Sazmining Podcast Episode 25: Sam Enoka on Crypto and Energy Markets


In this episode of The Sazmining Podcast, Will speaks with Sam Enoka, CEO and Founder of Greensparc. They discuss distributed computing, what crypto miners tend to overlook in energy markets, and more.

Will Szamosszegi (00:37):

Sam, thank you so much for taking the time to hop on the podcast today.

Sam Enoka (00:40):

Thanks for having me.

Will Szamosszegi (00:42):

Yeah, let's start by having you talk a little bit about your background and how it led to what you're working on today with green spark.

Sam Enoka (00:49):

Sure. So my roots were in finance and asset management. I'm sitting at university of Alaska Fairbanks today for this podcast. And I actually, you know, got bit by that finance investment bug. When I was in undergrad here at the university, I was part of an investment club back then 30 years ago, we were researching stocks and learning how to analyze sectors and try to come up with valuations on assets. I sort of pursued my career in that, from that moment. And after, uh, undergrad, I went into institutional asset management focusing on real estate, and that was a little slow, as you can imagine, it wasn't really quite wetting by appetite. So decided to go back for an MBA wound up, going to Berkeley. I was at Berkeley from 97 to 99 and kind of wound up graduating right into the most interesting technology and finance market in the universe.

Sam Enoka (01:38):

At the time, it was kind of hard to ignore the themes of what was going on in San Francisco and Silicon valley technology was heavily influential, but my roots were still in finance and asset management. So I did a stint in venture capital focusing on technology, environmental technology at the time, but you know, no one wanted to hear about climate research and saving the world 25 years ago. So, and it shifted into software and telecom started some hardware firms, ironically enough, focus on distributed computing and energy efficient computing, all with an eye on finance. When the tech bubble burst in 2001, I started a fund of hedge funds. And so literally the summer of 2001, we were setting up shop and nine 11 hit. And I, I literally was wondering, Hey, are we still gonna do this business? Is this still gonna be viable? And if you recall, you know, everybody was long tech trying to figure out where do I go to find some returns, hedge funds and absolute return strategies was actually very attractive.

Sam Enoka (02:37):

And for the next several quarters quarter of a quarter, we just saw record flows of institutional and non-institutional assets into the hedge fund sector. So did that for a few years, doing the fund of funds and then started a quantitative foreign exchange trading commodity trading advisor from about 2001 to 2006. I was sort of of in the hedge fund game. And really, I think my interest in, in alternative assets in crypto, you know, you could kind of see starting to take hold as far back as, as, uh, 2004, in terms of just quantitative strategies and, and really, you know, trading all these assets that only really exist on spreadsheet or on a screen in the abstract 2006, trading currency was getting tough. There were some quantitative signals that were being messed up and you know, everybody from Barclays at the time down to a shop like mine, where we only had few million under management and two guys literally sitting in a closet really had a difficult time interpreting volatility in those markets.

Sam Enoka (03:36):

So started looking for the next thing to trade and started trading electricity, got introduced through a friend of a friend to some firms in California that were trading electricity. And that's all she wrote kinda spent the last 15 years focused on understanding the black magic of the energy markets. And I call it the black magic of the energy markets because, um, most people don't think about energy except for about seven minutes a year when they gotta get out the checkbook or, you know, they gotta get online and pay their utility bill for most retail purchasers of electricity. They lack the understanding of the sophistication of just what's going on on the grid, how electricity is delivered and I've spent, um, the better part of my career now observing and learning and operating in arguably what might be one of the most complex markets at least here in the United States.

Sam Enoka (04:30):

So that sort of brings me up up to date. So, you know, we've been cutting our teeth and making our mark really capitalizing off of our understanding of how the energy markets work. And over the last five years, we've really, I've really honed in that focus on the intersection of energy and energy markets and how to drive efficiencies to enterprises that are in data operations and distributed computing, ALA there's your key intersection, right? Between, um, dis distributed ledger technologies, blockchain and energy. And so that's what I've been principally focused on in the last five years.

