Steve Wozniak, the co-founder of Apple, has ventured into blockchain-based energy efficiency startup Efforce — 45 years after starting his first venture. The ambitious project by Wozniak aims to use cryptocurrency and blockchain technology to make it cheaper and more comfortable for companies to fund ‘green’ projects. The startup, based out of Malta, has been in stealth mode for the last year, about which Wozniak had hinted in the Delta Summit 2019.
This is the first-ever blockchain-based energy-saving platform that is accessible to large and small investors, regardless of borders to monetise their transferable energy savings. It aims to democratise the $250 billion markets for energy-efficiency projects.
The launch of Efforce came with the listing of a digital token, WOZX, which has been named after Wozniak. According to the company, it had received an initial valuation of $80M by investors in private sales. However, it recorded a market capitalisation of $950M in the first 13 minutes — which is quite remarkable.
What Is Efforce?
Wozniak said that energy consumption and CO2 emissions had grown exponentially across the globe, which has led to drastic climatic changes. He firmly believes that the energy footprint can be improved and energy consumption can be reduced without changing the habits drastically. Built on the premise that energy can be saved by only making more energy improvements, Efforce team has created the first-ever decentralised platform, which allows anyone to participate and benefit financially from worldwide energy efficiency projects.
As the website explains, contributors can participate in energy efficiency projects by acquiring tokenised future savings while the companies can benefit from such improvements at no costs.
Jacopo Visetti, the project lead and co-founder at Efforce in the official statement said that these are difficult times for small companies. Most of them cannot afford to switch to LED or streamline production processes. Efforce will allow these business owners to safely register their energy upgrade projects and receive funding from investors across the globe.
How Does It Use Blockchain Technology?
WOZX, the cryptocurrency, can be used to buy into energy-efficiency projects that Energy services companies can list on its platform. The Efforce team then validates the project, following which it develops the project with the company, including evaluating the investment needed, calculating the anticipated returns, and creating an Energy Performance Contract (EPC) that details the savings and the duration of the returns for the company and investors.
Explaining further, the company said that it then lists the project for crowd distribution, from where the participants may buy the project using fractional or whole WOZX tokens. The energy savings by these projects can be tracked and measured through smart meters attached to the blockchain, which can be displayed on the investor’s profile as an energy credit for use or sale by the investor. “Energy credits are distributed in megawatt-hours,” the press release noted, which can be used to offset electricity bills or be sold back to Efforce for cash.
WOZX began trading publicly on December 3rd on HBTC.com and aims to launch on Bithumb Global, another marketplace for decentralised currencies soon. While HBTC is a Singapore-based crypto exchange, Bithumb is based out of Korea. One cannot buy and trade WOZX through a US exchange site.
How Is The World Receiving It?
It is quite unusual for cryptocurrency to be used to deal with the environmental crisis, but Wozniak is hopeful that it can lead to a meaningful change. While private investors have responded positively, there is another section that is criticising it.
One comment read that it is quite unclear from the beginning what Efforce actually is…”Perhaps we can describe it as the equivalent of a carbon offsetting marketplace, just for energy? Well, if that’s the case… it doesn’t need a blockchain or a token. It can be done, today, in dollars and euros.”
Another comment read, “…I just hope that this venture isn’t targeting non-rational people out there…even though it certainly looks like it is.”
With the ongoing debate around the technology, the company believes that if it gets successful, the energy efficiency market is likely to see a massive influx of new investments and a drastic reduction in global emissions. Wozniak has been hopeful of the crypto technology for long and aims to break new grounds in the field with Efforce. We can only wait and watch.