Major Australian precious metals refinery, the Perth Mint, is developing its own gold-backed cryptocurrency in a bid to lure consumers back to investing in gold.
With a capacity of processing over 700 tons of gold per year, the Perth Mint is Australia’s biggest gold refiner. A heightened exodus of investors turning to new alternative investments in cryptocurrencies like bitcoin in recent years has spurred the refiner into – ironically – offering its own cryptocurrency wrestle some attention back to precious metals.
The company is in the process of developing a yet-untitled cryptocurrency backed by gold that would also be used for buying and selling crypto-gold on a blockchain, according to ABC News.
Speaking to the publication, chief executive Richard Hayes highlighted a “massive flow of funds into the likes of Bitcoin” as investors veer away from traditional safe haven assets. A gold-backed cryptocurrency traded on a blockchain, he argued, has its own merits.
“So it will have all the benefits of something that is on a distributed ledger that settles very, very quickly, that is easy to trade, but is actually backed by precious metals, so there is actually something behind it, something backing it.”
Further, the executive also stressed that the company was interested in implementing blockchain technology into its own operators. A possible application could see the entire supply chain of a gold bullion traced from the mining site through to its sale to a consumer – traced and logged in an immutable, transparent blockchain.
The refiner’s foray into cryptocurrency and blockchain technology comes over a year after the UK Treasury announced its own ‘digitized gold offering’ where consumers will be able to buy, hold and sell gold instantly over a blockchain through a digital token dubbed Royal Mint Gold (RMG). The blockchain trading platform was co-developed by bitcoin startup BitGo, facilitating trades of $1 billion in gold bars reserved at the Royal Mint’s vaults near Cardiff, Wales.
Ultimately, Perth Mint sees the offering as yet another platform for selling gold. “We certainly try to make it easier and easier, within reason, for people to access precious metals,” Hayes added. “This would just be another way for them to do it.”
The executive expects the gold backed cryptocurrency tokens to be offered at some point in the next 12 to 18 months.
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