Steve Wozniak, the co-founder of Apple, is crypto-going.
Wozniak unveiled his new company Efforce on Friday, a blockchain-based “energy efficiency market” for eco-friendly business ventures for crowdfunding. “Wozniak, who is co-founder but not CEO of Efforce, said in a press release: “We built Efforce to be the first decentralized platform that enables everyone to participate and benefit financially from global energy efficiency initiatives and create significant environmental change.
The launch came with listing a digital token, WOZX, and Efforce says investors pushed the token’ in the first 13 minutes’ of its listing to a $950 million market cap. Before its token offer, the business had already received $80 million in capital from private investors.
On Monday, the token is another 5 percent up. Yet there’s little the company has done yet.
The stunning figures come with a host of cautions from investors.
Only the Singapore-based crypto exchange HBTCC will buy the WOZX coin (formerly called BHEX, launched in 2018 by the former CTO of Huobi). However, You have to purchase the stable coin Tether (USDT-USD) to buy WOZX on HBTC, then use Tether to buy WOZX.
WOZX is also going to be listed shortly on Bithumb, a crypto exchange located in Korea. (Unlike stocks, on several sales, cryptocurrencies list, which is why several exchanges, for example, list a particular all-time-high price for bitcoin.) But via a U.S. exchange platform, you will not buy and sell WOZX.
And the firm, Efforce, is registered in Malta.
Are they bringing the token selling boom back?
Why would a legendary Silicon Valley engineer based in California have his new company registered in Malta? Well, For the same reason, there are so many other crypto ventures (and daily fantasy sports operators) that are registered there. The small Mediterranean island, with a population of 400,000, has very friendly financial regulations.
Wozniak, in his speech at the 2019 Delta Summit in Malta about his plans for Efforce, said Malta “has been on my mind for decades” and is “like no other place in the world.” According to the Malta Independent, he also said the Maltese government is very favorable to moving forward in the modern world.”
On the other hand, American financial authorities have not warmed to token sales or ICOs (initial coin offering), the form of crypto financing that flourished in 2017 and then dried up in the U.S. after it became apparent that nearly all token sales were deemed unregistered stock offers by the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) and other regulators.
The ICO boom’s central problem, were buyers buying these tokens because they wanted to be the companies’ clients behind them and share in their network of blockchain? Or were they purchasing them as a risky gamble hoping that the tokens’ valuation would increase?
At Yahoo Finance’s All Markets Summit in 2018, William Hinman, the SEC’s director of corporate finance, made the agency’s opinion clear when he indicated that bitcoin (BTC) and ether (ETH) are not stocks, but most ICOs are securities offers, and that ‘making the deal an initial coin offering, or’ ICO,’ or a’ token sale,’ will not push it out of the U.S. securities’ reach.
The SEC took a range of compliance measures that year and imposed fines against entities listing tokens without registering with the SEC. Virtually none of the ICOs who made instant millions reported with the SEC in the middle of the ICO bubble, and in many situations, frequent investors lost their shirts.
In the meantime, on Nov. 30, bitcoin reached a new all-time peak, fuelled by retail investors and by PayPal and Square’s public acceptance of bitcoin. The growth of Bitcoin has helped raise the prices of other altcoins.
This is the backdrop to which Wozniak issued a digital token. It is a risky bet, and one that you can not make through a U.S. trading platform right now, but the imprimatur of Wozniak can make casual investors (and admirers of Woz) feel comfortable.
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