Here are collected all interesting questions and answers from all AMAs till today. If you have something else to ask, you can post your question here --> https://bit.ly/2NFBYrb Julj 2018 AMA (ask me anything)
This article is a bit long, but it answers all the questions that we have until today.
Hello, do you plan to enable trading in your trading "pool" only with SNC tokens or will people who are not "so into crypto" and sceptics be able to pay for energy or get payed for selling energy in fiat to?
Thanks and wish you all the best! Decentralized energy market platform (Platform) will accept SNC and fiat currency.
I suppose there is no so much people who fully understand energy distribution system/network, especially renewable energy network. I would like to know some basic informations about distribution and SunContract role in it.
For example, household from Berlin wants to buy energy from Munchen, how that works? In that case, what would be SunContract role? Can that go internationaly, household from Maribor wants energy from Salzburg, is that type of trade possible in EU? Is that SunContracts point? If that's possible, what are the EU law regulations and how is that going to affect big players in energy business?
Right now system works like this: Power plant produces electricity that goes into the grid. Local distribution is managed by DSO while transmission is in the hands of TSO. Retailer buys electricity from power plant and sells this electricity to you. Electricity is then distributed to your home. SunContract’s role here will be eliminating the role of retailer: trading with energy. Why would retailer buy electricity cheaper from power plant and then sell it to you more expensive if this can be conducted via our Platform? With this, a lot of money can be saved. Also, retailer’s interest is not to give you best possible service and solution and give you clear data on daily consumption etc. Electricity is transmitter on international level all the time, EU regulation requires open market. However, this is no very efficient because transmission on longer distances is not efficient due to losses in the grid and it is expensive because of cross border costs. SunContract will be focused on local production and local distribution. But in theory, yes, one could do that.
I guess Slovenia is first (pilot) market. So this questions are related to Slovenia market.
When do you expect consumers will be able to buy electricity from SunContract?
When do you expect producers will be able to sell electricity to SunContract? (annual contracts are signed in nov-dec for next year)
Are you planning to connect with other smaller subgroups and create own pool?
How many beta testers (consumers and producers) do you have before public lunch? Are you accepting new ones?
Can you give us some estimations what will be the energy price comparing to other dealers?
Are you planning to create some "fixed price offers" or similar?
And here are some general questions.
How do you plan to handle green certificates and carbon credits, which belongs to renewable producers?
When do you expect to expand to other markets? I guess those will be EU markets first, which are liberalized.
What is the status of platform development? Are you on plan?
What are the most hard challenges you faced so far (technical, legal, market)?
What are the marketing plans?
Will blockchain be public? Can producers see their own production data?
Our platform is planned to go live in Q1 2018. This is the time when consumers will be able to start buying electricity from producers on the platform. We plan to start generating steady revenue already in 2018.
In November we plan to start negotiating for business deals with producers for next year. That means electricity offers will be on the Platform when it starts to operate.
This part is still subject of business development. We can have both models.
Right now in Stage 1 testing is opened for core team and outsourced companies. We will expand beta testing to others. Everyone that will want to beta test our system will have to be strictly under NDA.
Both questions are still in business development. Every information I would give you right now would be just rough approximation.
This is not our business. Producers receive carbon credits for every generated “green” kWh. So this part is not our business part. We do have some brief ideas for this part in the future but those are just office talks right now.
Slovenia will be our first market. We already have plan for further expansion and we will share this with you once we have business plan developed fully for particular market.
Right now development is running very smoothly. We are very satisfied with blockchain solution. Now we are connecting blockchain with our app which is fully on track.
Right now approximately 20 people are working on our project and everything is very good and on track. The only obstacle right now is listing SNC on more exchanges. We are doing our best to get SNC on another bigger exchange to give people more possibilities for doing business with our token.
We entered into collaboration with new marketing company that has a lot of local and international experiences. Marketing plan will be divided into different sectors: supporters, customers, producers and investors into renewable sources of energy.
Yes, final solution of blockchain will be public, producers will be able to see their production data while consumers will be able to track their consumtion.
When beta release if possible some dates will be great we now full version At q1 but beta is very interesting and we now you are close to make it even possible date will be great.
The key systems of the Stage 1 is already running on our test environment and now we are developing it. The Stage 1 is planned to be introduced by the end of the year or in the beginning of the January and fully tested before public launch in Q1 2018.
