects and works with companies to implement them. It uses smart meters linked to the blockchain platform to determine the value of energy savings, with credits distributed in megawatt-hours.

Those holding the tokens are effectively betting on companies making energy savings in the future.

Efforce and Wozniak believe this will democratise the energy efficiency market, which draws in hundreds of billions of dollars each year but can be difficult for some companies to access.

“Energy consumption and CO2 emissions worldwide have grown exponentially, leading to climate change and extreme consequences to our environment,” Wozniak said.

“We can improve our energy footprint and lower our energy consumption without changing our habits. We can save the environment simply by making more energy improvements.

“We created Efforce to be the first decentralised platform that allows everyone to participate and benefit financially from worldwide energy efficiency projects, and create meaningful environmental change.”

Wozniak backs blockchain ventures

In 1976 Wozniak founded Apple with Steve Jobs and Ronald Wayne. The company is now valued at more than $2tn.

Efforce is not Wozniak’s first foray into the blockchain world. In 2018 he became a co-founder of  EQUI Global, a blockchain-powered company dedicated to the disruption of the venture capital industry. EQUI Global was a rebranding of a cryptocurrency launched by Conservative peer Baroness Mone, which flopped in 2018.

While the cryptocurrency and blockchain industry’s reputation has been blighted by scammers and opportunists, Wozniak’s involvement adds credibility to Efforce.

However, the Financial Times has previously cast doubt on the extent of Wozniak’s involvement, alleging he had invested just €132 in Efforce as of August 2019. Verdict has asked Efforce for clarification.

Efforce had previously intended to raise between $15m and $53m in an initial coin offering in mid-2018 bit it failed to get off the ground.

“In these difficult times, many small companies are struggling,” said Jacopo Visetti, project lead and co-founder, Efforce.

“They can’t afford to switch to LED lighting, streamline production processes, or even insulate to conserve heat, all of which could save them money in the long term.

“Efforce allows business owners to safely register their energy upgrade project on the web and secure funding from all types of investors around the world. The companies will then have more available cash to use for other critical projects such as infrastructure or hiring.”

Read more: Steve Wozniak takes on the venture capital industry with blockchain


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