Will Szamosszegi (05:08):

Yeah, well, that's absolutely perfect. Then I think that that leads into the conversation very well. Cuz I wanna start more broad on talking about what we mean when we talk about energy markets, how you define energy markets and then start going into a more granular approach, breaking down some of the intricacies that you've seen and how those markets actually work day to day and what those levers are within that. Maybe if you could just start by defining, uh, what you mean by energy markets and, and we can go from there.

Sam Enoka (05:36):

Sure. This is the part where all your listeners are gonna start to fall asleep.

Sam Enoka (05:42):

Yeah, but this, this is, you know, um, I mean it is an exciting time in the energy markets. I mean, we've seen, I mean literally today California is, is ravaged by fires across the state, Texas earlier this year had snowstorms that knock their entire state grid down for the better part of two weeks. Um, so it's events like that that raise the consciousness for everybody. That's thinking about electricity. When you get home at the end of the day and you flip the switch, you expect the lights to come on. And that sounds like something very boring, but that is at the heart of, of the energy markets, which is reliability in north America. Reliability is number one. Um, you should never expect sort of, um, utilities or energy companies to be leading the pack in terms of innovation, because reliability is always number one. And, and that's always at the heart of everything, um, that we're dealing with.

Sam Enoka (06:40):

When you, when you talk about energy markets, I think about energy markets as the physical grid and the participants that are delivering energy to the grid and the counterparties that are taking energy off of the grid. So it's different than the financial markets for energy, which would be the commodity exchanges that are trading derivatives around energy. My clients historically have been power plants that are responsible for delivering all the power that we all consume. And so when we talk about the energy markets in a physical sense, we're dealing with entities like, well, for instance, in, in Texas, we heard about ERCOT. ERCOT is not a household name, but this year it became one because they failed in their mission to reliably provide electricity to the entire state. The California ISO the independent system operator is the market for California. Um, out where you are in the, in the Mid-Atlantic, um, from Chicago over to the Mid-Atlantic and up into, up to New York, that market is called PJM.

Sam Enoka (07:43):

And then you've got other markets like the Midwest independent system operator, which obviously covers the Midwest. Um, and then you've got New York has its own market. So it's New York, uh, independent system operator and then the independent system operator of new England. And so those are the physical markets for electricity, where power plants are plugged in and delivering energy. And they are trading and settling energy trades with very high frequency, maybe as much as five minutes, what those grid entities are doing are balance there's too much power being delivered and not enough being, being drained away by, by, by demand. Um, you actually have lines that physically heat up and we lose energy. Um, either through lines burning up or states or markets having to export energy to other markets at at discounts kinda have to give away energy. Um, and as odd as that may sound, um, that's something that I think the audience has heard of and probably become familiar with over the years because there are, there are a number of participants now looking to take advantage of the physical imbalance of supply and, and demand in the energy markets creates a real time adjustment of prices that match that match those conditions.

Sam Enoka (09:02):

So that is the physical market. When I say energy markets, that's what I'm dealing when you're sitting in Midtown Manhattan, um, at a Goldman desk or at a JP Morgan desk. And you're thinking about energy markets, you're thinking about commodity markets and derivatives. So two slightly different worlds, uh, but both connected

Will Szamosszegi (09:20):

As a minor you're going. And many times you're dealing with a lot of these things, which type of market you're going to participate in and try and buy electricity from. Are there any types of distinctions or things that might not be noticed by minors when they're looking at these different, looking at getting into these different types of physical energy markets, like a difference between PJM and an ERCOT, or is there a, or is it just that mainly just talking about geographically different differences between those markets or, or does it go deeper? Like

Sam Enoka (09:55):

Yes, yes, absolutely. I mean, the rules across markets thematically are similar, but they have very, very different regulatory regimes. And so that's where any enterprise, not just a minor, but any, any industrial customer that wants to operate and use a lot of energy in a particular market will be subject to whatever that localities, uh, regulatory regime is. And so you mentioned ERCO, you mentioned PJM. Every market has its own complexities. ERCOT is, is relatively simple because it all exists within the state of Texas. So you're, you're dealing with one market in one state that has kind of one regulatory regime. PJM is perhaps one of the most complicated energy markets to be dealing in because you're dealing with a market that has its own set of market rules, but then is subject to state rules. But for every state they're their own nuanced rules. And so you really have to keep an eye on the regulatory regime that you're entering into.

