The Wizard known as The Woz
Steve Wozniak, the co-founder of Apple, recently announced that he is co-founding a blockchain-startup called EFFORCE. “EFFORCE’s goal is to be recognized as the first and main platform in the world for tokenized energy savings. Through blockchain technology, EFFORCE will decentralize the energy efficiency industry. The community will benefit from this direct access to a market that will make better use of your energy.”
A lot of people might think blockchain technology or cryptocurrency is the antithesis of energy conservation. A recent article reported that the electricity used for Bitcoin mining in Iceland will exceed the energy used by all of the homes combined in the country. While it’s true that Bitcoin mining is an energy-hog, the technology underlying Bitcoin has a real shot at revolutionizing the way we buy and sell energy today. The following video explains the potential blockchain has to change the industry. There are dozens of blockchain-based companies that are involved in the energy sector, here are 5 companies that Forbes wrote about recently.
If you look at energy companies today, you will notice that centralization is heavily reflected in both their monopolistic control and the infrastructure itself. Quite often, one or two companies control the electricity generation in a given area and the grid which electrons flow through to reach the consumer. This leads to an anti-competitive market, and wasted energy as the power is being sent over long distances. A distributed electrical grid can allow people to generate and receive power closer to where it’s needed which lessens the amount of energy wasted as it travels over long distances. It also allows Peer-to-Peer transactions of electricity on the grid – effectively bypassing 3’rd parties. This makes it cheaper to buy and more profitable to generate.
Steve Wozniak and Efforce
EFFORCE will be a platform-based company that producers can use to be rewarded for supporting or building energy efficiency projects. It will most likely work similar to how we use Renewable Energy Credits in the U.S. For example, a wind farm will be awarded tokens for generating clean energy and sending it back to the grid. Those tokens can then be sold to companies that need to meet certain renewable energy quotas. This is speculative since their white-paper has not yet been released but should be available soon. These tokens could also be traded on exchanges similar to how most other cryptocurrencies are traded.
Another interesting point to highlight here is that EFFORCE is located in Malta. Malta is said to be one of the most forward-thinking countries in terms of technological innovation and blockchain development. We are beginning to see US dollars and investment opportunities bleed out of the US because a lot of our regulatory laws are antiquated and are meant to preserve the power structure of the status quo. I wrote an article that explains how Kik is battling the SEC. Every day this battle continues is another day of stifled progress in the industry. The US desperately needs clearer regulatory guidelines for blockchain-based businesses if we want to reap the harvest of this revolutionary technology.
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