We have to inform you that at this point of the project Stage 1 testing is taking place strictly with people that signed NDA with us. This is our main competitive advantage so we have to make sure information do not get into competition hands. However, we will share with public pictures, preview videos etc. when final graphical designs will be finished. Some of you are already very impatient about seeing our product and we are doing our best to show you as much as we can.
How is your ecosystem working? - When you are selling as an ordinary guy to an ordinary buyer, why should government/companies let this process be allowed on their system, and how are Suncontract even benefitting if the system is gaining success? (I here think for example on people who hold nodes on certain coins, they will benefit from that – Is it only the gain in price investors and the Sun team will get?)
We have heart a little about power ledger, and things going wrong with the cooperation – Which consequences are this gonna have on SunContract and Power ledger? Law suit ?
What is the biggest threat for your project? – Is it regulation, if so which? - Or is it other projects like power ledger? – If so, what is their edge compared to you guys?
What do you guys have that are unique compared to similar?
You raised $2 mio, how does that fit into your budget? – How long can you guys ‘’survive’’ on this, if the market prices stays at this level?
Why did the team raised money for this project? – If we look at the big potential, and the relative small amount of money compared, they should easily have had access to this kind of money in the industry through their contacts and maybe just get an angel investor.
How many guys are on the team, who are they and functions? – Is it only Gregor Novak who has experience within the industry?
Is the team fulltime, or do they have a job on the side?
Do you have any prior agreements with companies?
Which companies are you in contact with? – And located?
How is the market seeing you guys at this point on conferences etc etc., do we see seriously interest or ‘’only’’ some skeptical interest?
You are going after the Slovania market first, how is the priority afterwards?
What does it take to expand to another country? – Guess the laws is different for each country and that can be a hurtle. - Is there any countries you won’t go into?
What is the plan for PR? - And when is the plan to start it?
What can get the budget to take of in the wrong way? - What is the plan if the money is running out before planned?
How many SNC is hold by the team (if public for members) and how much does the team have in the budget/reserve?
If the lead developer or/and Gregor Novak dies tomorrow, what happens to the project?
SunContract business model can be applied to liberated markets where government has to allow any company access to the grid. This is because government uses public money so any service that could benefit public has to be accepted.
On SunContract AMA we should be focused on SunContract platform and services.
Legislation can always be problem if it changes suddenly. We feel our biggest thread are tradition players that would try to block our business.
Other projects from crypto world are focusing solely on green technologies. We think the only working business case can be hybrid system that guarantees safety of supply at this stage. Also, we have deep understanding of energy market that will give our project most important aspect of this business model to succeed.
USD2 million is enough for our business to start making revenue that will help us expanding our project to the market. We need to start making profit and with this profit updating our product and business.
We decided to raise money through token sale simply because it is much faster and is community based than tradition VC model. Time on the market and existing community is crucial aspect of this project.
Core part of the team has 8 people and few others will join us until the end of the year. Besides core team, we also have four different outsourced team that is helping us with development or other activities. Including outsourced part our team has now 20 people working on project. No, Gregor is not the only one. Mojca is also coming from energy sector. They are leading business developers.
Core team is working full time on the project.
There were some prior agreements announced on old web page.
We are releasing news on collaboration in accordance to our business contracts and terms of NDAs. We will reveal all new business partnerships that will not be subject of NDA on our blog and in the Newsletter.
There are two types of industries that are forming our business: energy and blockchain. We consider ourselves as Energy Company. In energy sector, we are receiving great amount of interest. In next three months we will be present on many different energetic conferences. We are also receiving more and more interest from blockchain community. If you are interested in meeting us on conference, we can provide list where we will be present.
Slovenia will be our first market. We already have plans for further expansion and we will share this with you once we have business plan developed fully for particular market.
There are few very important aspects when expanding to new markets: marketing, legislation, market evaluation etc. This process takes a lot of time, men hour and it is very costly. Countries where we will not go are jurisdictions where there is closed, unliberated energy market.
Part of the PR is weekly Newsletter and monthly AMA and community management. As you can see, we try to be as transparent and as available as we can. We will also intensify presence on conferences. Our next plan is to straighten marketing activities with new Marketing Company we just entered into collaboration with.