Sam Enoka (11:00):

As an example from about 2008 to 2011, 2012, somewhere in there, there was a really big regulatory difference between the way New Jersey treated and valued solar energy versus right across the river in New York and other surrounding states. And so what that meant was that you had solar developers racing across the country to develop properties in New Jersey because of the way the market valued solar energy. And so that's just one example of when a regulatory regime ha manifests physical consequences or outcomes is that you really do have to keep an eye very close eye on what's the regulatory regime and what's happening. And that's easier said than done. Uh, there are fortune 100 companies that do not run their own energy regulatory, analytical desks. They will often hire out consultants that will, all they do is spend, you know, eight hours a day, keeping clients up to speed on current and upcoming changes in the, in their physical energy markets, wherever they are.

Sam Enoka (12:12):

And so it it's permanent employment for those consultants because they are subject matter experts in their grid. Um, I have colleagues that only specialize in California only specialize in Texas, only specialize in PJM because of the complexity of each market. And, and it's very, very rare that you find experts that can navigate multiple markets with that, with this specific kind of knowledge that you need, because the difference of plugging in, you know, a resource or a power plant in Texas is very, very different than California. It's very different that in Washington, and it's, it's really different from a regulatory perspective when you're plugging in, in PJM or New York or new England.

Will Szamosszegi (12:54):

I think that the regulatory piece has really come to the forefront recently, especially in the mining industry, with everything happening in China. There's a lot of talks surrounding the infrastructure bill that's being discussed right now, outside the mining side, but on the energy side, are there any type of particular considerations that these consultants should be paying attention to, or that people who are procuring energy can look at to try and make a more informed decision when they're actually evaluating different areas where they can go and try and procure energy?

Sam Enoka (13:26):

Yeah, there are absolutely places and ways to pun intended to get yourself plugged into the markets. There are stakeholder meetings and they're a stakeholder processes literally every day in every topic you can imagine in every grid. And for example, I'm a regular attendee at the stakeholder meetings here in California, simply because, you know, I've been doing it for the last 15 years. You walk in the room, at least when I walk in the room after, after going to about a year's worth of meetings, you pretty much recognize all the people because they're all the same people that have been sitting there for the last year with you. So it doesn't take a lot of time to sort of get to know all the people who are gonna be showing up. And it's the same cast of characters, right? It's all the utilities, it's all the cities, it's all the municipalities, it's all the major IPPs, independent power producers and whatever the technology de Azure is.

Sam Enoka (14:14):

So, you know, over the last 10 years, we've seen it was solar for a while. It was the wind guys. It's the geothermal guys. Now it's more and more the, the EV guys that electric vehicle guys that are trying to plug in. Um, and now more and more frequently, you're starting to see a lot of the storage people having showed up to these meetings. And so the table keeps getting bigger and these are public processes. And this is where the understanding starts. This is where you step into the fray and you become part of a process. That's going to shape the rules for the future. And that's how you really get a very granular understanding of what's going to happen to this particular group. As they plug into the grid and start, you know, managing their way through the rule book. Being part of that process is like being in the, the wheelhouse of the ship, right?

Sam Enoka (14:59):

You're nine decks off the water. You're looking a quarter, a mile ahead, and you're seeing the icebergs. You're seeing the sand bars and the river or whatever it may be, right? You're, you're able to navigate these markets with a lot of foresight, but that's from preparation and really spending a lot of time, uh, ahead thinking about it and analyzing how these market dynamics are gonna play out their consultants, their they're people that spend their careers focused on these issues. If your day to day operation is running a power plant. If your day to day operation is running a mine, you don't have the time to do that. So I implore everybody and look, this is not new news. You sort of need experts to help you guide you through these markets and on a market by market basis. You have to find the right people that have the right sets of knowledge to, to do that beyond that.

