U.S. Markets closed
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.

Apple co-founder Steve Wozniak on WOZX crypto listing: 'I think of our tokens as shares of stock'

·Contributor
·4 min read
In this article:
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.

Efforce, a new Malta-based blockchain project for funding energy-efficient businesses, launched last week with the listing of its cryptocurrency token WOZX, named for Apple co-founder Steve Wozniak. The token had such high investor interest, the company touted in a press release on Friday, that it soared to a $950 million market cap “in the first 13 minutes” of its listing.

Wozniak is one of six co-founders of Efforce, not its CEO, but the token bears his name, and the company’s own press release calls Efforce “his second company.”

The token is up 14% on Tuesday. For now, it’s only listed on Singapore-based crypto exchange HBTC, though WOZX will also soon get added to Korea-based crypto exchange Bithumb.

BURLINGAME, CALIFORNIA - JULY 23: Apple co-founder Steve Wozniak (R) gives the thumbs-up as he speaks during a press conference with his wife Janet Wozniak (L) on July 23, 2020 in Burlingame, California. Steve Wozniak and 17 other victims are filing a lawsuit against YouTube and Google over their lack of action to address a fraudulent Bitcoin giveaway that used an image of Wozniak to to defraud innocent people out of their cryptocurrency. (Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)
Apple co-founder Steve Wozniak gives the thumbs-up during a press conference with his wife Janet Wozniak on July 23, 2020 in Burlingame, California. Steve Wozniak and 17 other victims are filing a lawsuit against YouTube and Google over their lack of action to address a fraudulent bitcoin giveaway that used an image of Wozniak. (Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)

There are regulatory risks to a token sale or “initial coin offering” (ICO) in the U.S. The fundraising method exploded in popularity in 2017, but the boom came with many scams, and by 2018 the SEC began cracking down on companies that conducted token sales since the agency deemed almost all of them to be unregistered securities offerings. More recent token sales have instead listed outside the U.S. to avoid regulatory headaches.

But any cryptocurrency associated with Apple legend Wozniak is bound to attract mainstream interest. Wozniak agreed to answer Yahoo Finance’s questions about the project over email.

What follows is an edited transcript.

Yahoo Finance: So, this is really you involved with Efforce—they’re not falsely using your name.

Wozniak: “It is I.”

Does the WOZX token have your sign-off, and what’s your official role at the company?

Wozniak: “I’ve been working in stealth with this group for a couple of years. I am in an engineering role, contributing to the blockchain thinking and accessibility of WOZX. I am proud that we are going with the WOZX name. To me, it’s a recognition and an honor. I think of it like WOZ U [his tech education business]. I have always favored bringing the less advantaged into positions of investment for worthy corporations (in this case, environmental) as well as promoting efficiencies and trust.”

How much has the WOZX token sale raised, in total, and how much do you own?

Wozniak: “I don’t personally know how much I have for Efforce. I’m not operationally involved, and avoid financial considerations. I do so in my own life. There was never a time that I could tell you how much I have myself or where it is. I never deal with even my own banking. I do not invest directly and have no stocks at all, other than startups of friends, and I don’t even know what or how much of that. I have never used a stock app on my iPhone or any stock investing websites... I never started Apple to make any money either.”

Why is Efforce registered in Malta?

Wozniak: “Malta has an exchange and positive government support for it, to handle blockchain tokens with the appropriate regulation. This has been worked out over a long period with precautions. I think of our tokens as shares of stock. I have travelled to Malta as part of this (prior to COVID) and spoken with involved parties and given my blessing to it. I’d love to be a Malta citizen someday but COVID is really in the way of that these days.”

The WOZX token sale was an ICO—Do the SEC enforcement actions in the U.S. against ICOs in the recent past concern you?

Wozniak: “I’m not the financial structure guy. You treat me as a CEO but you are incorrect in that... I have been to Italy multiple times over years to meet with the principals in Efforce. I took my time and wound up warmly endorsing them and being totally impressed at their acumen and business operations... This is not a fly-by-wire event.”

Daniel Roberts is an editor-at-large at Yahoo Finance and closely covers bitcoin and blockchain. Follow him on Twitter at @readDanwrite.

Read more:

Apple co-founder Steve Wozniak's crypto token takes off—but you can't buy it in the US

Why this bitcoin run is different: Grayscale managing director

Bitcoin hits new all time high, driven by institutional buying

Bitcoin is surging in 2020 and nearing its all time high — here's why

Why bitcoin and altcoins are hot again this summer

Square's bitcoin bet is paying off

Jamie Dimon says bitcoin is 'not my cup of tea' even as JPMorgan has warmed to crypto

Exclusive: SEC quietly widens its crackdown on token sales