Right now, we have enough funds for our development plan. There is always possibility for VC model that we do not need right now. We already received interest from different parties for this scenario.
20% of SNC circulation was reserved for the team and advisors, bounties. Some advisors were already paid because they worked with us only for purposes of Token Sale campaign. We are estimating that the team still has 15% of those funds that are in cold storage for 6 months.
Project goes on. He is not that easy to get rid off.
You are going after the Slovania market first, are there any other countries you are looking to expand into? Is it feasible to do this considering there are different laws that could cause difficulties. Is there any PR plan in regards to other countries?
Naturally, firstly we are looking into biggest European markets for business expansion. EU legislation allow us to implement our business model into any European country we would like to enter. So there are no major obstacles for that. For that matter, we hired very experienced marketing team that will help us with expansion to other markets.
Will I be able to buy energy in the US with snc? If so when?
Yes, when plan to implement similar business model in US. However, we do not have any time frame when SunContract will be present on US market. Yet!
If I was to start a small renewable energy company in my home country, would there be opportunities to work as a franchise of suncontract?
Yes, our expansion business model includes franchising and outsourcing some parts of our operations.
"I still don't get how you can automatize this process. Let's say for example I want to sell my surplus energy (produced by solar panels) during the day. If I sign a smart contract on the snc platform, I should automatically (almost instantaneously) get SNC in exchange of electricity, right? However, this process is not purely decentralized because we still need to trust the grid provider which has to deliver the energy from one house to the other. I don't see the need of smart contracts in this process. We are just trusting a third entity to make sure the electricity is transferred and therefore the payment is done
A third party, a grid operator, needs to be included in the process according to European states regulations. Their role is to ensure grid stability, SunContract will not take over their business. Connection to the grid is in their domain. Who you buy electricity from is your decision. Currently, you can sell your electricity only to traders. Our platform will make it possible for you to sell electricity to your neighbor, family etc. Smart contracts will do the business of traders, not grid operators. The flow of electricity remains the same. While the energy system has to be balanced every “second”, traders have to balance their own group of producers and consumers and they have to buy extra electricity or sell excessive electricity etc. This process won’t be changed. With smart contracts, the payment process within the system is different and more transparent. the energy market is, along with finance, probably the most regulated sector and we do not want to be in discrepancy when it comes to regulation.
I would also like to know this... And if SNC acts as the middleman, what stops the energy companies from bypassing SNC and just doing the process themselves?
SNC will act as a middleman only in the “platform” part, where small producers and consumers can decide to cooperate and buy/sell electricity from/to each other. The grid operator is separate from traders. the grid operator is obligated to connect you to the grid by law. Who you buy electricity from is not in their scope anymore. In a liberalized market, like the EU market, it is your decision regarding which trader or balance group you will buy electricity from. The EU energy market works towards becoming a “Single EU energy market” so it has to work with open market principles. Our platform will give you an option to see and obtain information about what you are actually paying for.
do the total number coins remain the same? If that is the case, in case of expansion to other countries and hence increasing the number of snc coin users/customers, the snc coin value will increase massively, right?
The number of SNC tokens will not increase over time, thus there will be no inflation.
Is there any chance to cooperate with Tesla, SolarCity, MegaFactory or any Elon Musk related company ? He/they is/are very opened for innovation, especially if ir is about green, clean energy ! Have You Guys contacted them, tried to discuss, negotiate, cooperate with them already ? I believe it worth the move and could be a huge boost for SNC, for Clean Energy Industry and for all of us... humanity ;)) Lets give it a try ! He is very active on Twitter. Nothing to loose...
Yes, such collaborations would be very interesting and our plan is to negotiate with them in sometime in the future. Firstly, we need to show the MVP to prove what we can do and along with that new business opportunities will open up.
An AMA is nice, hopefully this subreddit can get more subscribers/contributors as well. I think the interest in the SNC platform is growing!.
Below my AMA input;
- As far as I understand people with PV panels and linked to the SunContract platform gain SNC tokens. Will there be a possibility for those people to convert it in FIAT by using your future wallet?,
- What is your goal regarding exchanges, will the SNC token be listed on more exchanges in the near future (weeks/months?),
- Can you point out the differences (pros/cons) between SNC and POWR from your point of view.