Sam Enoka (15:42):

You want to think about broad themes about what you, what you're looking for to power your operations. So Texas, everyone knows. I mean, most people know. I mean, Hey, it's easy to get business done in Texas. And, and energy is cheap and they lead the country in wind power. So, you know, a few factors can kind of inform you, Hey, it's gonna be renewable. It's relatively easier regulatory regime to navigate. And I know that on average, we're gonna see we're gonna see depressed, good wholesale prices for energy. Now that said an easier regulatory climate led to the problems that they had this past spring and, and no one would've predicted that kind of event, but you know, it is the kind of thing where you, you, you can think about these markets in a macro perspective and say, uh, I don't know if I wanna be plugging into California and, you know, over the next year or two, because boy, the utilities are having a hard time.

Sam Enoka (16:36):

They've gotta manage transmission distribution networks a lot better. And that's a process that's unfolding between the state and the utilities and the public utility commission. So that's a mess, but generally speaking, you can go market to market and say, oh, Hey, here's some good factors that support why I might wanna be in this. Here's a regulatory regime that may or may not be friendly to my kind of enterprise. And maybe you wanna be thinking about environmental factors or real time energy market factors that are important to your business. Maybe this is where I wanna be plugging in. So there are some, some key factors that everyone can think about as, as they're looking to get, um, set up in any particular grid,

Will Szamosszegi (17:16):

Just hearing you talk through all that, any minor out there who just heard that in the last 10 minutes, just walked away with an unbelievable amount of value on that end. So that, that was incredibly moving onto distributed computing. That's obviously another big part of your background and, and the business that you're doing today. Could you talk a little bit about what this term actually means when people, a lot of the time are talking about distribute computing and how it relates to, uh, what green spark is doing today?

Sam Enoka (17:45):

Yeah. So distributed computing in the vernacular is, is the edge. And if you went to a conference and you ask 10 engineers, what the edge is probably get 12 answers, right? <laugh> so, um, the edge, uh, for lack of a better term. And when I'm talking about the edge, I, I, I think of the edge as everything's, that's not, um, AWS GCP, Azure Equinix, digital Realty, you know, if it's a million square feet and it cost a billion dollars to build it, that's not the edge to me, that's kind of the core, right? So I, I tell you over the last 30 years, we've seen the internet grow up and the core is very robust. And, you know, you've got billions, if not, trillions of dollars tied up in the core of the internet, that Facebook's, you know, the content distribution networks, but a as we think about distributed computing, what I think we're seeing is the continuing evolution of the topology of the internet itself, right?

Sam Enoka (18:46):

And the need for delivery of content or services or computing, whatever it may be is it needs to now get down to the city level, the regional level, the city level, all the way down to the local level. You know, our devices, our devices are the ultimate edge, right? That's the two or three IP addresses that you're wearing right now that you walk around in your daily life. So distributed computing in the context in which I'm sitting in Alaska has lots of different meanings research university that pays millions of dollars a year for an internet connection to Seattle, to the nearest hyperscale data center, AWS or Azure, very costly to reach there. So one of the things I'm talking about the university is with is the importance of having internet infrastructure, computing infrastructure here, located at the university to do more of the operations that they need to, to support their students, their staff, their researchers, but for a military base, a military base and the same situation, a military base dependent on a connection back to its core.

Sam Enoka (19:52):

If that line gets cut, they can't afford to have an operation go down. So there's a, a strong need for it to be able to continue operations in a disconnected state. And so from an enterprise perspective, it's just moving workloads closer to where they need to be done. There's gonna be lots of governance reasons around that, but there's also going to be some key energy related issues and environmental issues that can be solved by doing that. There's also some social impact reasons why you might wanna see that happen, but ultimately getting those workloads in the case of this university here means they're gonna lighten the load on the pipe that they have back to the continental us. So for everyone, it's gonna be a different reason, but ultimately distributed computing. To me, it's the handoff of where the hyperscale hundred megawatt, AWS and Google data centers have to hand off to services and, and computing workloads that ultimately have to be closer to the users that want and need them.

