AMA: new services and changes in the energy market
Dear SunContract community,
Thank you all for your questions and the time you invested in our last AMA on Telegram on the 8th of July 2022. Here we put your questions and answers of Gregor Novak, CEO of SunContract, together.
SNC and new services
SNC token was taken off some exchanges and there is only one good exchange left, do you plan to list on at least one or two more exchanges? Otherwise, it can disappear from the radar of the crypto world.
SNC is currently listed on Huobi, HitBTC, and Kriptomat, those are bigger.
Right now, we are not working to be listed on some other exchanges, but with new services, it will be interesting to put it also to some others, of course.
Any update on when it will be available the first international service?
We are planning new services to be introduced and with those services, SNC gets more utility functions, and where are more functions, is more added value and it has a certain influence on the price
We introduced last December a new platform service, variable energy P2P marketplace. This was an answer to high energy prices and huge volatility in energy wholesale.
SunContract was far first on the market to do it and it was well accepted on the market.
Will we see a new market next year?
I am very positive about it, at least one market; with our new teams and open transition, I hope will stay in the future, it is realistic now.
During your last AMA you talked about cross-border energy trading. Did you achieve any progress in this field? Isn’t it as hard from a regulation point of view as opening a new market?
Yes, it is hard, we are talking about retail P2P cross-border energy trading; there are none of those services yet on a worldwide level; but we are mature enough on a national level, with 4+ years of experience, that we know how to couple two or more markets together.
When energy NFT? And new services? Any approximate timeline?
We are working on NFT-related new services and our plan is to get ready new services by the end of the year or Q1 next year, we will see how we will be able to do it.
Crypto fall put SunContract project in some danger or some progress on hold, because of financial situation or not? What is the status?
Crypto fall did not significantly influence SunContract, because the main income for SunContract is from transaction fees and other energy-related fees on the platform, which is EUR related and is more dependent on volume than crypto prices at this moment; and volume is rising a lot.
POS for ETH will have an impact on platform, project, and SNC stays here on ETH chain with all utility functionality scalability of the token should not be a problem with sharing updates of Ethereum.
We are upgrading our blockchain services with Ethereum development deeds; last week we upgraded our services to the last Ethereum fork, and we are in preparation to support all needed for Ethereum Merge, which supposes to be in place this year.
How do you like the idea to create more demand for SNC token by providing a small discount for solar equipment in exchange for an increased amount of SNC required for deposit on the platform?
This idea is good, and we have a similar idea to put in place with new planned services, yes we go in this way.
Why does the platform not allow MT/VT contract approval if one part of a price is higher than a customer contract price event if “ET calculated price” is lower? For instance, the contract price is 0.10/0.15. A marketplace price is 0.05/0.16. This contract cannot be confirmed without an annex. What is the logic behind this?
We must care about contractual obligations, that the average price cannot be higher on P2P deals than by the fixed contract prices; within this, there are more options. You can put this question to our admins, and we go concretely to check it, and might we see we are too strict on the platform then we can change it of course.
What is the increase in % of new users on the platform compared to last year? What is the current platform capacity? And what is your goal for 2022 in terms of the user base?
Platform users are increased about 100% per year and volumes are going up 100% or more.
Users on the platform use more SNC for payments and do those SNC in the user account that is locked have some timing lock feature or they are locked permanently?
Our customers must use collateral in SNC tokens, this is by design; there are some exceptions, but most are keeping collateral in SNCs. We are lifting the collateral amount because of market price volatility. Those SNCs are locked in the time contract is valid and executed, because it is the function of collateral.
How your business model is different from your competitors, Power Ledger for example?
Power Ledger, according to my knowledge, provides SaaS model, so they provide software to existing utilities, and they try to do P2P and some other services. That’s why I do not see this business model as successful because utilities destroy their existing business model with a new one and they do more pilots than some serious business.
We provide a new business model, which is much more in favor of our customers, and we do not need utility support or acceptance, we take customers from utilities, and they stay with us.
If we are talking about the Slovenian market only, what is your opinion, realistically, how many clients can the SunContract platform get in total in 2–3 years?
We are getting bigger with the SunContract team, and this is all in preparation for global markets and services, which is our initial goal.