1.) Yes, there will be a service which will provide direct FIAT-SNC gateway.
2.) Our goal is to be present on many different exchanges. We will continue to work on new exchanges in coming months.
3.) We cannot comment any other project but SNC token is one of the few cryptocurrencies that can already be used in the real life. Since October, one can already use SNC as payment method in daily life. Additionally to electricity exchanging and trading, SNC will be used for more and more purposes in real life in closer and distant future.
Which countries does Suncontracts focus on? A few weeks ago the team went to Asia, was there any exciting news? And is there any interest in Turkey?
Test ground for SunContract project is Slovenia. Once we see product is working as it should, we will focus on new markets, primary those that have liberalized energy market. European Union is one of them. Turkey is surely in our focus. We already received quiet a lot of interest through the community to help us find SunConrtact partners in Turkey.
In Asia, we had very productive meetings. Several NDAs were signed which prohibit us to discuss more about it. However, last week SNC token was added on new exchange which is a success produced by common team effort. More news are about to come in coming weeks.
how will i benefit from holding the SNC tokens if lets say im from Malaysia or Singapore? will we be getting dividends? and if i wish to buy from Singapore and Malaysia..can it be installed at my high rise building?
Main role of the SNC token is trading and exchanging of electricity on the platform. Limited supply and growing demand of the token are one of the aspects of our token. As you could see already, SNC (as a crypto energy payment currency) is used for purchases of renewable sources of energy. We are looking for possible expansion of those services across the world. The program will be established in coming weeks and we will get back to you with updates about it.
SunContract platform will be ready for global expansion, which means liberalized energy markets can accept this business model. Therefore, Singapore or Malaysia could join us if the market is acceptable for our business model.
Hello, Have you considered to expand to South America ? Which legal, infraestructure or other conditions are previous necesary to a latin country to be considered?
Primal markets for expansion are jurisdictions with liberalized energy market. This is actually the one and the most important factor for SunContract expansion strategy. Countries from South America could join our business model if abovementioned factor is guaranteed. We would be pleased to have partners in South America.
If I understood it right in your whitepaper, you want to use some kind of auction mechanism to find the equilibrium in peer-to-peer trading. Is this correct?
Are you planning to use SNC as currency in those markets?
Or will there be another currency/coin in your system which is pegged against your local currency so it doesn't fluctuate to much in it's price?
I know you won't tell us all of your plans, but I think this would be great to get an idea of how your platform is going to work, without going to much into detail.
The price of electricity will be determined between producers and consumers. That means usual laws of demand/supply will set the price. The platform itself is decentralised and in this way we want people to negotiate deals.
SNC will be used as an official currency for payments on the platform. Moreover, we are welcoming new businesses from energy sector to offer their products on our platform. With this, we want to give our currency more mainstream potential.
Price fluctuations will be addressed with mechanism that will determine instant price according to SNC/local_currency ratio to keep it stable and fair to others.
The platform is a common place where producer and consumer will be able to meet and negotiate agreement conditions. Once conditions will be settled, the platform will make sure those conditions are met. Blockchain will take care of payments and data storage to keep it transparent and anonymous.
how will it work exchanging energy on the platform with all the different energy prices in different countries. (for example, if let's say x energy costs 100$ in Belgium and the same amount of energy costs 50$ in Germany and to make things easy let's say SNC is 1$, buying your energy in Germany would cost 50 SNC, buying it in Belgium would cost 100 SNC, what would keep people from buying the energy from the cheapest supplier?) Will there be a platform for each country separately or how will it work? Also I'd like to know if you've got any mathematical framework to make an estimation on the SNC token price based on amount of platform users / energy volume being traded.
SNC token price is driven by free market which varies from country to country. As such, there will be separate marketplaces for each country and the prices will be different and determined by the free market in given countries.
Are there any plans for crowdsourced investments into larger energy producing facilities? Like several thousand people into a wind farm project or similar?
There has been a lot of demand for these sorts of investments. We are planning to conduct a couple of hackathons in the future in order to attract new innovative ideas onto the SunContract platform. If you have a business idea that meshes well with the SunContract basic idea, we invite you to send us your suggestions. However, for now, the general focus is on platform development.
What do you see as the major regulatory hurdles in your early target markets? Slovenia and beyond?