Will Szamosszegi (20:49):

I mean, it makes complete sense when you talk through it like that, it sounds like that infrastructure is still being developed today. We're kind of in that transition period, how do you see this technology evolving over time? And you can really take that in any way you want, it could be. Do you see more of these edge uses coming about and being used to service a larger area in the world? Or do you see some other type of way that this all transpires

Sam Enoka (21:14):

I'll frame it around blockchain? Just cuz that's what we're talking about today in crypto. I mean, I think we're in the early days of an enterprise adoption cycle of distributed larger technologies, I looked at crypto for a little while and I've observed some really interesting dynamics. I think a couple years ago I was, I was looking at one crypto and their ledger to ramp up in real time. They were being ramped up, you know, when they needed more processing in an AWS facility. And I just thought, well, that does, that makes really little sense if you're talking about distributed ledger, but it all, your, your elasticity function is all happening in a centralized location. So I think what that indicates to me is that the blockchain folks are still working to figure it out. But I think there's gonna be great value unlocked as more opportunities for distributed ledgers and blockchains have to realistically deploy across a distributed footprint.

Sam Enoka (22:11):

I mean, one of the benefits of a distributed footprint is that you've engineered resilience. There's that concept of resilience again, into the network seems like every year an AWS or an Azure facility goes down and it makes the news because all the top apps and communications across the country get knocked out for several hours. That's a problem, right? I mean the promise of blockchain and distributor ledgers is, oh, we're going to have these services and they're going to remain resilient because they've been engineered across so many different nodes across a continent around the world. And one of the things that's really most interesting is that is not new. That concept is not new engineering resilience into a network is exactly how the power grid operates. If one power plant goes down in a region, it doesn't knock everyone off. I mean, you don't have a statewide.

Sam Enoka (23:04):

Uh, regionwide a citywide blackout. If one power plant gets knocked offline for whatever reason or if it goes offline because it had planned maintenance that day, all the other power on the grid in the region continue to pump more electrons into the grid and its operation as normal. Right? So this idea of resilience in a grid is what the electricity sector has been doing for 150 years. So the concepts of that market really do apply. But I do believe that in a distributed computing sense, we're in the early days. So over the next 10 years, this'll be, you know, a $5 trillion market. It'll be a new physical layer of the internet. As we know it it'll serve and operate in, in ways that we probably haven't even thought of yet as the applications themselves adapt to less of a centralized, oh, Hey, this all has to live at AWS and GCP and Azure. And it really can, you know, live natively further out to the edge, whether it's a blockchain application or whether it's content distribution network or whatever, whatever it may be. But yeah, I think we're early days and I think there's great value to, to realize over, over the next several years.

Will Szamosszegi (24:11):

Yeah. That's a really fascinating parallel too. The energy markets, they have that resiliency, if a single plant goes down, the lights still come on, you don't even notice. And right now having a system where everything's all centralized at a single facility and it could take down apps or these very widely used services, if we can have that decentralization amongst the nodes and have that resiliency built in, then I mean, yeah, that, that's definitely gonna change a lot of things. I mean, from your point of view, are there any types of applications that you see really growing a lot in the, in the coming years or any types of use cases that you're really excited about, which could also be a result from this distributed resiliency?

Sam Enoka (24:59):

The ones that I think are interesting are smart networking and sort of intelligent. I don't know if they're AI based, but there really are intelligent solutions for how communications are gonna get done in the future. I mean, we've seen it with Amazon Amazon few weeks or months ago. I can't remember which recently they basically said, Hey, we're gonna create a mesh network with all of your Amazon devices so that you can share bandwidth across all your devices so that everyone can have a better experience. Thankfully, that that news article ended with here's how you turn that feature off. And I was like, yeah, I don't, I don't know. I don't know yet if that's what I want, my, you know, my Alexa and my echo at home to be using or, or be enabling there certainly isn't a, a mechanism there yet to compensate me for that.