Does competition in Slovenia or the EU have the same or similar platform available? Or you are still the one?
I do not see similar marketplaces in EU, maybe you have found some and we can take a closer look. If any, please let us know, competition is always respectful and needs to be studied.
Good to see a rise in Team members. Which fields they are covering? How many people came this year and how many new is coming?
Our team is growing a lot. SONCE group, of which SunContract is also a part, has now about 55 employees and about 70 external permanent coworkers.
We employ people practically every week or two. We are also making a stronger core SunContract team.
On the first of July, we welcomed Marko, our new Wholesale electricity sales director, and next week we will welcome Kristian, who will be involved in finance. We also enlarged our Tallinn office, Katie joined us there a few months ago.
You say that you want to be a global energy sharing platform, don’t you think that this requires a dedicated professional representative person that will talk and travel to different companies all over the world and devote all his or her time to this matter?
We are building a team, which is doing this, we need energy experts, legal experts, financial experts, execution people, sales, and marketing, … We have now many of those listed already onboard, and some are still coming in the next months.
The current situation in the energy market
From what I know the electricity in Slovenia is still cheaper to buy from big energy companies or am I wrong? If I’m correct, what is the incentive for consumers to buy electricity from SunContract?
Electricity spread is big at this moment on the market. Households are paying in some cases only 1/6 of the market price, in some cases, our competition is already on market prices.
Is this energy crisis an opportunity, you see an increase in businesses, P2P deals, and users trading want to get cheaper electricity? But producers want a higher price, how do these two things come together positively for both sides?
Business users are on market prices and those are high, so SunContract together with SONCE energija company provides a solution for these high prices with self-sufficiency supported on SunContract platform and to make our customers sustainable on renewables; with this product, we are leaders on the market.
EU and green energy
European Union is investing billions in renewable energy, do you feel any effects of this process on your business?
Yes, we feel EU dedication to go renewables, we see it on energy and photovoltaic markets and lack of material, and we use it also on development funds, we currently are involved in two Horizon 2020 big EU development projects.
We also see this money is and will come as support for investments in renewables, and we are happy to be here in right place at the right time.
Nuclear and gas are now “green energy”. You’ll include them on the platform as a source like producers? Or you are more sustainable … wise like politics and lobbies?
Nuclear is for us, not a renewable source, EU commission put it for a limited time on the list because of French interest and lack of energy in Europe because of the Russian invasion of Ukraine; the same is with gas. Nuclear is mineral fuel, not renewable, natural gas is a fossil fuel, also not renewable; we do not plan to put those two temporary “renewable” sources on our platform, because they are not in line with our vision.
When some article appears in Slovenian media it is not translated, or the main points are provided in Telegram. At least some people are more interested in business progress than a general advertisement of green energy on Telegram. Why such a policy?
Some activities, services, and business news are more dedicated and targeted to the Slovenian audience. That’s why there are more concentrated on SLO media and campaigns running in SLO. Branding, onboarding new users on the platform, product advertising, and so on. But we’ll discuss your suggestion at our marketing meeting.
Any new conferences this or next year — crypto, energy-related?
We have been to some conferences, NFT in Tallin and Belgrade; I am a speaker in some conferences and many energy events. We are also going to be on some of them still this year; we cannot go on all of them. There is so much work with new teams and services and we also need to be in the office to do that, growing so much is not so easy with all the work to do daily.
Do you personally hold SNC? And when do you plan to sell?
I believe in SNC, and I hold it from the ICO, and I buy some more from time to time. About selling, I am not thinking about it.
Can you reveal to us some future cookies for the project?
Yes, let’s conclude with the future, vision. We are on the way to putting on the platform global services, related to NFTs. I cannot disclose really a lot of details now. I like we do surprise to the market, and we do not telephone it in advance to our competitors. It will be awesome, new, and very useful, for the crypto community, you will love it, and for the energy community as well. So, this is one of our strategies to put global services and the next is to extend to different energy markets. This one is harder and slower but is in the process to be started next year finally.
Thank you for your questions and interest in the SunContract marketplace.
We need all the support you can give us. Thank you for being with us, following our progress, and for all your suggestions and good vibes.