We have tailored our business model such that it meshes very well with the current EU legislation. Therefore, major changes in the regulatory framework are not required. We are also working closely with the government and intend to do so in the future as well. In fact, our CEO had very important meetings the last couple of weeks with government officials and representatives of the crypto community. Just on Wednesday, the whole Slovenian ICO community met with Slovenian Prime minister Miro Cerar at a convention that discussed the future regulatory framework for Blockchain and ICOs.
Does buying/selling electric power over SNC's platform require them to basically cooperate with all electric grid companies in Europe if we want to establish an EU-wide platform?
And if not, wouldn't it clash with national/European legislations to completely circumvent some private electric grid companies? (i.e. in my country you can produce your own electricity, but have to sell it to the company before 'rebuying' it later on through the grid)
SunContract’s business model works like this: consumers, producers and prosumers meet on the common marketplace – the SunContract platform, where they negotiate the price of electricity. The electricity is then transmitted over the existing power grid which is mostly operated by state operators (DSOs). If SunContract wants to implement its business model in a particular country, then it needs to have a local partner who fulfills local legal and financial requirements. Since the EU market has liberalized energy market, legislation is not going to be a hurdle that we encounter as long as we do things this way.
As a producer you are free to sell (or buy) electricity to and from anyone you wish. SunContract will be the first peer-to-peer retail business model on the energy market and that means until now you were not able to sell electricity to anyone else but retailers; like you mentioned in described example.
Thank you for this opportunity. After P2P energy trading in Slovenia from April 1st, which countries are you looking to expand into? What does the time frame for expansion look like? Buying SNC with Fiat from your website directly vs New country expansion? Between these two which one will come first or on which one will you most concentrate?
Our preferred markets for expansion are neighboring countries like Austria, Germany as well as Great Britain.
The plan is to add a new market by the beginning of next year or as soon as possible.
Both of those priorities are very important to us for the future of our platform but we believe that the SNC – fiat pair will be a supported gateway on this platform this year.
Hello, could you please elaborate on a paragraph from your latest Medium article regarding energy trading please?
"If a user is unable to connect with peers because he/she does not know anyone with solar panels, or if they fail to agree on the price, he/she will be charged the daily price of the platform (which varies from day to day). "
So basically if a user of the platform doesn't know anyone else he can trade with, or decides not to trade every day, he has to pay a platform fee? I see the point here but could see it discouraging users that do not have a lot of "connections".
Our platform will take care of users who do not have access to peers with whom they can trade energy directly with. The platform has a mechanism that will make optimal trades and settlements automatically and the users will be charged according to the daily electricity prices on the platform. They will not be charged an extra fee for using this method to buy energy. They will only pay for their electricity. Moreover, SONCE – energy supplier in Slovenia - has an agreement with Slovenians that ensures they will not be paying more than they have had to pay in the past for their electricity. We therefore know that this will in fact encourage adoption of the platform, as overall, they will either pay less for their electricity, or about the same – as a worst case scenario.
How long/timespan do you think it will take to expand your platform into other countries around Europe?
Even now, we are working towards expansion. We are in talks with potential partners but cannot disclose more information as nothing has been set in stone yet. Moreover, many factors come into play when talking about how fast we will expand. These include agreements with partners, market research to ensure we are in compliance with the legal framework of countries we expand into and much more. For this reason, we cannot give you a timeframe of expansion.
Are there any info about average price of electricity on the platform?
The average price on the platform is about 20 to 30% lower than the current fixed price our customers had before the joining the SunContract balance group. Slovenian adopters are currently happy with the cost savings that they are experiencing.
When can we expect financial report?
The platform went live only in April. This means we began receiving gains as of April 1st. A financial report can be expected towards the end of the year. We will issue an annual financial report each year.
When are you going to apporach other markets?
Can you tell what are your expansion plans? Will you go outside EU?
This is in our roadmap. But we need everyone to understand that what we are doing is very complex and governed by a lot of laws. It will therefore take time for us to expand into different countries but we are working on it.
How is suncontract going to provide 100% green energy (from sun and wind energy) when the demand is larger then the suply?