Sam Enoka (25:45):

But I'm starting to hear about more of these kinds of mesh networking applications and applications that take advantage of a fact of the fact that, Hey, yeah. Um, there there's a mesh of devices out there that can all talk to each other. So that's really fascinating. The use case will come, the security features will be figured out, but, uh, you know, I'm fascinated obviously with connectivity, especially around the edge, everyone likes to talk about AI machine learning, autonomous transit, you know, drones that can take off from a shipping center and bring your groceries or bring your order online, you know, and drop it off on your doorstep. Fascinating cases that require a lot of realtime computing with low latency. So that is edge again, we're back at the edge, right? We're we're back at, Hey, how do you support a driverless car that wants to drive from one side of San San Francisco to the other?

Sam Enoka (26:37):

Well, the sensing on the car can't afford to like go to the backbone and, you know, take two hops to get, get to a hyperscale data center. Um, you know, within a hundred miles, you literally need to have computing at almost at the curbside communicating to a citywide data center, but then relaying that real time information back to the car so that the car knows, Hey, uh, avoid traffic move to the left lane for the next 50 yards. And you're gonna wanna move back to the right lane. Then you're gonna turn up the street. Oh, we gotta reroute cuz there's another problem. So we've been talking for the last several years about exotic applications, exotic sounding applications that are the promise of the future. Things that we hope to realize. It's interesting because that's the promise of the future, but we're being haunted by the applications of today in the past.

Sam Enoka (27:23):

I mean, what we've seen in the pandemic is that the stress on edge networks and edge computing have come from the most current and mundane boring use cases that are now the most talked about. So distance learning, distributed workforce telemedicine, those have been problems that have been on the board for, for the last 10 years easily. But now they're, they're critically in focus because wow, fortune 50 companies, fortune 100 companies now have sent their workforce home. They're not coming back. And now with Delta and Lambda after that, I mean, who knows the plan? I'm, you know, the literally in real time now the, the, the plans for corporate America to get back to their offices, that's getting pushed out kids going to school in person for socialization, absolutely critically important for their development. But if you have an option that you know, and your kids need to stay home because there's an outbreak, you know, how many millions of kids are getting bumped off because they don't have affordable infrastructure or they don't have an ISSP or their cool district or their state have a developed and invested appropriately in that infrastructure to serve that social need.

Sam Enoka (28:28):

It's an exciting time. It's a little bit of a wild west, generally speaking to be in the edge. There's so many use cases. There's so many old problems that need new solutions. There's new problems that need new solutions. There's a lot of innovation going on and all at the same time, we got all the crypto guys out there, developing their currencies, developing their tokens, develop their projects. And it's a fascinating time to be in the mix because out of all of this, there's gonna be a lot of value generated. Like I said, it feels like the wild west, just because there's so much going on. Unfortunately, a lot of our sector now is limited our interactions to zooms and virtual conferences. But again, yeah, there's, there's yet another application that's flourished, right? Twilio zoom, all these guys, their stock have gone through the roof. So they're doing great. I think there's gonna be tons of opportunity in blockchain, in distributed ledgers in crypto, in distributed computing over the next 10

Will Szamosszegi (29:18):

Years. I was just thinking about it the other day. And I mean, just look at what we're doing here. We're having a conversation, completely different areas of the world, and then having the ability to record upload it and then have other people around the world, go and look at this conversation multiple times for the next 10, 15, 20 years moving forward, or really as long as it stays uploaded, that type of power is at everyone's fingertips. Now with this technology. And if you had spoken with someone 50 years ago, or a hundred years ago about that very concept of what we're doing right now, they would look at you like you're crazier that you have the power of really God's in their eyes to be able to do something like this. And I mean, that's, it kind of comes down to, uh, being on the bleeding edge of technology, seeing these trends and seeing what's possible. And I think that one of the biggest challenges when you're on the bleeding edge, is it communicating, what's going on explaining how the technology works for your particular business? What is that educational piece or that educational gap that you constantly find yourself having to touch on and, and really cover with these different companies that you're working with?

