The other day I posted an article about Stai Global and their Stai cryptocurrency, and touched a bit on all the various bits they are involved in. To recap, they are a Chia fork with a couple of differences but primarily they are a company planning on selling their Station-i automated charging stations as well as creating an ecosystem around their cryptocurrency involving real world utility.
The Station-i charging stations are a really good idea, and according to them they have actually sold some that are being deployed around Germany. To me this is the meat and potatoes of their plan, the idea of creating a common convenience store / EV charging station wherever people go and use the Stai cryptocurrency as payment there to avoid the hassle of taking in all sorts of different currencies around the world and needing to sort it out on the backend. Let people buy Stai with their local currency and spend Stai at the charging station wherever they are, then Zuweso GmbH only has to convert Stai into Euros once and pay their bills. It makes sense if the price of Stai is reasonable and reliable.
The Station-i thing is beyond my comprehension about how that will end up going. I think it might be a good idea, and a cool business model, but I have no idea what complications would exist or barriers to entry are there. The theory sounds really smart to me, but I cannot even fathom if this is easy to execute on or impossible. I do like the idea though, and if I had to guess I would say that if they can execute on the idea they will do very well. There are similar chains around Canada, such as En Route, that provide a consistent fill-up and eat experience to people while they travel and that model has been successful.
The next thing they are doing is their “green energy reselling” program, a partnership with Lumenaza Community. This seems to be a renewable energy community collective. Whatever that means. This whole thing is hurting my brain, I cannot imagine what it must be like to run this business and having to keep track of all this. The selling point for this program is that you will be using community provided renewable energy (solar, wind, hydro) and the partnership with Stai is that you can use your Stai coins to pay some of the fees on top of the plan.
I had a German community member look into this, and it doesn’t seem like a great deal to him. It didn’t look like a scam or anything, just not a great deal on energy and the payment of Stai on top of Euros seems to have been entirely extra. The counter-argument to that is that you pay a little bit extra to ensure a green energy source, and the Stai payment is extra but used to counter some of the overhead of not allowing fossil fuels into the network. I am legitimately unsure what to think about this, because there are lots of companies selling expensive energy without any renewable promises or fun cryptocurrency angles. I think its another interesting move from an interesting team but probably not one that will go anywhere if the energy markets in Germany are anything like those in Canada.
And then there is their store. This one I am less impressed with, although I am hoping to proven wrong soon. The store is a partnership with Coininger, a computer store that looks like it is focused on the mining (and farming) userbase. The Stai angle seems to be a partnership where you can pay the markup they have over their Kosatec (another retailer) drop shipping prices. Sound complicated? It is. Basically you can pay for items from online wholesaler Kosatec and Coininger where you pay in Euro’s up front for 80% of the price and then 20% in Stai at a price of 50 Euros per Stai. It seems they send an invoice for the Stai after processing the rest of the order, so probably not well automated but at least they are trying to create some utility here. Because everything is in German, and this is not focused on North America I would need someone in Germany to actually help me go through process, order something, and pay in Stai to be able to explain more. Luckily I did that and the results of that purchase will be up this week, so check back.
In recent announcements and this article they also discuss a very interesting promise of a newer, bigger online store where you will be able to pay entirely in Stai for some or all of the items (I am not 100% clear on the details). The details here are also sketchy, but it seems like they will be partnering with someone involved with German retailer Kaufland and hoping to use the Stai connection to offload inventory that is not otherwise moving well. Because these are only announcements, its a lot less easy to get solid details by trying the process out, but it seems like the next evolution to their partnership with Kosatec.
All in all Stai seems to be involved in a lot of things, and has a lot of ambitions. But I think the mistake is seeing them as a Chia fork, or alt coin, or even a cryptocurrency company. It seems to me like they are a Station-i company using a “green cryptocurrency” as a bit of sprinkled blockchain, where it might not be necessary to their core operations but they are integrating it for a variety of reasons. Including marketing. Without a Chia fork, no one in the Chia community would have heard of their company and they would still need to build a database and application to handle transactions at their stations. I think the biggest risk to Stai-the-coin is that the company simply gets bored and decides they don’t need it anymore for any of the rest of their plans.