Our business model will encourage the increase in number of domestic energy producers. We have seen it already here in Slovenia. Some of our pioneers, after seeing the benefits that come with the platform, arranged for us to install solar panels at their homes. SunContract also encourages all forms of renewable energy such as solar, wind, hydro, CHP and more. So we are not just limited to sun and wind. Users also have the liberty to choose which renewable energy source they want to use
In Bled on launch was Lady from Eu parlament and speak about support for suncontract. Should be posible to get for Suncontract some support or subsidy from EU?
At the Launch Event at Bled there were two EU Commissioners, one was Ms. Violeta Bulc, Commissioner for transport. We also had two members of EU parliament from Slovenia and Hungary. SunContract is able to apply tender for EU funds as well if we see it as a necessity.
how to use the platvorm(maybe u can do a short youtube video... so if I trade the energy via your platform I do not nedd to pay SODO and all other expenses on the electricity bill? how or where to store your electricity when I buy it?
1. For now, you can find some videos about the platform on the YouTube, created from our pioneers: 1. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fwLEUc9U8Kk
2. SODO expenses remain the same unless you invest in the domestic solar power plant and join the SunContract platform, then also SODO cost are more or less diminished to minimum.
What is your marketing plan? A lot of competing companies are taking market share. You have an advantage with actual working product. When are you planning to market this to get more momentum from investors?
Yes we are first p2p retail platform based on the blockchain at the market worldwide. We hired a marketing professional to lead our Marketing team to achieve global awareness. We ask for the community to be patient as these results are not achieved overnight.
How does SunContract works? I plan to have 350 solar panels by Q2 2019, can I sell this energy to SunContract and how? Thanks!
In order to begin selling electricity, you’ll need to: - Register on the SunContract website - Complete a KYC (know your customer) form - Country: Slovenia - Top up your account to 1,000 SNC which is the minimum balance requirement - Upload your meter data, along with your last invoice from your current energy provider - We’ll then send you a contract that you’ll need to sign to join the balance group - Once we receive your signed contract, SONCE will automatically begin the process to terminate your existing contract with your current energy provider - Once your existing contract is terminated, you will be able to sell energy to your peers on the SunContract platform
Right now it is possible only in Slovenia, but if you live somewhere else, then SunContract will need to establish p2p service there first.
What kind of institutional support you received in Slovenia to avoid traditional Electric Power Suppliers?
We have great support for new technologies from Slovenian government and EU commission is in favor of blockchain as well. We do not avoid anybody, we are just offering new services in the energy market, which have never been offered yet on the public retail grid.
"Microsoft to host and run the SunContract Platform"
Does this change the use-case of the SNC token?
SNC use case remains as it is right now: for purchases of electricity on the platform and different services such as solar power plants, heat pumps and IR panels investments.
This question is for Gregor Novak. When and how did you get involved in crypto space? Do you hold any coins beside SNC?
I got into crypto with two friends of mine back in 2013. My discovery of Ethereum and what it could do gave birth to the idea of SunContract. I hold mostly SNCs, but I have also some BTC, ETH and few other tokens I bought from other token sales.
Will Microsoft embed SunContracts platform on their systems? What areas will this partnership help?
Also When will SunContract attempt to market in North America?
and When Binance? ;)
Our contract with Microsoft is development- based cooperation, where we work on blockchain development, artificial intelligence and integration of some other services we can use on the Microsoft clouds.
SunContract already has some contacts and interest shown clearly from the United States, but as for when the service will be ready in some USA states, we have no schedule yet.
We cannot confirm or deny anything about Binance contact or listing.
Does a move of hosting and running the platform through Microsoft change the decentralized nature of SunContract?
We will use Microsoft firstly for development purposes, as we already explained above. This will not have any impact to the nature of SunContract in regard to decentralization.
Are looking for some partner in charging EV? I would be perfect to have some public charging stations in Slovenia (later EU) where could we pay electricity with SNC for our cars. This would be nice and practical. I could fill up my car with energy from home power plant. I know this are dreams but last year this time even trading on blockchain were, but today I am living them.
We are already in talks with companies that would be a perfect fit for cooperation with SunContract project in the field of charging station infrastructure. Our wish is to run all electricity through the platform that will eventually end up in electric vehicles. You can expect more information about possible partnerships in the future.
Are there any plans yet to expand your market range to other countries ( Austria? ), or is that something we can hope for next year ?
Expansion to new markets is planned for 2019. This year's focus is on increasing number of users on the platform and new customers in Slovenia.