Sam Enoka (30:34):

Yeah, that's uh, oh boy, that's a loaded question. When we undertook the task of stepping back into technology from the energy sector, I thought, oh, this is great. We're in a way we're hopefully exiting energy, but we're taking what we learned and going into computing. But in reality, what I spend most of my time doing is speaking about the importance of the efficiencies that we can drive from energy into distributing computing. So, I mean, I almost can't have a conversation with somebody who doesn't understand one or both of our markets. And it's very rare that I come across folks that understand both energy and computing. I try to just limit my business interactions to folks, you know, business partners, folks that already have a grasp on one of those, because I can't, I can't take the time to educate them on both. But so I, I do wind up speaking from an educational perspective.

Sam Enoka (31:24):

I've, I've got, I've always got a limited window to make an impression with a, either a customer or a prospect or some other kind of stakeholder about here is the importance of what's going on and energy. And here's why it's really important to you. And having done that for so long, I I've, you know, I sort of have my canned spiel of talking points that I need to get through, but it always has to be fine tuned, you know, for that application or for that business case, whatever that is. And so I've gotten, gotten really used to really quickly kind of blows blazing through the points. And you, you know, from a business perspective, I have to pretty quickly assess, okay, does this prospect understand what I'm saying? Not like, do you understand the energy markets now to recite it all back to me and teach it back to me, not that level, I have to sort of get them comfortable with the amount of complexity that's that that needs to be navigated in these markets enough for them to, to say to themselves, wow, this is really tough.

Sam Enoka (32:25):

Uh, I actually need help. And as you know, you know, the best kind of entrepreneurs are the ones that know what they know and know what they don't know. And that's kind of, my job is right, is to say, here's how complicated these energy markets are. Here's how they operate. Here's the value that you can drive out of them. Now, you, you know, you gotta pass the Baton, right? You now, you know what you don't know, don't, don't have so much of a ego that you can think that you can do it by yourself, get, get help, get subject, you know, get subject matter experts into your team, into your organization somehow to help you help guide you through these markets. Right? And that's, that's what I spend most of my time doing is laying out, Hey, here's, what's going on in the energy market and more over the last few years now with a, with a handle on, Hey, here's, here's, what's going on in computing.

Sam Enoka (33:14):

I can go in and, and pretty quickly assess a situation and say, oh great. Here's what I'm perceiving to be your challenges around these business issues. And if we look at the intersection of computing and energy, here's a whole suite of solutions that I, I can leverage for you for your situation, for whatever you're doing, whether you know, you're a military base or a school district or a university, or, you know, an enterprise or a blockchain, um, enterprise, right. I have to pretty quickly take them by the hand and walk them down this path and show them the art of the possible. And so there's a lot of education in that, my partners and I, we, you know, we've got it down. We've been spending a lot of time doing it. So yeah, there's always a lot of education.

Will Szamosszegi (33:54):

Honestly, you can just send them this episode afterwards. <laugh> cause I feel like you cover a lot of it here. I got one final question, really excited to hear the answer. But before I ask it, is there any place online that you want to tell people where they can connect with you or the company anywhere online that, that you can be reached?

Sam Enoka (34:12):

Yeah, absolutely. Um, green is our company that's, uh, G R E E N S P a R C green You can find me on LinkedIn. Uh, you can find me, you know, um, trolling people on Twitter, you know, on our website, you can get me on email. I'm, I'm usually pretty responsive if your listeners aren't asleep, listening to energy markets, by this point in the podcast, you know, by all means you're invited to, uh, definitely reach out to me now that we can finally get back on planes. I'm, uh, excited to be up here talking with stakeholders, but when I'm, I can't wait to get out to the east coast and you guys and see what kind of projects are going on out your way, but we're going all over the place, looking at all, all sorts of projects and data centers and edge applications. Um, and I'm certainly very interested to see how we can apply what we're learning in real time to driving efficiencies, to, you know, end users and applications of all sorts, including crypto. So pass my information along and, and a fan one wants to reach me by way of this podcast, by all means. You're welcome. Welcome to it.

Will Szamosszegi (35:13):

Perfect. Well, the final question is what is one belief that you hold to be true that the majority of people would disagree with you? And it could be obviously related to energy. It could be related to crypto, but it doesn't have

Sam Enoka (35:29):

To be, um, I had an answer for this when <laugh>, when I was thinking about this question. I think, think that answer is something that we've touched on and, and it's the complexity of the energy markets that you're stepping into, I guess, from a mining perspective, I've, I've, I've talked with so many minors over the years. The answer for a minor is more complicated than a price per kilowatt hour or price per mega one hour. I only take that, that view because of what, what we've observed in the news, and you're closer to it than I am, but, you know, we've seen China take a continued negative stance toward mining operations. And I think I recently saw a headline about courage. Tostan wanting to boot out minors. And over the years, you know, I've had interactions where minors say, oh, well, I, I need 2 cent power.

Sam Enoka (36:18):

I need 1 cent power or whatever the number is. And I say, well, you know, in Texas, I can get you 2 cents. I can get you 1.80 cents. I can get 1.50 cents and we can, we can figure out how to, how to get you to the market you wanna be in. You know, there are always, always this bogey of a number in a location that's really crazy. And I, I would say, you know, think carefully about the sovereign risk. This is something we talked about in hedge fund days a lot. Hey, if you're trading stocks in a country that has a really wobbly regulatory regime, be careful, you know, buyer beware, this might bite you, you do have to price in sovereign risk. And I, I would say, you always have to think about that even in the United States. I mean, we would've thought California and Texas would be problem markets, but two completely different regulatory regimes, but two racked by climate problems, from a climate perspective and a, and a, and a sovereign risk perspective.

Sam Enoka (37:10):

Those are real issues. And I know people might disagree with that stance, but I think that is a, those are major factors. If you're dealing in data center operations, if you're dealing in distributed computing, if you're dealing in crypto, those are real factors that I think you should try to price in and, and manage as best you can. And especially as these, these markets, these asset classes evolve more toward and institutional adoption. If the major investment banks, if the major asset managers, institutional asset managers in the world are going to take cryptos, seriously, you have to talk to them in, in their language and you have to talk to them about, oh yes, we've managed, here's our ESG profile. Here's our sovereign profile. Here's our, um, here are the risks and here's how we're managing them. Not just, Hey, the power might go out or, you know, that's an oversimplification, but for the industry of crypto that has grown up and it is growing up, I mean, it's growing up right before eyes.

Sam Enoka (38:10):

You're, you're seeing it. You're part of that to take these steps forward, you really have to start thinking about these, these risks as real right, as, as real things. And it's not just me. You can go to Larry Fink's annual letter from BlackRock, they manage $5 trillion, right. They manage 5 trillion us. And what does he talk about every year in his annual letter is the importance of ESG transparency, sovereign sustainability energy, environmentalism governance is kind of the last thing, but from a mature financial markets perspective, governance is the base that they've got covered. It's the other factors here that are over the next 10 years, you're gonna see increasing importance on. And if you're taking a stance on that now, I think you're setting yourself up very well for the future as this, as this sector matures. So, you know, it's, it's not just my, you know, it's something that I believe in, but I think it's something that everyone in every market in every asset class is gonna be coming to grips with over the, over the next several years. So you're warned this is it, figure it out and put it in your investment documents because this is something that that's coming down the line at all of us.

Will Szamosszegi (39:26):

Yeah. Well, very important. Especially at this time in the industry. Thanks again for coming on Sam. This was a lot of fun and we're gonna have to do it again sometime again, some time against sin.

Sam Enoka (39:34):

Absolutely. I invite you to San Francisco. Hopefully Delta lamb. Won't be so bad, but we'll, we'll stare at the water. We'll stay at the bridge. We'll have a, we'll have a cocktail hand and, and we'll keep the conversation rolling.

Will Szamosszegi (39:46):


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